Review by miyaa

"Those behind the Lara Croft saga, take note"

This is how a Lara Croft game should go. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a nice combination of puzzle, goon, and movie mayhem.

The point to this whole game is basically an ''undo'' plot, where the Prince & Princess have to undo what they basically did: accidentally unleash Sand Demons from a secret cave with no thanks from the King and his 'evil' Vizier. It's pretty much up to the young couple to save the Kingdom from certain sand doom.

Players play the Prince, and basically you have a magical time-altering dagger and your trusty sword to use against magical foes, which you have to eventually absorb into your dagger. Doing this will allow you to undo a mistake that you made. And even if you don't do this, you can retry as often as there are sands in the Desert at the last of what seems to be almost unlimited number of save points, some manual, some automatic, and there isn't much that you have to do to get back to where you died last.

One more neat point about these manual save points, they give the Prince visions on what next is about to happen. More often than not they almost give away what you'll have to do to solve the next puzzle or defeat the next series of sand cronies.

When you aren't kicking butt against demons and making sure the Princess doesn't die (pity two people can't play both characters), you're trying to either get into a room or get out of room and avoid traps, pitfalls, and of course solve puzzles.

Gameplay is very varied in what kinds of puzzles and demons you have to face. However, I wish the game didn't play less like a ''game'' and more like a movie. There are a lot of cut-scenes, and the puzzles are rather linear. In fact, it's almost as if the game designs make it so there is only one solution. There doesn't seem to be very few secrets areas either. Nothing that after about two hours of play-time you should be surprised about seeing.

The variety of moves and attacks that the Prince can do getting from point A to point B or in putting a sand demon back to the Arabian desert is very expansive. Again, there is almost nothing new that you do that the game doesn't tell you how to do it the first time, which is cool.

The eye-candy is where Sands of Time, really shines. While the bodies are a bit too blocky for my taste, they are still very well drawn and the animation is top-rate. Even more impressive is the background and sound. Colors are vibrant, the sounds of water and the traps are very well created in both how close it is to real actual sounds and in its intensity. (By the way, it's a desert, so water is life in this game, obviously.) The voice-over acting is pretty good, and the comments the Prince and Princess say to themselves and while they're sniping at each other is pretty good. The only really bad thing is that walking movement isn't sometimes the best, and the Princess really gets in the way of the Prince way too often.

Good Idea: A game that is cool to look at without being either too puzzle heavy or killing foes heavy.
Bad Idea: Not very many secrets; also not knowing how well you're character is doing overall in terms of kills or how many things he's accomplished. Would have been great as a two-player game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 11/19/03

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