The final word on Rival Swords. I promise.
So I'm back with another review for this game in yet another platform. And I promise I'll never talk about a PoP game here again. At least in a couple of months, ok?
Well, by now you know most of it. It's the same game. It's a good game. Rating will depend on how important it is for you that the game is one year old and 30€ more expensive than the rest of the versions. Me? I don't care much about the year old thing. You don't hear people saying "Yeah, Terminator 2 is a good movie, but it's almost 15 years old, so it's not that good anymore".
But then there's the more technical things regarding a Wii game. Yes, you knew it was coming: controls!
And... they work.
Don't listen to the guys below going crazy about timing and a couple of tough to pull off moves. Controls work. What I'm seeing with classic games ported to the Wii is that a lot of people don't get over the gamepad when playing Wii games. The Wiimote isn't a gamepad, and it's about time people start realizing it isn't. I've heard people saying they wish they could lock both halves of the controller together on a gamepad. That's a sure sign that you're not getting into the way Wii games are meant to be played. Prince of Persia is a game in which controls have to become second nature. As with any Wii port, it takes a while here, but then it surpasses the classic scheme by a good margin. It's all about having your hands by your sides instead of holding an object in front of your chest or in your lap. It's different. You end up just thinking about what you want to happen and it happens. It's fun and immersive and the reason why nobody cares that the PS3 has motion sensing but it's the main draw of the Wii.
Basically, swinging each hand controls a different weapon. That's it. Everything else is still mapped to buttons. Still, combat gets frantic and, with some practice, you can pull off nice combos more intuitively than on the other versions. Things get specially funny when you're using the dark prince's chain, since there's no way around swinging the nunchuck over your head to get the chain spinning. I had some problems chaining combos on the other versions, but this one works just fine.
The camera is mapped to the D-pad, but you can also rotate it by tilting the wiimote sideways. This is a hit and miss thing. When it works, it's wonderful. You can keep the camera focused with a tiny movement. Sometimes, though, the camera will spin wildly and it'll take a moment to realize it's because you've inadvertedly twisted your wrist. It can be turned on and off, though, so you shouldn't have much of a problem.
Even with only two PS2 buttons mapped to motion sensitive controls, the game feels different. In this game, the dagger is used to stick to walls at times, besides combat, so you will find yourself timing your remote swings to navigate the environment all the time. The one area where I suspect people would have preferred buttons is quick kills. If you don't know, this game will sometimes prompt you to initiate a preset kill animation during which you have to move the remote at specified times. You've seen it before. The thing is, some people find timing swings harder than timing presses. It's not. It's just different. Sure, precission is lower, but the game gives you a bit more time than the rest of the versions. Make no mistake, it's still hard as hell by the end of the game. Blame the remote if you want, but I've played other versions of PoP3 and... well, it's hard in all of them.
One area where motion controls are sorely underused, though, is the charriot races. I was hoping to move the horses by pulling on the controller as if they were the reins, but no, all we get is standard analog stick controls. If you haven't played this game before, you're going to have fun with it. Granted, if you have there's no reason to buy this one, but there's no reason to buy more than one copy of any game at all and we don't blame all the versions for that, right? What's more, considering the number of new Wii releases the past few months, this is one of the better games for the system and the best action adventure other than Zelda. A minor complaint to end the review: What happened to widescreen support? The Wii menu supports it, but this game just ignores the setting on your console and it won't even warn you.