Mr. Mechner, I want my childhood back.
My first console was the SNES. I had many great games for that system. Mortal Kombat 2, Super Mario World, and Donkey Kong Country are a few great games from the top of my head. But I also had many terrible games, like Inspector Gadget, and Prince of Persia. Back in the day, there really wasn't anything called "game reviews" or "community reaction". I wasn't subscribed to either Nintendo Power or EGM, because I was just a kid. Occasionally, I got my hands on a some-months-old copy from a friend at school, but that was just for looking at the pictures. You see, we weren't as expectant as gamers today. All we wanted was two or three hours of solid gameplay. There was a simple procedure for buying a game. You begged your parents for money, then begged them to take you to an electronics or game store (my local independent game store was called Game Boyz) and then looked at the box arts for a few minutes. Whichever looked cooler was the obvious pick.
So given the crazy epic, and fantasy box art for Prince of Persia, buying it was a no-brainer. I popped the cartridge in. The first cutscene looked pretty good, and the game was defiantly a looker. The box gave hope of "incredible graphics, and fluid animation" and the cutscene defiantly delivered. And then... the game itself started. The moment you pushed the d-pad down for the fucking Prince (or whatever he was, but more on this later) to move, and he jumped 700 miles to the right, you knew something is wrong. Being used to Mario's pixel perfect movement, this game was a fucking nightmare. The movement is grid-based. Movement is fully sacrificed for the so called "fluid animation". Now I could forgive this if pixel perfect jumps were not required throughout the whole fucking game. Movement was a total nightmare. And then there is the combat. The prince(?) takes his sword out whenever he feels like it. That means sometimes an enemy is near, and the prince does not feel like taking his sword out. That is when you are screwed. This specially bugs me since one of the face buttons does absolutely nothing. Why couldn't they give the control over the sword?
And then we get to the cheapness of the game. This game is cheap. It wants you to fail. It wants you to run through the level ten times, until you have memorized all the traps. Until you know where the enemies are hidden. And that is not enough, there is the countdown. You have to finish this shit under two hours. I felt like Jordan Mechner is playing a prank on me, and as a child there is nothing worse than failing at a videogame. I wanted to win, I wanted to finish the game. But I couldn't. The fact that I haven't finished the game on the SNES still haunts me today. What an absolute waste of my money.
After everything else, there is the story and the title of the game. The protagonist is trying to rescue his love, the princess. So unless he is in love with her sister, he shouldn't be the prince. Why not just call the game Princess of Perisa, you know like Zelda? I guess no one would buy it if it was called that. I still don't understand why this game is called Prince of Persia.
I hate everything about this game. This absolute piece of abomination of all that is good and decent about civilization, deserves be called "The worst thing ever". While I love the new games, especially The Sands of Time, this game should have never existed. Jordan Mechner, I would like my childhood back please. It is not cool to make a child cry.