Prince of Persia (X360) Review

With 2008 coming to a close the companies give one final push for games to possibly gain the Game of the Year award. While Ubisoft has had some good releases in 2008, but their big bread winner was released this December in Prince of Persia. The series has had it's ups and downs with the release of Prince of Persia being a hit on the PS2, Xbox as well as the Gamecube, but the next few releases being seen as disasters or not measuring up to the par of the original. With everyone shuffling to put out their end of the year games we can only hope for the best and maybe it is right here in Prince of Persia.

Story:

You are the nameless Prince who is cast into this because of a sandstorm and a missing donkey. You fall into a cavern and right after are nearly hit by a young girl jumping in right after you had. You catch her and decide to fallow her even though she tells you otherwise. Her name is Elika and she is the apparent princess of the Ahura who guard the Tree of Life which holds Ahriman, the god of Darkness. The reason for Ahriman being imprisoned is due to the Celestial War in which Ormazd the god of light and Ahriman’s brother, was forced into war with Ahriman and forced to imprison him in the Tree of Light. Before I continue I want to do a quick character rundown:

The Prince: it is only a nickname, he is a drifter in search of fortune and a solitary person. He lost his family at a young age and vowed to not get close to anyone again. He lives with a live this moment vigor and worries not of the past or future only the present.

Elika: A princess of the peoples known as the Ahura who are the guardians of Ahriman’s prison. She is forced into this struggle apparently due to her people losing faith as well as her father’s poor decisions.

The King: He is the leader of the Ahuraand has currently retreated from his duties in order to mourn the loss of his wife. The king neglected his people and allowed the City of Light to slip into decay and the last vestige of his people to wonder off and abandon the Ahura ways.

Ormazd the god of Light: he is not part of the game, but you feel him through Elika is some way. Ormazd fled the world and left for the stars after seeing the consequences of his reluctance to act properly.

Ahriman the god of Darkness: the creator of what darkness is. He was the first to know the feelings of envy and hatred and was not content with only half the universe. Ormazd tricked him into the Tree of Light when Ahriman had the war won thus ending Ahrimans quest for power…for now.

The Hunter: A former Prince who grew up with riches and indulgence. He got everything he wanted and more. Of everything though he loved the sport of hunting. He tracked and found every type of animal he could using the best advisors he was given. He then gave his soul to Ahriman for the ability to hunt the ultimate prize… man.

The Alchemist: A smart and brilliant man who worked and studied within the City of Light. After achieving many successes he sought the secrets of the universe, and as he sought these findings his health began to fail him. He turned and looked for assistance from Ormazd, he feel on deaf ears though. So he turned to someone else…Ahriman.

The Concubine: A beautiful woman who was adept at navigating politics. The Concubine knew the real power rested in men not in intellect. She used her beauty to manipulate powerful men. With this came jealously from other women and when she was involved with a man of great power another woman had her beaten and scarred thus relieving her of her power. Left without a way to gain favor she turned to Ahriman.

The Warrior: A king of a peaceful people his kingdom was besieged by war on all fronts. As his people faced destruction Ahriman called offering salvation for them in return for his soul. He accepted this in order to save his people and was given the strength to destroy all his peoples enemies. After he defeated his enemies he realized he couldn’t return to his people and left to fulfill his purpose for Ahriman.

These are the major characters throughout the game. From here you must free all of the fertile grounds in order to reseal Ahriman into his tomb. Each of the 4 chosen Corrupted (Hunter, Concubine, Alchemist, Warrior) control a part of the fertile grounds and each have a stronghold which you must destroy. Each of the chosen control 6 fertile grounds including their stronghold and you must heal the 5 they control in order to take them on in their sanctuary. Throughout the game you must collect Light Seeds which enable you to gain the 4 powers of Ormazd. You can get The Step of Ormazd (Rebound), The Breath of Ormazd (Dash), The Wings of Ormazd (Fly), and The Hand of Ormazd (Grapple). With these 4 powers you will be able to get to the fertile grounds that are being guarded by the chosen Corrupted.

