Review by quadgunnar
"Great Game, Very Addictive, Minor Flaws"
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is an awesome game, to say the least. I was skeptical when I first saw the T.V. commercials advertising it, and I eventually put it on my Christmas list. My dad ended up getting it for me, along with True Crime: Streets of L.A. (also a good game), and the next day I sat down with my Xbox and began the greatest adventure on an Xbox I had ever had.
An all-around synopsis of this game can be put into three words: must-have, breathtaking, and fun. Not just any type of fun. I'm talking best combat system since...I don't even remember playing a game on the Xbox that had as good hand to hand and melee as this game. Simply astonishing, and it NEVER gets old. Whether its bashing a foe to the ground and subsequently stealing his sand essence, or turning the enemy into a slow moving statue to be slashed in half at the push of two buttons, this game is amazing.
Graphics - 10/10
Amazing visuals. Sand Creatures' facial expressions and creeping movements vary between each. So much detail is depicted in the face of every being in the game, it looks like a fit PC game. And lest we forget, the cut scenes. OHH, the cut scenes. Armed to the teeth with stunning graphics, there are no glitches or skips at all, no pauses. The cut scenes are comparable to the great Final Fantasy series by SquareSoft. The gigantic background areas also present zero pop-ups and a little fog. Smoky areas look perfect, and the colors run nicely together. All of the characters' bodily frames and the like are put together to match the being it represents. The game is very complete graphically.
Sound - 8/10
I have some issues with the sounds. The music is great...when it's on. I think the game would be even better if there was a song playing in every level, albeit a different one. The only time you get to hear any music is during combat, and it adds to the tension while fighting. Also, I think the SFX in itself is also a little weak. The sword cuts sound very light and tiny, and you don't get that satisfying PLESH sound when you cut through an enemies flesh. Voice acting is good, generously. Other than that, I think the sound is accurately put to use.
Controls - 9/10
Great controls. I have a strategy guide for this game, and when I looked at the controls and combinations for combos I got really discouraged. The controls for this game look very difficult on paper, but once you get into the game, it actually gives you a large, multi-level tutorial on the game. It's very simple once you get the hang of it; almost becomes a reflex, really. My one beef is the camera angles. They're usually great, but sometimes it can get caught behind a pillar or something during battle, which can mean using a sand tank to rewind.
Gameplay - 11/10
No, that's not a typo...the gameplay is better than perfect. The ability to rewind, slow, or speed up time is simply uncommon in video games of any era. This game actually perfects it, because it doesn't suck with time travel. Monsters are aptly suited in regards to difficulty, and the storyline is great as well. It amounts to a very compelling game, and there are no flaws I can see with my eyes.
Recommendation - Buy this game without hesitation the first time you have the opportunity. You will not be let down.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/26/03
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