PRINCE OF PERSIA, an exercise in patience and hand holding
Well with my last Pick of the Week post I finally had the first person to visit the site and post that thought my picks were dumb…cool. I like what I like and dislike what I dislike so I’m just happy somebody’s paying attention…lol. So lets see how many people disagree with me on this.
I have to admit that I never cared about the Prince of Persia franchise as a whole. I tried to play the various incarnations but never really cared about what was going on, so when I picked up the controller for this one I went into it not expecting anything other than great visuals. Once I put the controller I found myself thinking about playing the game. This version of the Prince is not a sequel to the earlier versions, that I can tell. This is another story all together. When the game starts your walking through a desert screaming a woman’s name(which is the name of the Prince’s donkey) and you run into your new companion for the rest of the game. When the game first teaches how to use the controls it feels like they’ve taken all the chances to make huge mistakes out for you. At various times later on in the game it felt like I was just pressing buttons so the computer could do all the heavy lifting. I don’t know how I feel about that since I’ve been playing games for a insanely long time and felt like I was being on a leash of sorts. The fight mechanic is fun, but when I came across the WARRIOR, who’s supposed to be a total badass I beat him in about 2 minutes. Eventhough there were times where fights lasted longer because of a certain sort of circumstancesk, the game is pretty easy.
It’s not just the fighting that makes the game feel easy, it’s the fact that it’s impossible to die. Even with the SANDS OF TIME rewind functionality you still had to pay attention to what you were doing. With your companion, ELKA, no matter what you won’t die. During a couple of fights I wasn’t really paying attention to the fighting because I knew that if I got hit a couple of times that I’d be forced to enter a quick time event to save my character from dying. It’s not really a practice in skill to beat bosses, it’s more of a practice in patience. If you just keep plugging away and don’t turn off the game you’ll win. It reminded me of when WILD AND CRAZY KIDS came back a few years ago and they took out the practice of winning and stopped keeping score for the three teams. This train of thought is both good and bad. On the one hand me not having to stay involved in the fights helped me pay more attention to the story, but then I didn’t feel the same feeling your supposed to get when you fight a boss.
The game looks great, it’s simply beautiful. I just wish that the story was more linear. I didn’t enjoy having to back track to different areas after gaining a new power just to finish off my job there. I would have preferred staying in the fight against the Concubine, The Warrior, and The Alchemist. I think the story would have felt more solid and complete if I didn’t have to fight the Warrior, get his story and then have to run to fight the Concubine and get her story at the same time. That’s like having a franchis with three sequels that you have to run back and forth between to finish the entire vision. Doing that takes me out of the story at hand, which is pretty sad on The Warrior’s side. I did enjoy the fact that to get more info you had the choice whether or not to hold a conversation with ELKA, because that made it feel more like an interactive movie. Overall the game looks and plays great, even though it holds your hand a little too much.
CHARLES’ GRADE: B+
PROS: WATER PAINTING STYLE CELL SHADING, FLUID CHARACTER ANIMATIONS, A STORY THAT YOU HAVE TO DO SOME WORK TO EXPLORE BETWEEN THE TWO MAIN CHARACTERS
CONS:WAY TOO EASY, FRACTURED STORYTELLING, FEELING AS IF YOUR ON RAILS DURING PLATFORMING, NO SENSE OF ANY REAL DANGER