Nope, not gonna do it. No matter how much you beg or plead with me, I will not make a GOTY blog! However, if you feel like trying to bribe me into posting one I'm not going to say no to that. Won't mean I'll actually make a GOTY blog, but hey, you can try (I hope .
All kidding aside, I wanted to post a little blog entry about my experience with the new Prince of Persia game, which I finished a couple of days ago.
I've been a huge fan of the Prince of Persia games ever since Ubisoft made Sands of Time. And despite Warrior Within not being the most stellar way to give the prince a new image, I still enjoyed playing through it quite a bit. So naturally when this new Prince of Persia game was announced I was pretty excited about it. The art style struck me as odd at first, but only for a moment, and it wasn't soon until I totally fell in love with the new direction the game was taking. Even when people bitched about never being able to die, I still saw nothing but pure awesome in this game. And well, it delivered on my expectations in every way.
At the risk of sounding like a wannabe gamer, I actually found the game to be more challenging than I expected it to be. Having read several reviews, and partially having watched the Gamespot marathon I expected this game to be one of the easiest games I had ever played in my life--easier than Fable 2 even. But far from it. The game isn't the most difficult game either, but it is definitely not as much of a cakewalk as so many people made it out to be. Yes it is true that you can never die, and yes the game gives you a buttload of visual queues, and it's even easier if you leave the tutorial on (which I turned off as soon as I got a hang of the basics . But despite those visual queues I missed far more double jumps than I expected to miss, and I got my ass knocked down by a boss more times than I thought I would as well. You see, the whole thing about never dying is grossly making the game too easy is grossly exaggerated because what it is plain and simple a checkpoint system in the form of a companion. Sometimes this mean you'll have to redo a small part of a jumping, wall running, etc sequence, and at other times you'll have to redo larger parts. And as the further you progress, the longer and more intricate these puzzles become, which means that if you fail you'll have to redo larger sections.
The one thing I can kinda agree on is that the boss fights are too easy because of the Elika system. If you get knocked down and you miss the on-screen prompt, Elika will save you every single time. But the boss will NOT regain his health every single time, which was kind of dissapointing to me. But even so, I still found the boss fights to be sufficiently challenging for the simple reason that I didn't want Elika to need Elika to save my ass. Every time she saved me, I knew it was because of my failure and that alone was enough for me to try my best in defeating each boss with as much skill as possible. And man do I love the combat system. The way you can string your moves together, and can discover new combos by experimenting, was pure joy for me. Anyone who says that the combat is just a one button affair either hasn't played the game or never bothered to try out different button combinations. I mean there is an achievement for getting a 14 hit combo for christ sake! And I really do mean a combo because hitting X 14 times in a row ain't gonna cut it. The fun thing is that getting this achievement does not require a specific combo--I have seen several variatons on the web from people who've gotten the achievement.
Ok so this turned out to be more of a rant against people who claim that the game is too easy and therefore crap. But the challenge the game provides was simply something that pleasantly surprised me, and to see that people still say that there is zero challenge to the game just baffles me. I am not the most hard of hardcore kind of gamer, but I am most definitely not a casual gamer either. And I got plenty of challenge and satisfaction out of Prince of Persia. Even the story kept me thoroughly entertained althroughout. It didn't quite capture me as much as Sands of Time did, but I'm not sure any other PoP game ever will. I will say though, that this new PoP provided more of a challenge for me than Sands of Time ever did. Story-wise I'd say it's either my second or third favorite (can't decide whether I like Two Thrones better or not .
Alright, rant over! Feel free to throw your hatred my way now.