Sunday, December 14, 2008

Prince of Persia (2008)

The Prince of Persia series is a pretty good one but one that I quickly lost interest in because - frankly - I suck at platformers. The jumping and dodging involved usually gets me to a point where I can't make one jump and get frustrated and extend to the game my middle digit.

The current Prince of Persia was kind of a fluke. I rented it because Far Cry II wasn't on the shelf and I wanted something different to play. Prince is challenging but not punishing platformer, with a fairly decent story, and some stunning art design. All in all a good game. If you're the kind of person who only picks up a controller once a week then you'll be glad to know that Prince is forgiving. Yes, there's acrobatic derring-do but the controls are pretty simple and if you miss your jump then you're automatically brought back to life at the last piece of solid ground your character was standing on.

I was, and still am, impressed by the graphics and art design. The game is cel-shaded but not. That doesn't make sense but Prince doesn't have that paint by numbers look that earlier cel-shaded games had. Sweeping vistas, etc, etc, etc. There are one or two moments of vertigo as you sprint across beams and walls. Pretty neat actually.

I also really dug the characters. The Prince - standard vagabond rogue - and Princess - scrappy, no nonsense whose brains are in her head and not in her tits - are both solid characters. The voice acting sold me. The Prince had just the right amount of smary self-confidence disguising a painful past. The Princess had just the right amount of scrappy yet slightly vunerable but not storybook useless - she actually has a couple of sarcastic lines about princess stereotypes, "Yeah, gee, I don't know what I would do if you weren't here. Probably curl up in a corner and cry."

Prince of Persia is pretty short - I think I finished it in about fourteen (?) hours. I don't know if that's worth $60 but it's definitely worth renting or picking up for someone who takes their time with games.

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