I recently finished playing Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Boy, had it changed since its early days. I have the first PoP on Gameboy (the “black-and-white” (more like grey and green) version, even) and I’ve also played it on PC.
But the Sands of Time blew me away with its graphics — almost. Beautiful scenery, nice movie clips. But the enemies were a bit clumsy (especially the harem girls).
I love the Prince’s acrobatics. Running along walls (no, it’s not really possible in real life), jumping from flag poles… Sister got tired of the wall-to-wall jump never going the way it should be, but I didn’t have such difficulties. At first I thought that when I had found an effective way to attack, that’d work through the rest of the game. Luckily, that wasn’t the case.
Some fights started to feel hopeless and I probably would’ve given in and tried a cheat if there was one. Luckily again, there wasn’t. Usually I got stuck in a difficult fight when it was late and I’d been playing for a long time but the next day (or the next time I played), with fresh eyes, fresh mind, and better reaction time, I eventually kicked the sand creatures’ butts and felt really really good about it. So, lots of sighs of relief and cries of excitement are expected.
The Prince receives a useful set of special abilities with a dagger he finds at a palace. Rewinding time is most useful, and most used, I’d imagine. Slowing time (super-freeze?) was something I managed to get going only by accident and I never used it. There was a difficult situation where my sister had to use it; strangely, I never got stuck in that place. I tried to help my sister, but it wasn’t as easy on her computer as it was on mine.
A bit like this jump I thought was very easy in Splinter Cell but Dad, whose computer runs a “little” faster than mine, had serious trouble with it (me too, as I tried to help him). Praise the slow machine!
Then there’s the puzzles. Almost every step you take is one. There’s never a straight-forward way from point A to point B (unless you place your points a really short distance away, you cheat ).
The music is a delight. The soundtrack is entirely Stuart Chatwood’s doing. The tracks are a mix of oriental strings, disco pop (I don’t know!), and quite heavy-ish guitar rock at times. I especially like the short introductory music that plays when you fall in the prison. That should’ve gone on for longer.
What annoys me is the way the camera works. Its course is somewhat limited and when you roll the camera “too far” it comes back to an awkward angle along with a swoosh sound. Also, the camera may change place suddenly, and because the directions are relative to the camera’s angle, you end up going back and forth if you’re not careful and take it slowly. Camera angles also make it difficult to determine which button you should press to jump to the right direction. Not a nice feature when you’re dangling from a stalagmite (dripstone) that will break apart fast.
On the second round (which is on-going) the game was easy-peasy at the beginning because I’d learnt all the tips and tricks I would learn later if it was my first round. The enemies probably didn’t even realize what hit ’em! But still, I got stuck again.
I can’t wait to get my hands on the next part, Warrior Within. I hear it’s got so amazing graphics, that it’d be worth even to just *watch* someone play it. [Pelit]