Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Remember Prince of Persia back in the late 80's for the Nintendo Entertainment system? You may or may not,
but the game was one of the very first adventure games, and it really felt like an adventure. Over a decade later the
prince is back and better than ever.
You play the role of a young Persian prince (hence the name....Prince of
Persia). Your father the King of Persia has just finished a huge war with the Mahoratan. The young prince runs
away from the fight to explore parts of the huge castle you explore. In his exploration he stumbles across the Dagger
of Time. This dagger holds great power. It has the power to reverse time, slow time, and fast forward time.
Think of it as your VCR remote, except it can kill people. The prince feeling confindent in his discoveries of course
goes to tell and show his father. Vizier Jaffar, (who odly resembles the villian of Aladdin) tricks you into plunging
the Dagger of Time into an hourglass full of The Sands of Time. With this The Sands of Time are released onto not only
the expanding castle, but the whole country of Persia. The Sands of Time may look pretty, but they are in no way a pretty
face. The sands will get into the bodies of anyone who breathes it in, and turn them into horrible, disfigured sand
monsters. in fact their faces are quite ugly. Will you be alone on this adventure? Yes and no. You
are accompinied by the beautiful princess Farah. See once you enter a room it will roll out like one big puzzle, and
to solve some of these puzzles you'll need the help of the princess. You may even fall in love with this princess...
You can't teach that:
The first PoP was known for it's amazing acrobatics and combat, and this one sure does
live up to it's ol' daddy. PoP in my opinion is the best 3-D adventure since the very first 3-D adventure, Super Mario
64. The control is flawless, and is so fluid and inducing that you'll be intoxicated with the feeling of the game.
Be aware the Prince is no muscle-bown loaf, oh no he is a very acrobatic and agile warrior. He has a ton of moves.
How many you ask? Think of this, take Mario, Samus Aran, Shinobi, and some intense swordplay, mixed with some Michael
Jackson and put them in a blender and you'll have a slight clue of the calibur of moves he has. The Prince can run on
walls, run up walls, jump from wall to wall, swing from ropes, run up enemies, jump off walls, shimmy along ledges, jump from
ledges, jump from pillars, climb on ledges, flip off ropes, and spin on poles. This guy could make circuis acrobats
cry in envy. The controls are very unique. They aren't quite platformer, but they are not quite hack and slash.
All the controls are precise and responsive. You have a jump button, but depending on your situation you may not always
jump. If you're by a ledge and you push the jump button you'll crawl up the ledge. If you're just running around
and push the jump button you'll instead do a roll. It all depends on your surroundings. Sands of Time adapts many
of the features of the first Prince of Persia, when you are running then all of a sudden change derection you'll slide to
the left then go right. The game is full of platforming, puzzles, and combat. The combat is good, but compared
to the rest of the game feels unpolished. Not saying it's bad, just that it could of used more time. Most of the
battles go on for a long time. The battles are actually quite repetitive, but it's so intense and fluid that you'll
be so drawn in to this battle that you'll barely if not at all notice. There are also a few mind-boggling puzzles to
solve on your romp in the castle. These can be quite hard and at times frustrating. And the best part the platforming.
As I said before the Prince boasts a unmatchable bevy of moves. All of these moves come in handy as you move across
the huge castle. One of the best control systems out there.
Sand never looked so good:
That's right you heard me, these are the best graphics I have ever seen in a game for any system, any ere, any game.
Outstanding particle effects in the way the sand kicks up behind you when you run, the way the light shines threw the castle
windows, the way the screen seems to have a film of sand across it all make for a game that looks absolutely beautiful.
Don't even get me started on the water effects. The ripples move realisticly and in real motion. If you land in
the water a moderate ripple will occur, if you push a crate into the water a good sized ripple will occur. When you
run across a wall the wall will give off some sand and grime as you run across it, when you're shimmying across a ledge the
ledge will give way little rocks as you move. It's those little details that the Ubisoft Montreal team created to make
the game look absolutely beautiful. You'll find yourself mouth wide open, eyes stretched open just taking in all these
details that are just enthralling. You really feel like you are in this past world in the castle trying to save yourself.
Get down with your Arabian self:
Again, amazing execution in the sound department. You really know
Ubisoft has done it's research in how things will react and sound when certain things come in contact with it. The sword
clashes, dirt crumbling, glass shattering, and wood detearirating all sound phoneminally realistic. Since the Prince
is telling the story from his own point of view he will often talk to himself about how he feels about the princess, his life,
and his surroundings. The voice acting is very crisp and well delivered. All of the characters' accents sound
believable, not some tacky add on. The music also is excellent. The music is very mid-eastern, with arabian instruments
lose. There are also some nice guitar riffs and drum beats when you enter combat. Again Ubisoft has outdone itself
with this category.
If Prince of Persia has one real flaw it's the length.
I was able to go through the game in less than eleven hours. But the thing is I barely noticed. I was so enthralled
into this unique experience that I didn't notice it at all. Depending if you explore a lot or not you'll be able to
finish the game in a good 10-13 hours. Not a long game, but really not a short game.
Sands of Time in my mind has givin the 3-D adventure games a rebirth. All the great aspects rolled up into one totally
immersive and beautiful world makes for an excellent game that has my highest reccommendation to anyone even remotely intrested
in Action/Adventure games. If you don't already own this game you are really missing out on something special.
-Blake Becker (GoinCommando)
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