Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blog Post: Prince of Persia (2008) is...pretty good, actually.

Well, I almost feel that I owe the Prince of Persia series a bit of an apology. In my review of Enslaved I mentioned that I couldn't stand Prince of Persia. I based that on the bits I had played of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, which I pretty much hated, and the large chunks I had played of 2008's cel shaded Prince of Persia. (PoP 2008 for the rest of the post.) After finishing Enslaved, I decided just for fun to give PoP 2008 another shot, and lo' and behold, it's actually a really fun game. It just takes some time to get into.

My biggest issues in my first attempt to play it stemmed from its non-linear direction, which makes it feel too much like I'm completing a checklist of objectives...a problem I have with non-linear games in general. Due to the non-linearity, there are always several paths you can take at any given moment, but to get to your desired location, which you select from the menu, you obviously have to know where you're going. This means that you must rely almost constantly on princess Elika to point you in the right direction. I also wasn't originally thrilled with how badly I was judging jumps and constantly falling to my "death." (You don't actually "die," in the game, though.)

But as I played the game with a bit more of an open mind, I found myself getting the hang of the platforming and controls. I also began to appreciate the story a bit more. It's definitely not Shakespeare, but the prince and Elika actually have some pretty great banter and the more I found myself listening to their optional discussions, the more I found myself liking them.

Visuals are also amazing. Cel shading is almost always a great choice and this is a very pretty game. Music's also awesome. The only thing I still just can't get into is the combat system, which just feels clunky. But I'm glad I started playing this again. I'm not sure what Ubisoft plans to do with this series, but I'd love to see another installment like this, bringing back a cel shaded world and keeping up this game's great sense of humor and character banter. Good stuff. If you haven't tried this out yet it's a good time.

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