Story: A

Gameplay:

The gameplay is very solid. It brings back the entire wall climbing acrobatic craziness that Prince of Persia is most renowned for. Everything is quick paced yet basic and simple to master which gives you a better curve of learning and better feel when you get used to it. What I’m saying is that the game flows beautifully and even the most uncoordinated schmuck could learn these controls. The real addition here is Elika. Her powers of light as well as her ability to basically fly (which pissed me off at many a time) she is the cornerstone and savior to The Prince. If your about to be diced she’ll save your ass, if you are overtaken with corruption she’ll save your ass, if you jump and miss that long jump you oh so thought you had guess what? Yeah, she’ll save your ass. See a trend here?

The real great addition here is very simple, yet it is the most helpful tool in the game. The compass. If you get disoriented which you will and you lose your way just press the Y button and a light will guide you the way you must go. Another thing is the teleport ability she has which allows you to move from one healed fertile ground to another which saves some good time considering how large the world is.

The one problem I can really pick out throughout the game is honestly the lack of fighting throughout the game. While your main quest is to rid the world of corruption and the game is truly centered around the agility and speed you possess, it seems like a few more fights would have been fun. Fighting the regular corrupted wasn’t really much of a challenge compared to the boss corrupted, so it could all be a cry of vein conformity from my vocal chords.

Let’s get to the real bread and butter here though, the agility. This game flows like Tim Tebow through the Alabama defense (Zing! That’s one for my Buckeyes!). The game is so flowing and keeps you tight and on your seat with the crazy ass acrobatics your able to perform with and without the help of Elika’s powers. From wall running to vine climbing this game is packed full of unbelievable stunts not even a John Woo film would contain.

Gameplay: A

Graphics:

This is one of the most majestic and beautiful games of 2008. With vibrant colors and the best looking Prince of any game, along with a very good looking girl in Elika this game has a lot to offer in the graphics department. The Prince has a rugged “Don’t F with me look” that fits his Deadpool like attitude with a load of sarcasm, but the badassness to show he isn’t a joke. The world of the Ahura is stunning. The world with and without corruption is a large and wondrous place that you can tell was once a place of great majesty. The world is in decay and it shows but in a beautiful way. This is truly one of the best graphical games in 2008 and should be accounted for. This is something that will set a new standard for a lot of games graphically.

Graphics: A+

Sound:

The sound fits into the game perfectly. It has an Arabic feel with the old mystic times that it takes place in. The voice acting is phenomenal and both characters fit their voices well. The sword and corruption sounds are good and give you a realistic feeling with how they look. The sound does its job here and delivers a fine performance.

Sound: B+

Replay:

The value here you would think is minimal at best, but your wrong. The games many achievements will give you the worth of a second play through at least. The game is a fun one as well and is something that will give you a good amount of play that keeps your interest. All 50 achievements are able to be achieved with 2 plays. It is worth it and is a worthwhile and entertaining play.

Replay: B

Overall:

The game is a completed work and a great one at that. After the first Prince of Persia with the sands of time deal I thought the others were honestly bad. This renovated Prince is one of the best character remakes in gaming history. He is brash, arrogant and skillful and really gives you that sense of in the worst of times he can still come out on top. The game is an amazing work and will reinvigorate the Prince of Persia series. With flowing gameplay and some of the best graphics in 2008, Ubisoft has presented a hell of a game for the end of 08 and for Game of the Year consideration. With Gears of War 2 and many others out there for these many awards one that will soar under the radar is Prince of Persia. I admit when I originally saw it I thought, “Meh, it looks pretty but I bet it will be over done” and damn was I wrong. Prince of Persia is a top 5 game for any person. It has easy controls for any person to learn and an epic storyline that will keep any person occupied with this game for around 2 play throughs. The game is graphically wonderful and a real joy to play. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it.

