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Katy Perry 4

Prince of Persia - Review

Posted on 2009.01.10 at 01:06
Current Mood:: bouncybouncy
Tags: , ,
Straight off the bat the thing that gets on my nerves just a little bit about the latest Prince of Persia offering is how unimaginatively it's been named. Just calling it Prince of Persia, well, it's so vague and ambiguous. I'm sure if the team had put their heads together they could come up with some kind of subtitle for it. How about Prince of Persia: Fertile Ground. That's a good one because Fertile Ground is a phrase you'll be hearing a lot in this game. Or alternatively Prince of Persia: City of Light or Prince of Persia: Ahriman's Rising or something. Okay Ahriman's Rising sounds a bit like a game I would never play in a million years but at least it would allow the game to be better organised in the larger scheme of things. There's a reason we have subtitles or numbers on the end of sequels you know.

Actually I'm surprised on how much I had to say just about the title of the game. I should review games just by their title more often, but not today, for today I am reviewing this game by what happened in it and all that kind of stuff. Boringly conventional, I know, but bear with me and one day I may be reviewing games in the most ridiculously incompetant way ever. So Prince of Persia, or Prince of Persia: City of Light as I've now decided it should be called, it's a good game. To begin with I had doubts about the platforming because it seemed almost too easy. I point the Prince at a wall and press jump, not only does he jump to that wall he also climbs up it and if he finds no ledge uses his claw to grip his way down. If I point him at a wall at an angle and press jump then he'll run along that wall. It all seemed too easy. One button to grip onto things at certain points and another button for Elika to help me out with her special powers. It was platforming that I could do in my sleep. But as the game progressed I began to understand why all the basics were so basic. This is because as you go through each area another obstacle is added to the environment. First up (actually because Prince of Persia: City of Light is all open ended this could be the last one that you get but it was the first one that I got so: First up) is some corruption flies that come and fly harmlessly around you. I'm not sure what their function is but they make a slightly annoying drone so I assume that's like the incentive for you to move on quick before it gives you a headache or something. Next up is spiky things that come out of the wall, they're a real obstacle, a for serious one. Thirdly the air itself fills with corruption and as you pass through the screen goes all grey and dangerous or something. Then there's blobs of corruption that glob their way back and forth and swallow you whole if you go near them. The point is by the time that these all make their way onto the platforms you're attempting to traverse it makes you a bit grateful for how simplistic the basic controls are. You certainly couldn't be doing with Tomb Raider style platforming controls here.

So the platforming is good. That's like one half of the game. The other half is the fighting. I think I would have enjoyed the fighting, had I not made one fatal mistake which has ruined the fighting for me throughout the bulk of the game. I went to fight the Concubine first. All the enemies after that point (that's all the enemies) learned how to do her signature move, the annoying shieldy thing that can only be broken via a guantlet attack. The guantlet attack throws the enemy away a bit by the way, so that means it gives them time to regroup and put their annoying shield back on. So I spent most of my battles taking off the annoying shield and watching them reapply it. Other than that, had I gone to the Concubine last (with possibly the Hunter second to last) then I might have had a much better time with the battle system.

I really enjoyed the storyline of this game as well, with the whole Ahriman is trying to break out, lets stop him via the fertile grounds and everything. I thought all that business was very good. I like the Prince and Elika and I think they had really good chemistry together. I loved how you could stand and have a chat to Elika for a while if you wanted to, and I suppose if you didn't want to you could skip that altogether. I wouldn't have done though. I really liked Elika and I cared about her throughout the game. I think the thing that made me care about her is, not her personality or anything, just watching her and the Prince interact. I loved the way that they swung around one another on poles, or he caught her when she landed or whatever. Those little animations just made it for me. Anyway so come the end of the game when Elika met her eventual fate I was keen for the Prince to get her back, even if it meant sacrificing all I had worked for. Because I saw their relationship as being the real important thing that I was enjoying, not some arbitrary number of lands that I'd claimed or how far back I'd pushed back Ahriman. I wanted them to be together. It was something of a sad ending and I'm looking forwards to see how it continues in later games because we know the King made the same deal with Ahriman as the Prince did and he went all Corrupted. I'm looking forwards to seeing the Prince like half Corrupted or something, fighting to regain his soul and save the world from what he's done. That'd be awesome.

Getting near the end of the review now. One of the things I did not like about the game was the final boss fight. Or the final boss platforming segment. No offence but I don't think turning everything into a shade of grey and making me control the Prince from a shaky vantage point distant from where I'm trying to jump is a good idea. Okay it probably helps set the mood but it's not a good when I keep falling into the corruption and can't see why. Stupid camera angles. Actually the camera in this game is pretty good, compared to that from Tomb Raider (I think that camera had actually allied itself with Natla). Overall it was a good game and I loved the Prince's new look and I didn't think it was too easy (people have made the argument that it's actually a bit harder than Sands of Time etc, but don't forget in Sands of Time you had a certain amount of times you could rewind time so you were always being a bit careful to make sure you didn't run out. In this you can just jump randomly without even trying to hit things confident in the knowledge that Elika will always be there for you. Swings and roundabouts isn't it really?) and I give it a very good nine thumbs up. Hooray for the Prince of Persia.

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