Review by eaglesfan026
"Just an all-around great game"
I was never a big fan of the Prince of Persia series. I never paid it much thought or even gave the games a chance. Until I bought Sands of Time on a whim one day. Now I love the series and will probably pick up the other two sometime in the future... But that's another story. Anyway.
Although I don't really care about the storyline of a game particularly too much, this one has a good one. You are (obviously) a prince who obtains what is called the Dagger of Time. After you are told to stick it in the hourglass by your father, everything goes a bit haywire and now everybody has transformed into some sand zombie-esque creature. After knocking them out, you must stick the Dagger of Time into them to finish them for good... And power up your Dagger-- but that's a whole different section. Along the way you meet Farrah, who was a slave of the Prince's father but was freed in the mayhem that was unleashed. She assists you in throughout the majority of the game, fitting through cracks and small holes in the wall that Prince could not fit through. The ending is also very well done, one of the best I've seen. I won't go into to detail so I don't spoil it for anyone who still hasn't played yet.
The one big gripe I had about this is the CAMERA ANGLE! Sometimes it would just be very frustrating to try to wall run or jump to a ledge with the crappy camera angles. Now, the camera isn't always bad-- in fact on some parts that involve a lot of acrobatics, the camera is fine. But there are still times that make you wish you could see better. A lot better. The problem is that there really isn't a good way to manipulate it into moving into a better position, since you can't really swivel the camera freely like you can in some FPS games or other platformers. First person mode is helpful at times, but once you move it takes you out of it and back to the normal camera angle. That aside, however, the rest of the gameplay is stellar. Prince's acrobatics are extremely fun to pull off too, like running on/up walls or swinging from flag pole to flag pole. It's not slow paced either, like in Splinter Cell for example where Sam Fisher takes an eternity to crawl across an average-sized room. Whether you are shimmying along a ledge or climbing up a ladder or running along a wall, Prince is very quick and agile and gets the job done quickly. Also, the puzzles are very well done and will provide a challenge. They aren't too difficult, yet not a breeze either.
Makes for a much more enjoyable experience, surprisingly. The other major part of gameplay is the combat/time control... The combat was not as enjoyable as the acrobatics unfortunately, but it wasn't all too bad. Basically, the combat consists of the same 3 or 4 attacks with different slashing animations too. There isn't a wide variety of enemies either. After you manage to get one of them on the ground and KO'd, you have to stick the dagger into him (or her as the case may be) to kill them for good. They will evaporate and you will fill up a Sand Tank or, if the Sand Tanks are all full, a Power Tank. A Sand Tank allows you to turn back time after you've taken damage or died, or you can slow down time also. Power Tanks allow you to do special moves with your Dagger that will do certain things to the enemy such as 'freeze' them.
Honestly, the camera angle and boring combat knock this down only a point. The amazing acrobatics are good enough though to give it such a high score to me, since I find that acrobatics and puzzles are a much bigger part of this game than the combat. Which is good.
I might be "next-gen spoiled" by now, but I've seen better games for the Xbox too. The graphics are good don't get me wrong, but at times the textures (like outside walls of the palace) seem a bit bare to me. They pulled off the atmosphere very well, and there is a surprisingly wide variety of environments for staying in just one area the whole time (the whole game takes place in the palace) so it's more than just the same thing over and over. The sun looks very nice, especially in one of the later levels when it is setting and you really get to see it clearly. The sky is a bit overly done at times, I've noticed storm clouds moving about rather violently and rapidly. However even though it is over done, it still looks great. Player models look good, albeit a bit jaggy... but it is the Xbox after all so you take what you can get.
The voiceovers are nicely done. Every voice suits each respective character well, if you know what I mean. As for the other sounds, there isn't much of a musical aspect to this game. They have the whole "Arabian" theme going on so sometimes you'll hear Arabian instrumental music which sounds nice... but on a rare occasion they'll decide to throw in a guitar solo which completely throws me off and sounds totally out of context. I think it only happens once or twice in the whole game so it's no big deal. Sound effects are spot on, no gripes there. The ambient noises are very nice too, when you are outside.
Overall (Wrap-up): 9.2/10
The little things in this game really boost the overall, which is why it may seem high considering the other scores I gave for graphics and gameplay or whatever... But this game delivers a very fun experience and single player should last you about 8 or 10 hours, so it's not too long but not too short. Plus, after you beat it, you unlock the original Prince of Persia so that could potentially extend your playing time.
By now, a used copy should be going for around $10 or maybe even less so do yourself a favor and pick this one up whenever you get the chance, for any system.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/24/07
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