Saturday, May 22, 2010

Prince of Persia: Forgettable Sands?

I pre-ordered the new Prince of Persia game The Forgotten Sands. It came in monday night but unfortunately I was in Tulsa so I couldn't play it. So I started playing it the moment I came home Thursday night. Here is my review of the game for all those wondering if they should get it.....

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands.

If you are like me then you are a die hard POP (Prince of Persia) fan. The sands of time series are my favorite games, although the Mass Effect series is possibly even with it. So I jump at the chance of getting a new prince of persia game. I made the mistake of jumping at the reboot game and that was abysmal. This one I was slightly hesitant but more optimistic when i saw that it is the same prince and you can rewind time.

After completing the game in maybe about 5 - 6 hours I can say with some certainty that some aspects of this new POP is awesome and some suck...


The fighting is the worst part of this game. The game just throws just massive hordes of enemies at you that you mow down with the assistance of your different powers. There is no strategy to the combat unlike Sands of Time. The other POP's had a different variety of enemies that you had to change strategies for. Forgotten Sands you do nothing but button mash X. You have the opportunity to vault over enemies like the old games and perform aerial slash attacks but theres no point when there are 70+ enemies on the field. Focusing on one when your broad sword swing could get so many more is just pointless. There is no blocking in combat either. There is either attack or dodge. Which makes for even less tactical strategy to the combat. Another annoying aspect is that in the other games when you were hit you fell down or stumbled back, but not in Forgotten Sands. In combat there is hardly any indication that you have been hit and because of that I was startled every time i looked at my health bar to find that I have been taking hits this whole time. By the end of the game my sword swings had become so powerful I was killing enemies in one hit. Even the REALLY huge guys were felled by my sword in 4 hits. Where is the fun in that?

The Powers

Rewind - You of course have the ability to rewind again which is of course my favorite. Allowing you to make a mistake and then take it back. If you didn't like how much life you lost then take it back. It's that simple.

Freezing Water - Now they introduced a new power that you use constantly through out the game, even more than rewind. This is the power to freeze water. So, of course, there are waterfalls and spouts every where. Even places like the prison. Out of place much? So with this new power you can freeze a water spout into a pole to swing from and waterfalls into walls to wall jump. This made the already amazing acrobatics even more fun by adding this element. It makes getting around rooms much more tricky. They mix it up too by having water falls in between spouts so you have to unfreeze the water to pass through the water fall and then refreeze it before you catch the next spout. It gets pretty intense especially when there are 7 water falls all facing each other that you have to jump through the 1st one and freeze the water to wall jump back off the second one then wall jump off the 1st one to propel your self forward and unfreeze the water to pass through the second one and freeze it to wall jump off the 3rd one.... and repeat that all the way across the room.

Recall (select locations) - You get an additional similar power for one part of the game where you can recall a segment of ground that has long since eroded or recall a pillar that is now broken. But only one piece at a time...this with the addition of the water freezing makes for a wild ride around a room.

The other powers are mostly for combat which I only upgraded to get to the things like more health or stronger sword attacks. They were helpful but i found other upgrades more important.

Fire trail - an ability that makes a burning trail as you run so you can run through you enemies and when they chase you they will ignite and loose more health the more you upgrade it. I imagine that this would get much more deadly as you approach lvl 4 but by that time you can already pwn everything insight with one hit.

Stone armor - makes you invincible and the more you upgrade it the longer it lasts. This is the ability that I used the most and I found came in handy more than the others. This is nice because you can have no fear. You just waltz into enemies and start cutting them down and you don't have to worry about your health bar. I found this power particularly helpful on the final battle. I didn't have to do anything but stand there while he pummeled me and then I just attacked his weak spot when he presented it. Talk about cheap... :-) This ability also allows you to run through traps and such with out any fear of getting hurt. Also kinda takes the strategy out of getting around the traps.

Whirlwind - make a strong wind that goes in every direction from you and knocks back all your enemies and gets stronger and more deadly the more you upgrade it. Whirlwind was nice even though i didn't use it much. You do find your self surrounded a lot in battle and this can help out

Ice sword - this gives your sword a frost attack that when you swing a wave of ice will shoot out from it damaging everyone standing in front of the swing. It gets stronger and the range becomes greater as you upgrade it. I thought ice sword was a bit cheat like. It was so over powered that you didn't even have to get close to enemies before they were all dead. You just sent waves of ice at them to kill i avoided using it. Becides by the time you have your max upgraded sword you don't need any thing like that.

Each of these abilities uses a "Sand tank" even though they aren't called that and who wants to be out of sand at the end of the battle and then you have to get around the room and not have any rewinds for traps and such.

You level up your abilities in a upgrade system reminiscent of the license board from FFXII. I was fine with the upgrade system even though I had to upgrade things like fire trail to get to other stuff I wanted it was fine.

If you're wondering if this game will be a return to puzzles like Sand of Time you are....kinda right. There were some puzzles just like Sands of Time but not as hard. There was some puzzles that involved freezing water and statues and that was really fun.

The over all game experience was good. Despite the how quick the game went by it was really fun. Maybe thats why it went by so fast. The acrobatics and environmental puzzles getting around were made so much more fun by the freeze water ability along with the recall ability. The freezing water pretty much made the game for me. I know I was harsh on the battle system but I still had fun using powers on the enemies and making my way across a room by hopping from head to head. The voice acting is as good as ever and the cinematic cut scenes are awesome especially the opening video which looks like a real movie. Also the moments leading up to the final fight is the most epic thing I have ever played.

So if you are a Prince of Persia fan like me then you will be happy if you are a newcomer to the series it's hard to say... I think newcomers will like it for the water and the acrobatics and such. Give it shot.

I would give the game a 7/10


I just started another game and it remembered all the powers I had so now i can upgrade everything to the max. Interesting tid bit...

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