Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Prince of Persia : the Forgotten Sands

I'm a huge Prince of Persia sands storyline fan. Not the rebooted 2008 one. Yuck! And although it's release was coordinated with the awful movie's, the only similarity is in the box art. The story is MUCH better.

So I was really excited but also weary when this one came out. Would it be my beloved Prince, leaping and bouncing off walls in a giant self-contained environment? The answer: yes and no.

This game is PoP 1.5. So it takes place after the original, but before the (inferior) 2nd one. The Prince is back, with the same voice actor and the whole beginning of the game is a love letter in similarity to PoP1. The Prince even comments on it, in his delightful inner-monologue.

Everything looks pretty and right in the beginning. Not quite as charming as PoP1, but it evokes feelings of it. The palace is huge, it is twisting and turning AND believable.

There's the familiar crank puzzles. Most of them are a bit dissapointingly simple, except the main gate one, which is terribly annoying. But that's standard PoP fare.
The enviroments start off really strong, with nice variety through the settings. Then, a sandstorm hits and makes everything even MORE destructed and interesting.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Screenshot

Then you get to the "Djinn City" which invokes some magical place. Nope. It looks like the castle basement. All gray and boring. And this is where the game loses it's believability and beauty. The majority of the game looks great and then it just fizzles.

And it has one of the issues I have with lots of games these days. I'm looking at you, God of War 3!!! It's enemies that are placed just so you can use them to navigate through the levels. The Sand Birds appear in a succession that takes you EXACTLY where you need to go. LAME! And there's even one sort of enemy whose entire purpose is just to zip you through levels. Their only purpose is to exist so you can go to a ledge.

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Screenshot

But the end fight is fun and exciting and through the main game, I had lots of fun with the platforming.

So in essence, the game fizzles a bit towards the end, but it still makes for a very fun game experience.