Sunday, May 10, 2009

Prince of Persia for Xbox 360

Title: Prince of Persia
Release Date: December 10, 2008
Genre: Action Adventure
Rating: T for Teen
Platform: Xbox 360
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Product Link:

After many successful Prince of Persia games on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, Ubisoft finally brings this series to the current generation’s consoles. It’s never been the groundbreaking, top-of-the-charts title, but it’s kept a loyal fan base through the years.

Prince of Persia is a two character, fast paced, action adventure game that mixes in some small puzzle aspects too. Most of the game consists of running, jumping, swinging, climbing and defying gravity. Although this is a two character game and both characters appear on screen at the same time, it’s only a one player game. Most of the game is played with the male lead (The Prince), the female character (Elika) just helps you jump over long distances and uses magical attacks during combat. The entire game revolves around you helping her heal her homeland that has been taken over by an evil force. It has more platforming elements then combat, there are usually no more then two enemy battles per area. This really enhances the flow of the game, not having to slow down so often for combat.

Combat is where these two allies really shine. You are able to string together combos by alternating attacks between characters. Both in combat and during platforming Elika saves your life more often then she does anything else. Which brings me to my next point, it is impossible to die. If you fall off a cliff, she grabs you and pulls you back up. If you get cornered in combat, she jumps in and forces the enemy off of you. She also pulls you out of the gooey stuff that you’re trying to cleanse from the land.

Big props are in order for this game’s art style. I’ve never been a big fan of cel-shaded graphics, especially when they’re used to make the game look lifelike. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker are the exception because that game is cartoony, not realistic. Prince of Persia is cel-shaded and relatively realistic, and the game looks stellar in high-def. The environments are vast and beautiful and easy to get lost in. Luckily there is a button you can push to guide you in the right direction when you’re going the wrong way.

As soon as I really got involved in the game it would start to freeze on me. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t an issue with my system, since I just bought it a couple weeks ago. This freezing-possibility forced me to save the game more often then I usually would. Every time I killed an enemy or made it through three or four platforming stretches, I would save my game. Doing this helped cut back on how often it froze, incase you run into the same issue.

Probably the most entertaining part of the game is the dialogue that emerges from the sexual tension between the characters. At one point Elika and The Prince are discussing how he ascertained a large amount of gold. She asks him if he robbed the dead and his response is: “It’s a lot easier then robbing the living.” Then farther into the game there is this whole conversation about playing The Prince’s game that almost made me fall out of my chair laughing. If you pick up this game I strongly suggest initiating conversation with Elika as much as you can, or you might miss some highly comical discussions.

Prince of Persia is available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Prince of Persia’s fast paced action, innovative art style and hilarious dialogue help make it a great game. I’m probably only halfway through it right now and I can’t wait to continue playing.

Overall Rating: ****1/2

The Gaming Savant, Ryan Video Game Review Staff Team Leader

April 25, 2009

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