Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Not everybody is familiar with the name “Jordan Mencher”. Strange, because the game influenced practically every action adventure game in the history of gaming. In the late 80’s, you could make a game without depending on an extensive team. Jordan Mencher created Prince of Persia only with the help of his father and brother. While his father stood in for the music, his brother took care of the movements of the prince.
Back in 1999 Red Orb entertainment tried to bring back life in this ancient story, but failed. Prince of Persia 3D wasn’t worth its name, one could say. The controls and the camera seemed to have a life of their own, and that didn’t really make it a joyride, to say the least. I don’t think Mencher was pleased with the result, and so the prince died an early dead. Nobody assumed that he would ever climb various objects, or even jump platforms again. He had had his glory, and would die a lonely dead. Or so it seemed. Ubisoft, whose success seems unstoppable, rediscovered the prince and thought they could honour him again, like developers honoured him once. And what a surprise, they succeed. The prince has become a fine king among its genre.
The story begins during the invasion of a great Persian city. Immediately, like the prince is directed to your brains, you know what to do. After you know where every buttons stands for, you jump from platform to platform like you did it all your life. To be honest, after looking at the wide environment, I didn’t believe I could handle it without trying a couple of hundred times. However, the prince is capable of doing some unbelievable stuff.
It’s really beautiful how you can zoom out and see the entire environment while enemies are preparing for battle and flying rocks are heading towards you but there’s no time for sightseeing. While the first enemies head towards me, I take out my sword and prepare for battle. This turned out to be a simple fight. You can easily chop your enemy into fine pieces of meat, jump over the guard to stick you sword in his back, or jump on a wall to perform a trick in true matrix-style. The guards won’t know what hit them. Further in the game, you can even use slow-motion. Although the fighting is fun, you will notice that the true power of Prince of Persia is found somewhere else.
You can more easily find the true power in the environment, which is your worst enemy through the whole game. Especially towards the ending, where the environments are so complex that it is recommended to take a pause and look for some clues. It is possible to temporarily walk on walls, but if you don’t find safe ground soon enough, you will end up like a pancake on the floor, dirty and messy. Really, forget Lara Croft. The Prince has balls, end I’m not talking about The Artist Formerly known as Prince.
If you haven’t lived under a rock, you will probably know that Ubisoft likes to talk about the fact that you can control time in PoP. Sad enough, the time travelling isn’t such a big deal. It’s nothing more than a cool gimmick to turn back time after a sudden death. It’s like flipping a coin to continue. This strange sand, better known as The Sands of Time, will also give you the possibility to look into the future. If you’re stuck in a level, maybe looking into the future is the solution for all your problems.
Further into the game, a young lady named Farah will help you fight the monsters. This spicy girl, who happens to be a slave, will be aiding you by shooting arrows. Not like other sidekicks though, she doesn’t walk into the claws of a strange creature to be turned into takeaway Chinese food. It’s funny to see Farah grow to be a bitch, while the prince starts to make annoying comments. It’s like watching “Married with Children” in a Persian setting.
Let’s see: what’s so great about Prince of Persia: The Sands of time? Well, you’ve got the excellent gameplay which makes me really excited just talking about it. Don’t forget the remarkable environment, which allows you to do the most groundbreaking moves. The graphics are unbelievable, especially by PS2 standards. Combined with the music, Ubi Soft created a perfect fairytale. Like I said, the atmosphere is just unbelievable. You don’t see that every day, I can assure you that. Are there no disadvantages then? Of course there are. The perfect game is still to be made you know. The game is far too short. In about eight or ten hours, you will have seen all the castles and dungeons. Then again, these ten hours will give you one heck of an experience. I suggest to run to a nearby store and just buy that game. It’s worth the money.