finished prince of persia: the sands of time a week or so ago. yet again i find myself disagreeing with the popular opinion. i enjoyed the game elements that others have praised the game for, including good graphics, fluid animation, well-designed controls, decent story, and good gameplay mechanics. and i didn’t mind one of the main complaints people seem to have, which is that the fight mechanics (which, with their “finishing move”, reminded me a lot of eternal darkness) are too repetitive.
what most people don’t seem to find fault with, however, is how utterly repetitive the game is in general, and how it’s not enough of either an adventure game or a platformer to maintain much interest. the game, with its fluid controls, feels like it could’ve been a great platformer, but it lacks most of the things that make platformers interesting. instead the game is set up to be a sort of hybrid “puzzle” platformer, in that you’re supposed to figure out how to progress from one place to another. however, because there’s only one way to progress and there’s such a tiny number of things to try, it’s pretty much always immediately clear what to do. so most of the gameplay actually boils down to typical “pick up key, put in lock” mechanics, but as a platformer, where it’s “run along this wall to that ledge” or “climb the ladder” or “swing from this pole to that one”. where’s the puzzle in that? the majority of the rest of the “puzzles” are of the mind-numbing “push block to fit in this slot” variety and are hardly worth mentioning. in true platformers like super mario bros. at least you get to collect coins and powerups along the way, interact w/ enemies, and, more importantly, actually have to have some skill and good timing to get to the goal. in this i rarely felt like there was such skill required, although there were moments scattered throughout where i felt there were glimmers of the brilliant game this could’ve been.
so all in all not really a keeper, despite the high scores i’d seen. apparently the second of the trilogy wasn’t as well received, but based on what i’ve read the third might be more worthwhile. i guess i’ll have to work my way through the second before starting the third, although it’s going to be a good long while before i’m willing to pick it up and have to suffer through pushing more blocks around. may give the original game a go some time though (included as an unlockable in this version). oh, and apparently there’s going to be a movie from disney??