Overall: A-

Achievements:

Alchemist Special - 20 points.
Defeat the Alchemist without using the acrobatic button.

Assassin View - 10 points.
Find the Assassin's view.

Be gentle with her - 100 points.
Elika saves you fewer than 100 times in the whole game.

Block Master - 20 points.
Block 50 attacks.

City of Light Runner - 40 points.
Run between the Fertile Grounds in the Tower of Ahriman and City of Light in 7 minutes.

Climbing to New Heights! - 10 points.
Find the highest point in the world.

Combo Specialist - 50 points.
Find every combo in the game.

Compass - 10 points.
Use the Compass.

Concubine Special - 20 points.
Defeat the Concubine without using grab.

Death of a Concubine - 20 points.
Kill the Concubine in her Palace.

Death of a Warrior King - 20 points.
Kill the Warrior in his Fortress.

Deflect Master - 20 points.
Deflect 20 attacks.

Explorer - 20 points.
Explore every part of every region.

From Darkness... Light! - 30 points.
Reimprison Ahriman.

Getting to Know You - 10 points.
Get to know Elika by talking to her.

Good Company - 10 points.
Learn about the world, and Elika's history.

Heal the Land - 30 points.
First Healing.

Hunter Special - 20 points.
Deflect the Hunter's attacks 5 times in one battle.

Improviser - 10 points.
Use the environment against an enemy.

In Harmony - 10 points.
500 coop jumps.

Into the Storm... - 10 points.
Enter the Canyon.

Light Seeds Accumulator - 10 points.
Collect 800 Light Seeds.

Light Seeds Collector - 10 points.
Collect 200 Light Seeds.

Light Seeds Finder - 10 points.
Collect 100 Light Seeds.

Light Seeds Gatherer - 10 points.
Collect 700 Light Seeds.

Light Seeds Harvester - 10 points.
Collect 500 Light Seeds.

Light Seeds Hoarder - 10 points.
Collect 600 Light Seeds.

Light Seeds Locator - 10 points.
Collect 400 Light Seeds.

Light Seeds master - 50 points.
Collect 1001 Light Seeds.

Light Seeds Protector - 10 points.
Collect 900 Light Seeds.

Light Seeds Provider - 10 points.
Collect 300 Light Seeds.

Now who's the Hunter? - 20 points.
Kill the Hunter in his Lair.

Precious Time - 10 points.
Take one minute to think.

Royal Palace Runner - 30 points.
Run between the Fertile Grounds in the Royal Gardens and Coronation Halls in 4 minutes.

Ruined Citadel Runner - 10 points.
Run from the Sun Temple's Fertile Ground to the Fertile Ground in Windmills in 5 minutes.

Saved! - 10 points.
Unlock Elika's Saving Ability.

Saviour of the City of Light - 50 points.
Final Healing.

Sinking to New Depths! - 10 points.
Find the lowest point in the world.

Speed Demon - 10 points.
Finish the game in under 12 hours.

Speed Kill - 10 points.
Kill 10 generic enemies before they spawn.

Sword Master - 20 points.
Perform 14 hits in one combo.

Throw Master - 10 points.
Throw 10 Soldiers of Ahriman into pits.

Titanic view - 10 points.
Find the Titanic View.

To be continued... - 80 points.
The End.

Traitor's End - 20 points.
Kill the Alchemist in his Observatory.

Up against it - 10 points.
Win a wall mini-game in combat.

Vale Runner - 20 points.
Run between the Fertile Grounds in the Construction Yards and Heaven's Stair in 6 minutes.

Wallrunner - 10 points.
Completing the Canyon.

Warrior Special - 20 points.
Dodge the Warrior's attacks 20 times in one battle.

Where's that Temple? - 10 points.
Talk to Elika.

"Prince of Persia (X360)" is on sale December 9, 2008 and is rated T. Adventure. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal. Published by Ubisoft.

Jan
02
2009
Sean Anthony

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