Prince Of Persia Is A Dull Yet Amazing Experiance Which Is Sad Because It Has A Wonderful Story But Pulled Off Lamely.

User Rating: 6.5 | Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time PS2
Prince Of Persia For PS2.

Here we have Prince of Persia the Sands of Time, a fantastic platformer, but unfortunately that's all it really has going for it with the exception of a couple of aspects/quirks.

Graphics : Definitely have seen better, it seems that Prince of Persia tries to compensate for it's lack of graphical features by integrating this glare, while it does give a nice effect, it just seems that it's there to cover up the blemishes, especially when the characters have close ups, which look awful in some parts of the game, the Prince sipping water seems to come to mind rather quickly. The animations do hold fluidity which is great, well, at least most of the time they do, some of the platform issues along with combat have a couple of jolts, most of which can be overlooked.

Nothing extremely genuine, however, it has it's plot twists and the narration was done rather well. A war torn Persia is being sought out for with those who crave power, one such man is Sharaman, while he's off fighting incessantly, his son, the Prince, heads off in the hopes of obtaining some rather nice artifacts from Maharajah, to be recognized for Maharajah's defeat and to make his father proud. Later, to the Prince's dismay, he ends up taking this magical dagger that in accordance with this also magical Hourglass can unlock havoc, which the Vizier uses elusively to set the Prince up. So to cut to the chase, the Prince now has to undo what he did.

Sound : The ambient music display's the perfect nature of circumstances and fits well, voices are good, although kind of dry when trying to accomplish tones of emotion, most of which is the Prince's sarcasm in regards to the Princess Farah, which sounds like middle school banter. What can be annoying is the muffled sounds, be it effects, voice's or music, all can be drawn out and hard to hear.

Gameplay : POP is a platformer first and foremost, and an action game second. Instead of being meshed together, POP pits you against some rather insane platforming, and then throws you into these very mild and mundane, allocated and enclosed fights, then you move on to platforming and then back to the fights, it does a good job of breaking up the confined fights, needless to say at this point, it gets very repetitious.

The platforming can hold interest, as the Prince has some maneuvers that provide amusement, take for instance, jumping back and forth between walls to either climb or descend safely, as the Prince can only maintain health in certain height zones, surpassing the zones and the Prince loses unwanted health, dies or forced to drink water which restores health or rewind time, which will be explained later. The Prince also can run up and across walls, jump hefty distances, swing on numerous objects, etc. A lot of puzzles in the form of just platforming, certain tasks include dodging saws, rotating blades, spikes, pushing in switches, etc. Each area is basically just one big puzzle for you to move onto the next similar experience, but not before you move onto fighting sand creatures. All of these puzzles require full use of the Prince's agility and techniques to overcome all obstacles, which require some brain power to overcome, or at the very least paying little attention to the premonitions that can be seen at save points. If you happen to botch up somewhere in your attempt to move on, don't fret, as long as you have sand tanks you can rewind time right before you decide to do something you didn't mean to or something that was just stupid to try in the first place. All's necessary for progression though, at least that's justifiable... or is it?

In combat, you have a couple of techniques to ward off the oncoming and respawning sand creatures. The Prince has the vault move, where he runs up his foe and vaults himself over his opponents and slashes it's back, followed by an overhead slash that floors the enemy, ready to receive the dagger that finally kills them. Other moves include, blocking, rebounding off of walls that knock enemies on their ass (usually), and a counter attack that has to be precise, all of these regular moves can be followed by a dagger retrieve move to destroy them faster. Power attacks are available that require power tanks to accomplish. After defeating enemies you gain half of a power tank or by finding sand clouds that restore all your tanks. Once you have the required tank, you can unleash the dagger's power to stop enemies dead in their tracks and slice them in half, you can activate slow-mo, and lastly, probably one of the coolest techniques to pull off at the cost off all of your power tanks, the haste ability. Once activated, it slows down time while the Prince can move at light speed in the direction of his foes and cut them in half by striking twice.

The problems with fighting is that there aren't nearly enough moves to keep it entertaining to play for long periods of time, with a total of six moves, it becomes very monotonous to play. What makes matters worse is that it feels so empty, lacks enthusiasm when slashing your enemy, you should know it connects, but POP doesn't incorporate a solid and satisfying display of mechanics to put forth the feeling that you're actually slicing, kicking or using any force at all on enemies. It's kind of like Rock em' Sock em' Robots, you know that you're hitting your opponent, but it really just doesn't show. What else that reduces the replay value or any value whatsoever, is that fights are usually unenjoyable, mainly because the enemies flank you all at once, and to kill your enemies you have to user your retrieve move, but at times it's almost infuriating because there's an animation when using the dagger to kill off your opponents, making you an easy target by the hordes of foes encircling to hit and kill you in the process of beating one enemy. This becomes more of a task rather than a rewarding pleasure, unfortunately.

The first POP is available to play, it's always welcomed when the developers give you the nostalgia you crave in a series by throwing in the original or previous games in the package. As for warranting a regular play through, monotony at it's finest just begs to be played.

Over All, the gripes listed above regretfully keep this title from being an intuitive and engaging experience that's only highlighted by it's previous incarnations.
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