Review by Aegis_Runestone
"Fun and Frustrating"
This was the first Prince of Persia game I ever played. I always heard about the many games made with things such as running across walls and doing amazing acrobatic moves. This game has all of that, plus an interesting combat system. It's a fun, yet frustrating experience to play. Fun enough to keep you going, and frustrating enough to have to take some breaks from it. I will break the game down into four parts: Graphics, Sound, Story, and Gameplay.
The graphics in this game are amazing. The cartoony look matches the tone of the game (or at least, the Prince's personalty himself), and everything is "well-drawn," if you want to take an artistic view of the game. The effects are especially beautiful when Elika uses her magic powers. The graphics and effects during cutscenes are wonderful, especially the "vision" at the beginning of the game that gives you a creepy feeling that something bad is about to happen. Ubisoft did a perfect job on the graphics for this game, and hence why I give them a 10.
The sound effects in this game are almost equally amazing as the graphics. There's a problem though--the music. While the music is beautifully orchestrated, there's very little variety of it. Very little. It is very tiring to hear the same song again and again for a long time. As for the effects that deal with sword slashing, magical powers, and the Corruption, these sounds are magnificent. They add a sense of deep fantasy to the world around you, and make you feel immersed in this world. If the music had more variety, the sounds would have a higher score, hence why I give the sounds an 8.
At first, the story seems pretty awesome. The God of Darkness, Ahriman gets released and you have to save the lands in order to seal him away. The problem is, it becomes a repetitive story of "heal this land, now heal this land, and then, heal this land" in almost the exact same way every time. Each land has its own variation, but each area is very small (perhaps that's why the "Speed Demon" achievement exists), and you reach the "boss" of the area very fast. After defeating the boss, you heal the land, and then you go through the fun process of collecting Light Seeds. It feels like you are collecting quest items on a massive scale, beyond that of Zelda.
However, one saving grace is the characters. The Prince has a cliche, yet loads of fun personalty. He is very reminiscent of Locke from Final Fantasy VI. Both of them get insulted when called a "thief" or told they are "robbing" something, and obviously the person accusing them needs correction. In the Prince's case, he's an "Adventurer," not a "thief." Elika, herself, has a pretty neat personalty, she's slightly more serious, but isn't your usual demanding Princess, or overly "cutesy" type. The other characters are also interesting, but I won't go into their details as to avoid spoilers. For these reasons of repetition, yet good characters, I give the story a 7.
You'd think from a game where you could run across walls, climb to great heights, jump across great gaps with Elika's help, etc. that it would be a lot of fun like the Assassin's Creed series. Not quite. There are some bugs and quirks in the gameplay that make some of it very frustrating. For instance, climbing. The Prince can go up twice, but there's a problem: when you press "A" and when do you not press "A"? I've "killed" myself more than 100 times due to this problem alone. Then there are the power plates. Sometimes the Prince can hold on long enough for you to activate them, most of the time, however, he just falls off, like that. That has "killed" me many times as well.
Now onto the combat. Combat is based heavily off combos. It is a lot of fun to use combos against enemies and the variety of things you can do against your foes. Gameplay would probably get a score of 5 if it weren't for the excellent combat. Combining magic with sword, or grappling with acrobatics or even more is fun to play with and it is a lot of fun to experiment with combos in battle. Additionally, there are times when you can "ring out" your opponent off a cliff, or ram him into a wall and end the fight with a fatal blow. Combat is definitely the saving grace for the gameplay.
Finally, one last thing: you cannot die in the game at all. At least, not that I've been able to find. Elika, even you fail to counter a fatal attack, will save you EVERY TIME. It's kinda silly. You're saved from falling into pits, falling too far, from fatal attacks, etc. I suppose Ubisoft saw in testing that being killed so often was very frustrating, possibly to the point of players throwing their controllers at their Xboxes or TVs. Regardless, it's something I wanted to point out.
For these reasons, the gameplay gets a 7.
Overall Score: 7/10
Final word: This is a fun game to pass the time. I wouldn't recommend a second playthrough, but a first playthrough is definitely something you ought to try.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 11/29/11
Game Release: Prince of Persia (US, 12/02/08)
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