Prince of Persia HD Classics -- Initial Thoughts...

Not really sure if this is even on other peoples radar, but I may as well post my thoughts on the game thus far. It's worth noting that I hold all three games in this package in pretty high regard, so my opinions may not be the most objective.

Thus far I've played a couple of hours of Sands of Time through this thing (I was tempted to start with Warrior Within just to spite common opinion). The first thing that happens when you insert the disc is that you're taken straight to a mandatory install. The game doesn't tell you how much data it's installing or how long it's going to take (looking it up in the XMB later on it's nearly 4GB). Game installs on PS3 bother me less and less these days ever since I started installing pretty much every 360 game, but this game doesn't make a great case for it.

Once the install is over you're taken to the game selection screen, reminiscent of those old Mega Games collections for the MegaDrive/Genesis. When you've selected one, you're irrevocably in that game. There's no way to get back to this thing without quitting back to the XMB and rerunning the disc. The game then continues as it would if you were playing the original on PS2; the intro movies play in their original sub-hd state (understandable maybe), and then the title screen comes up. For those who don't remember, the title screen shows a section of a palace in 3d for the background, with the menu GUI laid over it. Only the assets for the menu (even the basic text) are the original sub-HD assets with no attempts to up-res them. It's like you're playing it in an emulator almost.

That unfortunately starts setting a trend for the rest of the experience it seems. Everything just seems so lazy. The HUD has the same issue as the title screen, and seen that God of War Collection was the game that started this trend maybe Ubisoft should have taken a few more cues from that release. The character models don't look all that bad because of the stylised look perhaps and the level geometry is fine. However, the graphics stutter way too often and the audio is mixed as badly as it was in the original, with ambient tracks kicking in abruptly and the narration trying to force itself over loud music and effects.

I can't comment on the stereoscopic 3D but I'm wondering if that's really the major enhancement here. Obviously I haven't sampled the whole package yet, but I'm beginning to think that if you hold these games in the same regard as I do then this collection may not be the best way to replay them. Maybe you would be better off getting the games from Steam (a cheaper option at least), or digging out your original Xbox or PS2. Given that all three games supported progressive scan on both consoles I don't think you'd really be losing anything that this collection pretends to offer.

6 Comments
8 Comments
Posted by benjaebe

Having played the Sands of Time and Warrior Within HD releases, you're pretty much right on the money. There seem to be some pretty obvious issues that you'd think they would've ironed out before release. It makes me wonder what kind of budget or staff they had behind them - they didn't even bother to release the games on disc outside of Europe, so that's probably a telling sign.
 
I mean, if you look at God of War or Sly Cooper, it's definitely possible for an HD re-release to be good.

Posted by 02sfraser

I didn't find it to bad. Thing is, I think God of War fairs much better over time than the Prince of Persia collection so I was never expecting the same results. It is my flatmate playing them since I was never a big Prince of Persia fan but overall I thought they were quite good.

Posted by MikkaQ

So they just uprezzed the graphics, like keeping any 2D hud elements the same? Must look kinda gross.  
 
It's kindof unfortunate that the HD remake became so popular because that would inevitably lead to a lazy release like this one. I hope the Sly one isn't that bad, as I've never touched those games. These I played the hell out of, though, I don't think I could take a lazy port. 

Posted by benjaebe
@XII_Sniper said:
" So they just uprezzed the graphics, like keeping any 2D hud elements the same? Must look kinda gross.   It's kindof unfortunate that the HD remake became so popular because that would inevitably lead to a lazy release like this one. I hope the Sly one isn't that bad, as I've never touched those games. These I played the hell out of, though, I don't think I could take a lazy port.  "
I really, really enjoyed the Sly re-release and wasn't disappointed at all. I'd suggest you get it if you enjoyed the series- help support Sly 4!
Posted by cooljammer00

Nope, it seems like Ubisoft is the one being lazy.  GoWC was done by a skeleton crew over a number of weeks/months, right?  And Sucker Punch got someone else to do Sly Collection, someone with enough time on their hands to do it right? 
 
Also, SOTC/Ico seem to be looking good.  I fear for Tomb Raider (not Ubi, but still...who exactly wants it?) and Splinter Cell.  

Posted by EvilNiGHTS
@cooljammer00 said:
"  I fear for Tomb Raider (not Ubi, but still...who exactly wants it?) and Splinter Cell.   "
 
I imagine Tomb Raider just needs to be a port, since those games were already released on the 360 anyway. Though it's possible, upconverting the PS2 versions of Legend and Anniversary would be a mistake. Splinter Cell I'm more fearful for, since there were a myriad of differences between the PS2 and Xbox versions. Going with the PS2 version of the first game would be understandable, but Chaos Theory? No thanks. 
Edited by EvilNiGHTS

Apologies for the shitty cameraphone pic, but I game accross this bug that caused the Prince to disappear, then eventually come back with his textures streaked all over the place...

    

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
So yeah, pretty slick thus far.