jjweatherman's Prince of Persia (Xbox 360) review

Outstanding Dialogue Is The Icing On This Unforgettable Cake

After highly anticipating this game since its announcement, I feel really good about having finally experienced the wonder that is Prince of Persia. There are a load of things I liked about the game and a few things I didn’t like so much. Here’s what those things are:

           

Praise


dialogue


            First off, I want to talk about the dialogue. The writing in this game is some of the best writing I have experienced in a video game. The conversations between the Prince and his unlikely acquaintance turned semi love interest Elika are just excellent. There were often times that I laughed, times that I felt sorry for them, and times that I simply wanted to know more about these crazy characters. Luckily the two are constantly having little conversations between themselves

as they traverse the world. After each major battle, there is often a telling little conversation that really moves the story and makes the player want to know more about the Prince and Elika. My favorite single piece of dialogue was when the Prince was trying to make Elika loosen up by playing a game of I-Spy. I won’t spoil it any more of that, but bottom line is the dialogue was probably my favorite part of the game. That is really saying something too considering all the other amazing aspects of this game.


Visuals

   

            The Visual style is another thing that initially drew me to the game and ended up making a big impression on me by the time I finished it. The game world is amazing. It is something that has to be seen in HD to be truly appreciated. The game becomes especially beautiful after you begin to heal the land in the Prince and Elika’s quest to save the world and color begins to restore. When the game starts, the color of the land is sucked away and as you make progress

throughout the game the color slowly returns, making the world even more breath taking. As you can see, the style is different from most developers take on a next-gen look. It is more of a cel-shaded style that really comes across as stunning and just works really well. When the Prince is standing on a point high in the sky, looking down at the beautiful colors and art design, there are only a handful of games that can compare.

           


Game Play Mechanics


            The way the Prince and Elika move through the world is truly unique and is the focus of the entire Prince of Persia series, and for good reason. The game feels terrific on almost every level. Whether you are running on walls, swinging from poles, hanging from vines, or sliding down the sides of structures, the game always feels good which makes the player feel good. It’s good that all this works so well because 90% of the game is doing things of this sort. There is also an element to the game that throws an appreciated curveball into the platforming. What it is, is a series of different “magic plates” that let the Prince and Elika perform gravity defying and amazing things. For example one of the powers allows Elika to fly through the world with the Prince on her back. During this sequence, you can slightly influence the path of Elika in order to dodge obstacles and/or pick up light seeds, which are collectable items in the game. You have to

collect a set amount of light seeds to unlock each of the the “magic plate” powers. So naturally collecting these becomes increasingly important to the game. You aren’t forced to collect all of the light seeds but if you are after achievements, the collect 1001 (all) light seeds achievement will definitely keep you busy for a while. The fact that you are forced to collect a set number of seeds may be a hassle for some players, but I really found it enjoyable. Especially if you are just going for the bare minimum number of seeds to complete the game, there shouldn’t be too much of a problem finding them. Overall the game play feels excellent. It is smooth and feels as natural as a game possibly can while you traverse the land with the heroes.

           

Criticism


            OK, this is where I am going to talk about what I didn’t like so much about the game. There really isn’t anything too important that I strongly disliked so I thought I would condemn it all to one paragraph. First, there is an occasional problem with the Prince jumping the wrong way when on a column/pillar. It is one of those things that can be avoided with proper knowledge of how the movement system works but the overall feel of the prince when he is wrapped around a column feels clunky and leaps and bounds behind the rest of the movement system. The dialogue system—as previously stated—is amazing, but the way you activate conversations with Elika could definitely be improved upon. The player is forced to pull the left trigger to initiate the camera pull in and dialogue starts. It isn’t a bad system until only a couple lines are read and you have to continually pull the left trigger in, zooming the camera in and out, until Elika has said everything that she will say. It’s another minor thing that definitely shouldn’t prevent anyone from playing the game, but I felt like you should know that that’s how it is. Lastly, the battles. This part of the game can be compared to Assassins Creed in the fact that the boss game play can get old fast. Personally I was so swept up in everything else about the game I was easily able to overlook the repetitiveness of the boss fights. In fact, it’s only in retrospect that I realized that they were a bit repetitive. None of these things are deal breakers on the game and as you can see, despite these things I still gave the game a 5/5.

     

Quick look    

 

            Here’s a quick breakdown of the things mentioned:

                Praise:

·         Amazing dialogue

·         Breathtaking visual style

·         Incredibly fluid movement system

Criticism:

·         Rare and minor control issues

·         Boss fights may feel repetitive


Wrap Up  

         

            Prince of Persia is one of those games that comes along every few years that just blows me away and reminds me why I love to play video games. The great thing is you never know what game will give you that feeling, it’s always a surprise. I’m glad to have had that rare surprise with Prince of Persia, a series with amazing history that I am sure will continue to impress in its future iterations.



Thanks for reading!    : )


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