Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia.  The name for some conjures images of a white clad, rotoscoped prince running, jumping, climbing (and often dying) his way through an underground prison.

Then there was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for the Xbox.  Which was a great reboot for the series.  We’ll pretend that Prince of Persia 3D never happened.

The sequels to Sands of Time were okay.  I never really liked the direction Warrior Within went.  Overall it seemed too grungy, trying too hard to be “edgy” and “serious.”  After just a few hours, I grew tired of the combat and then didn’t come back for the third game in the series, The Two Thrones.  I may come back and revisit them at a later date, but for now I can just read the plot synopses and be done with them.

Prince of Persia (no subtitle) is the new series for the current generation of hardware.

“How is it?” you ask.

“Pretty good,” is what I’m going to tell you.

What I played was fun, challenging, and engaging.  A lot has been said about the checkpoint system.  About how it makes the game too easy.  However, it hasn’t been referred to as the checkpoint system.

It’s a character.  Elika is the NPC character that “saves” you when you fall into an interminably deep pit.  Then, you appear at the last point the game saved your status.  It’s usually not too far back, but you may have to perform some of the same jumps and acrobatics.

As opposed to before, when you would rewind time or load your previous save game.

They’re just automating that process, streamlining something that you would have done anyway, and integrated it into the fundamental design of the game.  This leads to a better “flow.”  Instead of hitting a menu and then getting thrown back in after a fifteen or twenty second delay, I’m back into the game in less than three seconds, ready to try that jump again.

And again, until I realize I’m not supposed to make that jump.

But that’s me.  Overall, the streamlined mechanic let me focus on the job at hand, which was getting through the levels and collecting the light seeds.  Which I was perfectly happy to do.

Until my 360 stopped reading discs.

In short, I’m looking forward to playing it at some point, and I will revisit it.

Review based on playing through the first four  worlds, and getting enough light seeds for two of the four powers.  Had fun throughout.

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