Rating

A-

Specific Ratings

GameplayB+
GraphicsA+
Learning CurveD+
Replay ValueC+
SoundA+

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Loveable Characters!
  • Very atmospheric music.
  • Good Fun!
  • Humourous Banter!
  • I like the cartoon style graphics!
  • No DRM!!
Cons
  • Combat can be awkward at times.
  • Banter stops play and fluidity.
  • At times, feels like simple button pressing.
  • Main story is a bit weak.

Prince of Persia -- 2008 Version (PC)

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Summary

The magical mystery tour begins here. Throw in humour, lots of swash buckling, and you have Prince of Persia (2008).

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Description

Beginning with repetition is never a good thing. A Good thing is never to begin with repetition. And that's why repetition is never a good thing to begin with. So right off the bat, the story starts with a negative for me, and starts a little like this:

Bad Girl: All you must do is ask!
Bad Guy: The asking is yours!
Good Girls' Bad Father: You know what it is that I ask!

Like panto, it's probably in the last place you'd expect, it's behind you! This type of story opener, tells me a lot, and what it tells me is that there will be some kind of simple twist. So simple they can't tell you, otherwise it will spoil everything, so they hide the fact.

Also the control system takes a little getting used to; it's nothing tricky, just a lot of timed button pressing. While the amount of combinations is amazing; performing some wildly stunning displays of aggression. Until you get used to the button sequences, it can feel a little like stabbing in the dark. The tutorial method could have been handled better, as it often ruined the fluid motion by stopping gameplay. That doesn't sound bad at all, but trust me; they just seem to make the whole learning process harder than needs be.

However the story gets better! The controls get better! In fact the whole game gets better and the flaws become insignificant. The musical score is also worthy of note, mainly because it's different. With its magical and mystical undertones, it is pleasing to the ear drums. While there is only one particular track that grabs my attention, given the stunning beauty of the game, the score fits the atmosphere well.

There are of course changes from the old Prince of Persia games. The graphics have gone for a cartoon style and looks well. The re-scripted storyline, it seems Prince of Persia, is no longer a Prince or in Persia. But the biggest change, from the old games, is the exclusion of a DRM! What, stop the press, developers have started this weird trend of listening to the customers.

Strange days my friends, strange days! Now I know you might side for the Customers, calling the developers money grabbing bastards, and to a certain extent, they probably are. However I must point out that some people will spoil it for the rest of us, and download these games illegally. And to a certain point, I don't totally disagree, as the argument put by most developers is that this is lost revenue. Untrue, as a large proportion of these people only download games because one, they can, and two, because it's free. It's a case of going to the theatre, and getting a free program, it's nice. But ask people to pay for it, and it's a case of "Program, at a fiver, what do we need that for?"

The other thing is when developers start suing their customers, for me, all credibility goes out the window. Did we learn nothing from Metallica? You might argue the toss, for developers, but please remember they are making a profit on something that is hugely mass producible! There is a fine line between ripping the arse out and making a profit; and all companies walk that one!

The story is aided greatly by the inclusion of wit between the two characters. The Prince has always been on the cheeky side and that's what we love about him. But here the gags, banter, and love grows even more. As the Prince and the Princess strive through the quest, they quickly form a "loving" marriage like bond. This is aided by the fact that at any point in the game; you are able to converse with a simple button press. Annoyingly this stops gameplay, and for some parts of the game, it just bogs it down. It's a case of wanting to listen to the funny stuff, but do I have to? Still, with this slight negative, the Prince and Princess relationship grows, bringing fun and entertainment all the way. Even though the story is spoiled by itself, unwinding too quickly, have no fear. As in this case, thankfully, the journey makes the story.

Prince of Persia (2008), has opted for cartoon style graphics, reminding me of the first POP 3D. While the graphics are much better, with the XIII look and the nice shading, it does bring me back to the old days. I've always preferred this look, also looking forward to Borderlands, for the same reason. Especially, with this type of fantasy storyline, I think this is well suited for the game.

The games main focuses on sword fights, jumping and solving minor puzzles. Sword fights can also be frustrating, especially from the variety point of view. As each enemy has its own combo that works best against it. POP has opted for a one on one fight and this is how the game duels, blocking and countering with a visual bevy of eye candy moves. However this really boils down to learning 3 to 4 sets and performing it time after time. Once understood there is no challenge, the only one left is the ability of killing yourself. As dying is the most skillful thing you can do in this game. Honestly it is so hard to be killed that it takes some effort, either neglectful or purposefully.

And that's one of the biggest criticisms, at times; it feels like I am just pushing the right button at the right time. Of course you could say that about any game, FPS, pressing the button quicker and killing the other guy, but here it seems more prevalent. Skill is involved, at least getting it right first time, but I also have to say at times, it's just pure luck. But Prince of Persia games can be boiled down to one sentence. "At times I may not see the wall, but if I jump, I am pretty sure that I'll grab onto something."

One of the many instances sees you on top of a very tall building, and you have to weave your way down through the slides, jumps, wall running and other acrobatic tricks. The only problem is that you have to do it all in one go. Is it hard? No, it's just frustrating if you make a simple mistake and have to start all over again. Those certain points where the timing of the button press, in the sequence, is very narrow. The sequence that goes a little something like this:

Jump, Slide, Jump, Slide, Jump, Slide, Wall Run, Jump, Slide, Jump, Wall Run, Extended Wall Run, Jump, Slide, Wall Run, Extended Wall Run, Wall Run, Jump, Wall Run, Jump, Extended Jump, Slide, Jump, Slide, Wall Run, Extended Wall Run, Wall Run and grab!

OK so that doesn't mean a lot here, but it's a lot easier than it looks. And that's the point, this whole game, if someone wanted to write a walkthrough, could have boiled it down to a sequence of button presses. Is that necessarily a game? I don't know, but damn, Prince of Persia knows how to make it entertaining!
James


System Requirements from "Readme.txt"
1.1. Hardware requirements

Minimum configuration:
Operating System: Windows® XP (with Service Pack 2)/Windows Vista ® (only)
Processor: 2,6 GHz Intel® Pentium ® D dual-core processor or AMD Athlon ™ 64 X2 3800+
RAM: 1 Go for Windows XP / 2 Go for Windows Vista
Video Card: 256 Mo compatible DirectX ® 10.0 video card or DirectX 9.0 compatible video card supporting Shader Model 3.0 or higher. (See list of supported cards.)*
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0 compatible sound card
DirectX version: DirectX 9.0 (included on game disk)
DVD-Rom: double layer DVD-Rom player
Hard Drive Space: 9 Go
Supported Peripherals: Keyboard, mouse, and optional game controller
* This game does not support Windows 98/ME/2000/NT.

Recommended configuration:
Processor: Intel Core® 2 Duo 2,2 GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ or higher
Sound Card: 5.1 sound card
Peripherals: Xbox 360® for Windows game controller

List of supported Video Cards at Time of Release:
ATI® RADEON® X1600*/1650*-1950/HD 2000 to 4000 series
NVIDIA GeForce® 6800*/7/8/9/GTX 200 series
*PCI Express only

Laptop versions of these cards are not fully supported. For an up-to-date list of supported chipsets, please visit the FAQ for this game on our support website at: http://support.ubi.com,

NOTE: This game contains technology intended to protect against copying that may conflict with disks or virtual drives.
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1.2. Language selection
The language selected at the beginning of the installation is the language used in the game.
To change the language, you must uninstall and then reinstall the game.

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