Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Prince of Persia Review: Very Pretty
That's right BigWok, I HAVE BEAT PRINCE OF PERSIA, it took me 11 hours but I DID IT. So I guess you all can tell how much I liked the game seeing how the release date was December 2, 2008 on all platforms (except PC, that's on the 9th ). First and for most I loved the graphics in the game. I loved the new art direction and the graphics were spot on. I have never seen a game with cell shading done this well. (Valkyrie Chronicles is good but I liked this more) Okay so I should start a format so that things start looking the same or so, so hit the jump for the details:
The story of the game is fairly typical. A mystic dark force has been locked up for thousands of years until someone tries to free it. And now as the darkness spreads the a Prince falls out of the sky and together with the countries Princess saves the country and the world from falling into the hands of this dark force. The game also lets you decide how much detail you want to go through in the story because there are lots of avoidable dialogues that don't even have to be heard.
How you play the game is as follows. There are 5 Bosses you fight in the game, the Hunter, the Alchemist, the Concubine (spelling?) and the Warrior. You play as the Prince who is accompanied by Elika, you need to take her to the fertile lands to restore the light in the land. There is a mini puzzle or two in each area and it takes a lot of skillful running to get around places as well. I'm going to explain most of the other stuff in sections because there's just so much.
How this is very different from the previous is that it is based very heavily on 2 things. Counters and Combos. If you have the timing down for the attacks you counter you will never get hit and if you can nail long combos with Elika, then you do a lot of damage as well. So how well you do the two will determine how fast each fight is going to be. One thing I found the game was lacking was combat. There wasn't a lot of variation in the fighting. You pretty much fight all the bosses the same way except for the Warrior and the final boss. Also it feels like you are ONLY fighting those people and I should make note that the fights are always two vs one (You and Elika vs enemy). Oh yeah I forgot the mention that the fighting is VERY flashy and it looks pretty bad ass, and the feeling you get when you pull off a nice looking combo is very good. Check out the video from Gametrailers (Hosted by Youtube):
Heath Bar and Death:
So how have they changed how you die now that they are completely removing the Sand of Time? Well whenever your about to die Elika will save you at the last section bringing you back to where you fell or knocking back the enemy and restoring a chuck of the enemy's health. I liked how they did this because the worst thing about playing the previous Prince of Persia's is that whenever I died it does "No, no, no that's not how it happened" and I have to watch the Game Over screen come up, wait for the level to reload and start again. With this new system in place, I just simply restart to the last platform I was one instantly.
The game also does not have a health bar anymore (Sorry jeffizzle, no more water for you) Instead its identical to what a lot of first person shooter games are doing like Call of Duty, where the edge of the screen does red. I would say in 3 hits consecutively you die and have to have Elika save your butt. But similar to the Call of Duty your health restores over time as long as you don't accumulate more damage.
So after you restore each area, the area turns green and there are 45 light orbs (or something I don't remember the name already) and you have collect these, there are over 1000 in the entire game but you only are required to get 540 to get the necessary upgrades to complete the game. So for those people who like to spend time collecting there you go. But I do believe that if you collect them all there are achievements/trophies and even special unlocks in the game (Most likely costumes and artwork)
They've added some new acrobatic stuff into the game that have to done preformed with Elika, you get a second jump for those distances that are just a bit too far, and of course there are upgrades that you get for Elika as you progress the game as I have mentioned before. These upgrades allow you springboard, run on walls, fly, and swing to new areas. Like the springboard, swing and running on walls one but the flying one just didn't click with me. It just too weird, its not like its broken on anything just a weird idea in my option.
As I have mentioned before, I really really love this new art direction they took. Thank goodness that Penny-Arcade had a work in the art direction, I think Gabe is awesome! The environments look beautiful in full 1080P and that image of when Elika restores an area for the first time just never leaves your mind. I think the character designs look awesome! I'll admit that the Prince as more of an asian/ninja style but I think its very cool.
Dubbing, this was a huge factor to some people because the voice acting made the characters not seem like they were Persian at all. I on the other hand didn't really care about that. As for the script, the lines were cheesy and corny at times but it was similar to what the Prince would say in the previous games as well. They also made some reference to the previous game as well. Also the bring in previous names as well like Farah is the Prince's donkey and he also makes reference to Babylon (Town in Sands of Time) as well.
Aside from the dubbing, the music in the game was a really nice touch as well, something that you would hear in a like a big budget film. I didn't really notice it until the credits were rolling but I guess they did a good job then?
Things I liked:
- The Cell shading in the game (everything) looks spot on and I have never seen something look at good (MGS looks good but that like close to CG work sorta the same but I think of it as different)
- New art direction looks great
- Introducing Elika was a great idea and the companion/combo system works reall well
- Taking away the heath bar and having Elika save you was a good idea to save time and frustration
- The fact that you don't have to sit there and watch dialogue after dialogue, you control how much you want to hear aside from the mandatory stuff about your objectives.
- I found that the game was really easy to pick up and play, especially with Elika's "Never Die" system added in
Things I didn't like:
- Lack of combat and the lack of variation in the combat, you pretty much fight the same people over and over again, it gets boring and also its always 2 vs 1 (You being the two)
- Thought the flying acrobatics was a bit weird
- I had a few hiccups in the sound department when in combat and sometimes the game play jumps in combat but this is very very rare.
Overall I think this was a great game, there's plenty of content (seeing how it took me 11 hours or so). Even though it was nice to be able to skip dialogue, I wish you could just enable it to play everything. I highly recommend getting this game if not at least renting it because this is the new Prince of Persia and I'm pretty sure its how Ubisoft is going to stick with it. (Woo to my longest post ever)
*EDIT: I forgot to mention this but if anyone knows if there's an alternate ending to the game do tell me. Because I know they did that for some of the previous Prince of Persia's, so if any of you readers know do tell me! Thanks! Otherwise I'll just keep checking on Gamefaqs.com =_=