Cam’s Eye View: Prince of Persia Retrospective part 1: Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time for the PS2, GC, Xbox, and PC review

So yeah, game-to-movie adaptations still don’t work out very well today. It sucks since there are some decent ones like the Tomb Raider and the Silent Hill movie. Yeah they still aren’t great, but they are fun to watch. Well, the ones that aren’t made by Uwe Bowell are not fun and are just horrible, though, some light has shined though since Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time came out and has gotten somewhat positive reviews. Of course, it won’t be as good as the games, but it looks fun and I’ll go see it with a friend or rent it. I decided in this honor and since a new Prince of Persia game came out, I would do a special three-part review special of the Prince of Persia franchise. Now, I am going to look at three of the 3D Prince of Persia games and have no intention on looking for the original PC or the 3D version of the first PC game. I am going to look at the three that I think are worth reviewing. The first will be Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time, the 2008 version of Prince of Persia, and the most recent of the series, Prince of Persia: the Forgotten Sands. So, let’s get started with the first game I mentioned and winner of multiple awards from 2003, Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time.           

 The story starts us out with a narration by the prince himself, who for some reason, sounds like Legolas from Lord of the Rings. It shows us that he is a part of a kingdom that is very powerful, and this kingdom attacks another kingdom that holds an ancient relic known as the Sands of Time. After obtaining a unique looking dagger, the Prince leaves with multiple women and the Sands of Time themselves to this other kingdom to offer it as a prize for a sultan. Then, one way or another, the Prince gets persuaded by the mage of the kingdom to stab the dagger into the hourglass and release the sands. The Prince then stupidly lets the sands out, and that changes everyone but the prince, the mage, and a girl into sand demons. It is up to the Prince and the girl who is a princess to stop the mage from controlling the sands of time, and restore peace to the land.           

The game play featured in the Sands of Time is of an action platformer, like the PC games that came before this. You have interesting moves like wall-running and a wall jump, like in a Mario game. The sword fighting mainly has to deal with what you do and who your opponents are. You have to be very strategic with your fighting, unlike the Assassin’s Creed games. You can’t just slash willy-nilly when you have to fight sand demons that can easily surround you and kill you. By the way, here is my biggest tip for people who haven’t play this game yet. DO NOT and I mean DO NOT get yourself surrounded by enemies. You will find an early grave if you do. Just keep moving and you should be fine. The main gimmick however, besides strategic sword fighting and great, but challenging platforming, is the dagger of time that you wield. If you are ever in a rut or you get killed, you can turn back time to a certain point as long as you have sand spheres. You gain more sand and powers by stabbing demons in the back, like Link in the Zelda series. You can also use this to fix a mistake you did, like jump the wrong way to get hit by a buzz saw or something. It becomes very handy, but there are some kinks in it, which I will talk later about in what are the bad parts of the game, in my opinion.           

The graphics still hold up well, even though most of the people in the game look a little funny in a cartoonish kind of way. I think hands-down one of the best things of this game has to offer presentation-wise is the music. Composer Stuart Chatwood, who was famous for the now-defunct band The Tea Party, composed a wonderful soundtrack that fits every moment of the game. If you are curious, he has basically done the rest of the soundtracks for the rest of the 3D Prince of Persia games, so that is what he is famous for. The voice work for me is a bit on-and-off. Personally, I do not like the Prince’s voice. He sounds too much like Orlando Bloom or that wizard guy during the first episode of Gargoyles. Yuri Lowenthal who does the voice for the Prince didn’t do a horrible job doing his voice, it’s just I don’t personally like it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy. He has done some legit work in voice acting, but he could have used a better voice for the Prince. I also like the wall running ability, I just never get bored of it.

However, there are some things that didn’t age greatly with this game. The sword fighting, while it can be cool, is more or less tedious in this game. During the end of the game, demons become guard-happy and it becomes annoying. It becomes more tedious than fun. I also don’t like the little timer you are under, when you slow down time or reverse it. Even if I have four sand balls left and I die and the timer is low, I still can’t do jack about it! I also think the lighting could be better. A lot of areas look foggy and blurry. Why the heck are there flying enemies when the only way to kill them is to roll out of the way and then in 2 seconds strike them once? It makes no sense. Granted, it gives the enemy roster more variety, but it’s more annoying than creative. Another thing I have a deal with is with environmental stuff, like lamps and boxes. In some areas they are freaking everywhere and it makes fighting groups of enemies even more difficult than it should. I can’t count how many times I died because my back was stuck on a lamp or some form of item that you can easily smash. That’s another thing, why are there breakable things when they hold no money or reward? It’s like, “hey, I can smash things! Hey, where are the gold or blue energy orbs?” There is no point in having destructible items if they don’t yield any reward from smashing them. The voice acting in this game is bad and I mean bad. Some people just yell and sound like people found in a Monty Python skit. I couldn’t find one person I liked who did a good voice acting job.

So yeah, this game hasn’t aged well in some areas, but it’s still an interesting experience. If you are sick and tired of all the God of War clones, then I say rent this game, but ONLY rent it. I can see why it was a big deal back in 2003, but it didn’t age well at all in some areas. Oh well, that’s life, you know? Thanks for reading and stay tuned when I review the 2008 Prince of Persia.

This game gets a 7.5 out of 10

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