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LONG BLOG

Prince of Persia. Eh?

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I have a lot to talk about, but I don't want to focus on just one particular subject. So I'm just going to do a daily rant of what's been going in my [gaming] life.

Prince of Persia: You Can't Die Edition

Now I'm a sucker for platformers. Be it collecting junk or scaling heights upon heights just to reach the top, I love it all(well most of it), so I decided to pick up Prince of Persia. Ignoring all reviews both positive and negative, I popped this game into my 360, and I was certain that this was the first 3D Prince of Persia game I've ever played and owned. If you're asking, yes I have skipped the last-gen trilogy. Why? I don't know, and I love these types of games. Same goes with Tomb Raider. I guess the older you get, the more expanded your mind gets and perceives a wider pool of games. Oh, and I'm 22, if that helps.

After watching a few cutscenes and being introduced to the new Prince and that magical chick, I wander off into the gloomy land, practicing platforming skills and combat. See, the thing is, Prince of Persia is one of those games where you can't "love" it within a few hours. It just sort of...grows on you. The first hour or two I really despised the "sticky" motion of the Prince(a bit delay before jumping just to name an example) and the invisible context sensitive button combat, but after awhile, I managed to get the flow of things. Once I had seen how the game really worked with the smooth animation transition between jumping from ledge to pillar, sliding down well, slides and swinging on poles, Prince of Persia really grasped me in gameplay mechanics. However, there were still a few negative things being shoved down my throat that I later on accepted.

Why must in this Prince of Persia, is that it forces you to collect these little "Light Seeds" to progress through the game? Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind collecting things(I thank Banjo for that), but it's like the only way Ubisoft wanted you to see the colorful worlds after you purified them was to collect stuff. That's really bad game design. Growing up with platform style games since the 80s, I've always had high tolerance when it comes to frustrating areas to tackle. I usually accomplish them anyway, so to say the whole "not dying" thing not being a big deal is actually true. I'd rather just respawn at area before I died, than to see a YOU DIED screen only to ask me something the game could have done itself. I know there are a lot of criticisms when it comes to this, and I can only say that it's up to the player to decide that the Prince's death being false can either take away from the challenge of the game, or make the game flow a lot more smoothly so you can make easier, smarter decisions. I'll take the latter.

The game flows so repetitive and predictable, yet I'm hooked on exploring these temples and worlds and such, only to fight a boss, purify the grounds and collect shiny things. I love the acrobatics and wall running and minor puzzle solving, but this game could have been so much better if they dropped the collecting bit. That Elika chick needs new powers to help the Prince. Gotcha. But couldn't that have been easily be obtained through story telling and just visiting the main temple, fighting a boss or opening a treasure chest? I'd rather have the game's worlds already be purified so that way I can only explore them once and move on, or twice with a new power. The light seeds collecting is an abundance and hinders down fluid exploration.

Prince of Persia also gives a really good illusion of danger. To be quite frank, there is no real danger. You rarely fight any enemies, the Corruption goo stuff is only there to hinder your platforming progress, and most importantly, you can't die.

I totally understand Ubisoft's direction with the not dying bit. It makes sense. For one, it can cut down on load times. Two, having Elika or whatever her name is grab you to drop you back at the last "land checkpoint" really helps the game's platforming elements flow very well, and three, they have seem to wanted Prince of Persia cater towards casual gamers.

Outside of the few nitpicks, I found Prince of Persia to be a very fun game. I just find it weird for the game's "natural" world to be so colorful and vibrant, could also be so empty and lonesome. But I'm supposing that's the theme of the game. If Ubisoft plans to continue this PoP's saga, I hope they take away the mandatory collectathons and enhance on the open world with smarter decisions in story and area progression, and most important of all: give the game an equal amount of substance to it's beautiful style.
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About Spectralone of us since 10:23 PM on 01.12.2007

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Xbox LIVE:Spectral Break
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