Review by sonicgenki

"Prince of Persia: Pinniacle of gaming"

I can still remember playing the original Prince of Persia in the days of yesteryear. Ah yes, at the time, the games animation was 2nd to none and much applauded. The gameplay was unique and kept me hooked for hours. Room after room after room of traps, jumping and sword fights. So is Prince of Persia: The sands of time as good as its predecessors? Or is it better?

After playing the Demo in Novembers OXM, I knew that this was a game I just had to play. The graphics, the gameplay, the presentation...Everything about POP just screams production value.

And while there have been some minor changes since the November OXM, Prince of Persia is definitely a pinnacle in gaming for this generation of games and systems.

First of the graphics have been changed from 60FPS to 30FPS. This is acceptable as the Demo was 60fps but not consistent. There were too many dropped frames and sometimes the demo would look skippy. I am sure that UBI changed the game to 30 FPS to ensure a more stable look to the graphics and so the game would run more smoothly. Also there is minor gameplay and visual differences from the demo to the final product.

The story in Prince of Persia is very good. Not to spoil anything but the story unfolds through well rendered FMV’s that look brilliant as well as cut scenes using the games engine. Also as you are playing, your character tells the story while you are running around the levels. This is quite unique and does add to the experience. It is almost as if he is telling the story while you are playing. A very unique way to present the story!

Basically the story is about your character who unleashes hordes of sand demons and must restore balance by collecting the sand that was unleashed. You acquire a ''Dagger of time'' which allows control over time.

The gameplay is solid. They took all the mechanics that made the original so much fun and incorporated them in 3-d. Wall running, jumping, pole swinging, shimming. It is all here in 3-d gameplay glory. And should you die or fall off a cliff, you can activate the dagger of time to reverse time to before you met your demise so that you can change your actions and come out alive. This is very unique and is brilliantly done. It adds another dimension to the game. You can only control time when your dagger has sand in it. If it runs out of sand, it cannot be activated and time cannot be reversed. You can collect sand by defeating enemies as well as collecting sand that is scattered across the kingdom. Very cool. And should your health become low, all that you need to do is find water to drink. Wherever you see water you can drink it. Puddles, Fountains and basins. You can even drink if you are fighting enemies near by. This needs to be done strategically, but it can be done! There is also many puzzle solving elements in the game which are well done and not too difficult.

Graphically, Prince of Persia is one of the nicest looking games to grace my television in a long while. The animation is astounding. Running, climbing, dodging and swinging all look so realistic. This game looks like a Disney cartoon. The textures are very clean and sharp but there doesn't appear to be any bump mapping. There are plenty of particle effects, which look great and add to the atmosphere. Tapestries that hang from the ceiling have physics that make them move very realistically. You might find yourself walking through the tapestries just to see them move. Wow!

Levels are incredibly designed and well thought out. Colorful and well put together through out!

The camera is very good for the most part. My only complaint is sometimes the camera does not give you the most optimal view and you might have to adjust it to see where you are jumping. This is a fairly minor gripe as the camera system is one of the best I have seen.

Also, at times when you are fighting multiple enemies, the camera might hit a wall and make it difficult to see them. This has only happened 2 times but was very noticeable.

Other than those minor gripes, the camera works brilliantly!

The sound in this game is also very high quality. One of the band members from the Tea Party produced the music. It has a very Middle Eastern feel. The songs flare up with exotic sounding vocals and chanting with sitar and guitar sounds and tribal drums. Perfectly atmospheric and welcome.

The voices are also recorded very professionally and are some of the best I have heard since the Legacy of Kain series.

Overall I have to say that this game is nearly perfect. It really and truly is. It clocks in at roughly 12-13 hours, which is pretty average now a days. This is a lavish vision that has been brought to life and entices the player into a world so beautiful and involving that they will not put the control down until it is over!

And Prince of Persia 1 and 2 are included. What more could you want.

I would give this game a 9.5 out of 10. But due to the scoring on this site, I will have to round it up to 10!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/13/03

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