Friday, February 25, 2011

Prince of Persia Retrospective part 2: Prince of Persia 2008 for the PS3 and 360 review




Hey, guys. Welcome back to Prince of Persia Retrospective part 2! Now, if you guys read the first part, then you know what I am going to review next. If you haven’t read the first part of this retrospective, then here is a short version. Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time was an okay game in my opinion. I thought the combat was tedious and platforming overly difficult, but it was worth a rent to see what the big deal was back in 2003. However, it is time to move on and play a different game. I decided to skip the two sequels and move on to the Prince’s first HD appearance in the 2008 Prince of Persia! I remember when people saw the new art style, everyone was overreacting and freaking out wondering what had happened. It turns out that, in my humble opinion, it’s a better game than the 2003 game, though it does have its faults, and I will get to them later in this review. So, let’s get into part 2 and review Prince of Persia.
           
The main story of this game stars our hero, the Prince, as he wanders through a desert looking for a camel that has a king’s worth in gold on it. While he looks for the camel that probably is dead from the weight and the heat of the sun, he meets a princess running from some guards. After some more running, they run into the princess’s father inside the Temple of Light where the father then releases a powerful dark god. It is up to the prince and the princess to restore the sacred areas of the land and take down the dark god. So, yeah, it’s basically “ I’m a guy who is normal but is thrown into an impossible mission that I probably won’t survive”, but it works for who the Prince is. 

The gameplay featured in Prince of Persia is mixed with intense swordplay along with some very creative Prince of Persia platforming. The main platforming comes in the form of wall-crawling, ring-grabbing, walking on ceilings, jumping on poles, and running faster all over buildings in the specific area. In each section of the world, one of four bosses resonates in each area, and you must defeat them to restore the area, kind of like Okami in a way. After you purify each area, you have to collect light seeds to gain access to special powers, like launching yourself from one pad to another, to getting the ability to run up walls and ceilings without needing to use rings or vines to grasp on to. The sword combat in my opinion is much MUCH better. This time you can pull off more offensive combos with the help of the princess who can stun enemies to where you can use your acrobatic sword skills to take down enemies. The final main gimmick I have to tell you all about is the infinite continues you can get if you mess up. Each time you miscalculate a jump or do something bad, you can always get a helping hand as the princess will pull you back up and put you a few feet away from the area you died in. It is a much more direct approach to combat, and the execution of the game, instead of making it all acrobatic like the last game. 

The graphics are purely beautiful. Granted, some areas look a little repetitive as you walk through them, but the moments when you restore sacred areas just look amazing. The animation of the Prince also looks really good in some areas, like when he climbs upon the ceiling, he looks realistic, but in real life, you would be dead if you did that. The voice acting is, again, hit and miss, but the company definitely upgraded by kicking the last person who did the Prince’s voice out the window and bringing in Nolan North, who you guys all know as Nathan Drake from Uncharted. He does A LOT better on this role than the last guy. Everyone else is pretty hit and miss, but it’s good overall. The music is also nice since the same composer of the last Prince of Persia game I reviewed is back doing this game’s musical score that sounds really good. 

However, it does have some major faults, which could either make you buy or rent the game. While the platforming is fun, you could easily get lost and go the wrong way, and it takes a while to get back to the area you started at. That is another thing that bugs me; it takes forever to get to point B from point A. While finding light seeds is required to progress through the game, it gets boring REALLY fast. It just gets repetitious since, later in the game, you will need to find every single little light seed to get the new powers. It’s the same kind of collecting issue as in the Ratchet and Clank series and the early Spyro games. It also doesn’t help that platforming takes over fighting 90% of the game, meaning that battles will not be consistent throughout the game. I also kind of wish puzzle-solving aspects were kept out of the game since some of the puzzles are just overly tedious in some areas of the game. I also find the dialogue to fit somewhat, but most of the time, the lines are cheesy 

Overall though, what are my thoughts on this game? While some areas don’t age as well from three years ago, it is definitely a better game than the Sands of Time. I say, rent it if you haven’t played it yet, or buy it if you like this franchise. I just wish they continued with this art style instead of going back to the old style like with the most recent games in the franchise. That’s right, I said games with an ‘s’ at the end! Stay tuned for more reviews and a special two-part finale to the Prince of Persia Retrospective!
This game gets a solid 8 out of 10

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