Review by CyricZ

"Unbelievable graphics, but very little to satisfy the hard-core gamer"

I'm one of the lucky few who was blessed with being around when the original Prince of Persia (POP) was released. When this game hit the shelves for multiple systems, it gave us play control, graphics, music and replayability that no one was expecting.

Red Orb Entertainment decided the world needed a trip down memory lane. Sadly, though, it seems gaming land has outgrown the story of an orphaned prince saving a princess.

To the breakdown!

Graphics: 10

This is easily the best point of the game, and it's done unbelievably well. Great attention was paid to detail. In this 3D environment, you get a real feel for the Persian Palace motif. There are little detailled objects scattered all over this rich and lush world. The prisons you begin in feel dark and dank. The floating castle is truly psychadelic, and the you'll marvel at just how gigantic a hot air balloon can get. All characters are incredibly detailed in polygons. There is a small amount of framerate slowdown when the action gets truly hot, but that's rare in the game.

Sound and Music: 9

Another beautiful point in this game is the music score. Haunting Persain-esque melodies resonate throughout this game, adding to the mystery of the land, and the constant feel that you are a fugitive on the run, trying to avoid your death. When you engage in a fight, the music picks up in a lovely battle theme complete with all the strings you'd here in an Arab tune, along with some modern percussion.

Gameplay: 6

The basic idea is to advance through a level, jumping, climbing, and fighting your way past all the obstacles. Some new elements are introduced into this game. Ropes are now used for swinging as well as climbing. Where there were simple healing potions in the original, there are all types in this game, from high-jump, to invisibility, to being able to look like a guard.

Combat has been enhanced, as well. Much will be explained shortly, but the basic gist is that you now have three types of melee weapons to choose from: trusty sword, long and powerful staff, or short and quick knives.

Also, the Prince now can use a bow to dispatch his enemies from afar. Mainly, this will be used as a sniping weapon, as arrows are in short supply, although there are several different types available to a traveling archer.

As for play control, well, here's the setup in the original POP. The play control was designed with the mindset that you're controlling an actual human being. It takes him a second to get to an outright sprint, and stopping could take a few extra steps. This was done incredibly well in the old 2D game.

Now, in the 3D game, it seems a little overdone. You feel as if the Prince is putting in far too much effort to make himself move, and the play control feels too awkward. As most of the game is trying to run and jump, this can seriously cramp your style.

In combat, however, the game designers have given us a unique engine. You can cause different amounts of damage depending on where you land your blow, and your enemy is forced to try to block specifically from where you are coming. Of course, you have to deal with this, too, making combat an interesting challenge, and a dazzling array of sword swipes, blocks, and cuts.

Replay Value: 5

As the game itself tends to be repetitive as far as run, jump, climb, fight, when you reach the end, you'll be saying ''Finally!'', and hide the game, never to be seen again. Well, that was my impression, at least.

Icing on the cake:

One of the things that I got real satisfaction out of was deathblows. When you have your enemies life down to next to nothing, your last attack will finish your opponent off in a very artistic/stomach-wrenching manner. There is no blood, but you can still chop off a guard's head as a finishing blow. My personal favorite is the staff. When you finish off a victim, you grab him around the neck with it. He struggles for a second until you snap his neck with it. Groovy....

Flies in the ointment:

The awkward play control, and the repetition of gameplay, even if the levels themselves are unique. Getting to the end seemed more like a chore than an adventure.

Overall: 6

If you loved the original POPs and don't mind dealing with the play control, then by all means, give this title a go. There are points where it can feel quite satisfying.

Unfortunately, the general setup of the game seems to old and outdated. It's not a worthy competitor in today's gaming world.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 04/03/00, Updated 04/03/00


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