Wednesday
Sep092009

Prince of Persia: A Press Pause Radio Retrospective

Before we begin, I’d like to answer some of the questions you may be having right now. Yes, I am writing about a game that was released late last year.  And yes, some people did like the previous Prince of Persia titles compared to this one. I’ll admit that this is the first Prince of Persia game I have played, and so I may have a biased opinion of this game. And finally, no, I will not spoil the game if you have not played or finished it yet. Ok so now that we’ve gotten that out of the way allow me to discuss why I enjoyed talking to Elika so much, and why Prince of Persia has stuck with me long after finishing the game and the Epilogue.

I picked up my copy of Prince of Persia for Xbox 360 on December 2, 2008 and then placed it amongst my other 360 titles. It remained in that position until late spring of this year. I honestly cannot remember why I did not play the game sooner, because I recall watching the trailers and being moved beyond belief. I still am to this day. But once I stumbled upon a princess in danger named Elika and began exploring the City of Light I was instantly captivated.  Most who have played this game may have enjoyed the art direction reminiscent of Ōkami, or the game play mechanics similar to Assassins Creed. For me these were impressive parts of the game, however it was not what truly kept me playing.  I was instantly fascinated with the relationship and interactions between the Prince and Elika. I literally would press the left bumper to interact with my ally as much as I would press the jump button to begin a string of acrobatic wall runs and double jumps. I would ask Elika for help on a puzzle that I already knew the solution to, just hoping for a new tree of dialogue.  It reminds me of Ico and the relationship between Ico and Yorda, and how important it was to keep the princess safe.  However in Prince of Persia Elika is the one that is assisting you, and preventing your plummets to the dark depths below. I still would play the game as if I was protecting Elika, whether it is during combat or the exploration. There is even an achievement you can receive on the 360 version for not allowing Elika to save you more than one hundred times.

It may have been the great voice acting, or the game play that ensured that the Prince and Elika needed each other to survive but I absolutely loved exploring every aspect of these interactions.  And even after finishing the retail game, I still wanted more. I downloaded the Epilogue downloadable content, excited to once again talk to Elika and progress the story that ended with the original game. I will say that my one complaint is that I feel that Ubisoft failed at any kind of closure to the story. I know that this is because Ubisoft will (hopefully) release a sequel and want to leave players in suspense but this was a heart break to me, personally.  I cannot say too much about the actual ending, but I can compare it to watching a season finale on television, and being left with a cliffhanger until the next season. The only downside to this story is I don’t know when that story will continue. Will there be a Prince of Persia sequel?  I hope and wish they do, because this game has been able to stick with me and fascinate me long after the end credits have rolled.  -Toast

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Reader Comments (2)

I didn't like how the dialogue with Elika was handeled. I dont like a game to take me out of the experience, and having to stand perfectly still and mash on a button to get one or two lines of dialogue gets extremely tedious. The voice acting is fantastic though.

I also disliked the boss encounters in the game, They happen far too frequently and the combat is seperated by tedious QTE sequences that involved ramming on a button to escape. Happens too frequently, making you see the exact same animation, against the same enemy, way too much. The game is largely about having a rhythm. A flow. Which breaks every single time you have to tap the shit out of the square button to avoid being kicked off the edge of a platform.

Another complaint I have is as your journeying across this land, Elika is constantly telling you these stories of how things where. One thing that comes to mind, I was going through an area where she was talking about how she used to play here as a child. I think it is totally great that Ubisoft took the time to write this backstory and I think its interesting, but I dont think its well delivered. She tells you she used to play here as a child, Yet, even taking into account the destruction of this area, There is absolutely no way that anybody ever resided in any of these areas, at any point in time.

The way the sands of time was designed, It gave you the fantastic platforming elements, the great story, and it all fit. When you walk into an area, you know what this area was for, how many people would have been here. Everything just fits, you dont need to mash on a trigger to find out a very basic description about the place.

The new Prince of Persia is a good game. A great game even. It shines with nearly limitless potential, but as I see it, Took the leap and fell just short of the target. Im looking forward to the next game to see what Ubisoft does, but while I wait I wont be putting Prince of Persia back into my Ps3. The Sands of Time has that spot claimed.

September 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDustin C

I did want to point out that Prince of Persiia has trophies as well so the objective of not having Eliika save you more than a hundred times is also on the PS3...I do have to day I love tha game, it a great modern take on the traditional roots of the game...

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgieboy

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