Overall I was very satisfied with Prince of Persia. The numerous and often times challenging puzzles, intense melee comb

User Rating: 9.5 | Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time PS2
When I first sat down to play Prince of Persia, I was skeptical about how the gameplay would actually flow during play. I had seen several trailers and screenshots in the past, showing off some of the game's key features (among the most notible is the ability to travel back in time, which I shall go into in more detail later). Once I had started playing, and after a few minor controller calibrations to better suit what I am a custom to, I was taken back by how well the game actually played. Everything from basic movement to combat was very easy to catch on to, yet at the same time appeared very graceful on screen.

As I'm sure most of you know this game is actually a follow-up to the side-scroller IBM-era Prince of Persia games created by Jordan Mechner. The previous games had revolutionized gaming with what was, at the time, some of the most realistic character animations ever seen. This game, however, had a few new twists as well. It introduced several gameplay mechanics that had either not been concieved or had not been widely used before. It blended all of these new features into a very cinematic plot with beautiful, picturesque settings which makes for a very immersive and entertaining gameplay experience.

You played as a young prince of a far-off desert land. The game starts off in some kind of battle amongst the main character's family and a rival family. Through your battle you stumble across a magical dagger, which you steal as a present for your father. However, you soon discover that the dagger has a mysterious ability to control time. This 'Dagger of Time' is the key to unlock another, more important treasure -- an hourglass which contains the Sands of Time. You are pursuaded by the vizier to use the dagger to unlock the Sands. Once you do, all hell breaks loose and the sands spread over the kingdom, zombifying the residents in the process. There are only a handful of survivors including yourself and Farah, a young woman. Now you and only you can set right the evil which the Sands of Time have released.

The story fits in very well with the game, and is told through several cutscenes and, for lack of a better term, "flash-forwards" which give you a brief preview of what is ahead of you. This can be very helpful in solving the many puzzles throughout the game. Along with being able to control time, the prince is also very acrobatic; he is able to pull off an array of different maneuvers such as walking and hopping along walls, jumping from column to column, and jumping over his enemies to perform various attacks. Aside from looking cool, this adds a lot of variety to the gameplay.

Another key element in the gameplay is the dagger itself, which not only allows you to travel back in time, but is also a valuable and powerful weapon. It can easly take down some of the weaker enemies with a few jabs, and then can obsorb their sand remnants as a way to 'recharge'. The time travel aspect, though, is the most unique aspect of the game. Say you make one small miscalculation and fall into a bottomless pit in some distant tomb, or you're fighting a horde of zombies and are taken down -- not a problem in PoP. You can simply push a button and go back in time several seconds to retry or avoid something that could have been potentially lethal. This adds a lot to the gameplay and makes playing the game a more enjoyable experience.

Final Thoughts: Overall I was very satisfied with Prince of Persia. The numerous and often times challenging puzzles, intense melee combat, and time travel aspects of the game are all very solid and very enjoyable. The graphics are starting to look a bit dated, but they are still excellent nonetheless. The sound quality and music are both quite exceptional and very fitting to the game as well. Though the game can be a bit long and drawn-out in some places, Prince of Persia is still a very enjoyable and fun game and will, hopefully, stand the test of time.