Reviews

IndianVideoGamer Prince of Persia

Starting with this review, we’re quite drastically changing the format for IndianVideoGamer reviews in order to bring more community involvement into them. We’ve assembled some of the best writers from the IVG community to form the IndianVideoGamer Reviewers Club, and henceforth, if this system works, all our reviews will present multiple points of view on a game. We also aim to make our reviews more crisp, brief and more personal; each reviewer will put his own personal views across and focus on aspects of the game that stood out for him. Here’s our much delayed review of Prince of Persia. Do let us know what you think of our new approach to game reviews.

Reviewer: Vikram Dussa
Platform: PlayStation 3

Ubisoft has delivered an amazing game in Prince of Persia. The art style is fresh and the graphics look beautiful. The platforming is great, though a bit dumbed down, and it will attract the non-masochistic types like myself. The combat is not so varied and depends more on combos. But this will in no way hinder your combat experience and you will end up looking forward to fighting the enemy again. The beautiful Elika eliminates the need for irritating “game over” screens and load times when you fail.

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All the above positives aside, the game has a few negatives. There is a lot of backtracking involved while collecting light seeds, which might put off the impatient gamers. The game is pretty short too, and can be completed in 10 to 12 hours. The positives outweigh the negatives, however, and the result is a beautiful game that will leave you thoroughly entertained and wanting more.

Verdict: Buy

Reviewer: Abhijit Banerjee
Platform: Xbox 360

I’m gonna have to go with Vikram on this one. First off, people who recognise the Sands of Time trilogy as Prince of Persia will be in for disappointment; the John Woo-style combat is missing. However, for those like me, who grew up salivating on Jordan Mechner’s original masterpiece, this is a good game. Let’s go back to the original – great animation, crazy platforming (for that time), single one-on-one combat (only 1 or 2 per level) and nice puzzles built into the platforming. The latest in the series hearkens back to the old days, but on new generation hardware. This means everything I mentioned above minus the puzzles.

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What does work is the art style; it’s the best in 2008 (sorry Braid). Cel-shading a la Okami takes over gritty realism. The platforming pieces are great. They are lengthy compared to the SoT trilogy and when you pull them off in a string, it’s poetry in motion. The story is nothing to write home about, but who wants one? You will just keep looking at Elika – she’s beautiful! The new sidekick moves, jumps, heals the land, and saves the Prince a million times. The automatic save system has courted controversy, but it works. It’s the same as a ‘restart from last checkpoint’ menu option, but without the button presses. The combat depends on combos, some basic boss strategy and quick time events.

Overall the game works for me – it’s fun and simple. The locations themselves could’ve used a bit more work. Or even the addition of a difficulty level would’ve made the game ‘preferred’ by some.

Verdict: Buy

Reviewer: Rishi Alwani
Platform: PlayStation 3

Compared to the senior citizens…err…old timers, I haven’t played the original Prince of Persia, neither have I played more than 20 minutes of Sands of Time (no, you guys can’t kill me; not at least until you read my review). I’m a newb to the series; was rather, till this game, which managed to pique my interest till the very end.

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PoP is a must have purchase. Sure it’s heavily “inspired” by Shadow of the Colossus, Ico and Okami in terms of level design, gameplay elements and art style, but think about it, isn’t this stuff we all want more of? Aren’t these the gold, nay platinum standard of an awesome gaming experience? It manages to implement these mechanics brilliantly. Add Ubisoft Montreal’s smart combat system and killer musical score from Inon Zur and you have a sure fire winner.

And while it deviates from the standard PoP formula like a drunken donkey in a sandstorm, plays easier than a roomful of needy harem girls and has active time events (the Warrior King, I’m looking at you) that would make walking into World War II with a toothpick seem easy, free yourself from the knowledge that it has borrowed from some triple-A titles and realise that what it has achieved is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

Verdict: Buy

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