PoP: Forgotten Sands
The Forgotten Sands is essentially a direct sequel to last gen's PoP: Sands of Time, and shares that title's core gameplay features. The Prince gains the ability to rewind time early on and the mechanic feels almost exactly like it did before. However, the game also throws in the abilty to freeze running water which adds a nice wrinkle to the platforming sections. The best sections of the platforming utilize that power perfectly and they're clearly the best part of the game. The controls, on the other hand, were not as great. Multiple times I watched as the Prince jumped off into oblivion because of the awkward controls.
The combat system is where many of the upgrades over the last generation games were added. The battles seem simplistic at first but the Prince can unlock elemental powers that spice things up a bit. But what makes the combat really fun is when you realize that the game encourages you to take on the swarms of enemies without taking a hit. Once you get to that point the battles actually start to play out similarly to the platforming sections, where one wrong button press could you have surronded by a crapload of enemies and half of your health bar gone. But, just as with the platforming sections, when you get the right combo together, the combat feels very rewarding. The one downside with the combat is that the swordplay feels very sluggish. The swords everyone must way a ton because everyone swings them in slow motion.
As for the story? Don't even bother with it. It's extremely generic and honestly by the end of the game, I couldn't care any less about what happened to the Prince or the kingdom. All you need to know is that there's an evil army and you have to stop them from taking over.
In the end, I really enjoyed my time with the game but not because it did anything new or exciting. It wasn't particulary great but it was fun. If you don't get around to playing Forgotten Sands, don't worry. You're not missing anything important or ground-breaking. But, it's definitely worth a weekend rental.