Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Review

Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: November 18, 2003 Also On: GCN, PS2 and Xbox

2003 was a great year for Ubisoft. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time was just one example of their successes. How does our nameless royal hero stack up against the other giants Ubisoft created? Let’s just say that this game won’t be left in the sands. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is a next part of the Prince of Persia series, the nearly famous series that started in the 16-bit era. The series eventually saw Prince of Persia 3D, which really stunk. However, this game finally gives “honor and glory� back to the series. In the original Prince of Persia game, you had to avoid traps and fight evil soldiers, all while saving the beautiful princess. In Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, the main objective is to avoid traps and to fight evil sand creatures, while saving the beautiful princess Farah. PoP is a nearly perfect 3D translation of the 2D classic.

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The story for PoP has absolutely nothing to do with the previous PoP games. After finding the Dagger of Time, the Prince unknowingly releases the Sands of Time. The Sands of Time consumes anyone who touches it and makes them into hideous sand creatures. The only people who aren’t effected by the Sands of Time are the people who have the three magical items of Time. Those three people are the Prince (who holds the Dagger of Time), the beautiful princess Farah (who holds a magical medallion), and the evil Vizier (who holds a magical staff). The Vizier tricked the Prince to unleash the Sands of Time, and now it’s up to the Prince to undo his mistake. With the help of Princess Farah and the Dagger of Time, the impossible task of returning the Sands of Time to where it belongs now seems possible.

In this game, you could use Dagger of Time to rewind, slow, freeze, and fast-forward time. Put it this way, PoP is Blinx done right. Let’s say that you messed up one of your tricks, you could rewind time so you could do it right. Let’s say you have to fight some sand creatures and need the advantage, you could use the Dagger of Time to slow down everything. I really never knew how to use slow motion usefully, but that is just me. Let’s say there is a strong enemy that you need frozen so you can easily attack them, you can use the Dagger of Time to stop them in their tracks. However, you can only freeze one enemy at a time, and you could only do it a limited number of times. The best move in this game is the power to fast forward time. This allows you to go at super speed and attack your enemies. Though it only lasts 10 seconds, it is still very effective.

The Dagger of Time can only do its special moves a limited number of times, since it uses the Sands of Time to power it. The Dagger of Time has only a few tanks that can hold the sand. There are two types of tanks: sand tanks and power tanks. Sand tanks power your ability to rewind and power tanks power your ability to slow down time and freeze your enemy. To fast forward time, you have to have all your sand tanks and power tanks filled. The only way you get your sand tanks and power tanks filled is by sucking the sand out of the sand creatures or by sucking a sand cloud (a cloud that increases the number of sand tanks that you have).

The game focuses mainly on level design, which is a good thing. In addition to controlling time, you can also do amazing acrobatic moves. My favorite move is that you can run on walls, which not only looks amazing, but also is incredibly easy to perform. Each level felt different, except for the fighting, and each time I felt amazed of what the Prince could do. PoP forces you to work with Farah. Farah is able to squeeze through small cracks and actually proves to be useful some of the time. However, when enemies kill her, it is game over.

The game’s graphics are top of the line. The character models seem lifelike, especially when you consider that the Prince has over 700 different animations, the most animations for any character in an adventure game to date. The game’s cinematics are some of the best I have ever seen. In battles, there are some instances where you would want to just see the Prince do his awesome moves. The game has a great atmosphere because of its music. The music gives the game a Persian feel, without actually being Persian. It is a mixture between Arabic music, hard rock, and some Indian flair. I really loved it and you will too.

However, I did find some downsides in this amazing game. An obvious downside is that it is pretty short. I finished it in 11 hours, but I know people who easily finished it in 6 hours on their first try. The biggest downside I found in this game was the annoying battles you have to fight with the sand creatures. At first the battles are somewhat fun, but they eventually get repetitive. In addition, sometimes they can get pretty difficult because the sand creatures are cheap and constantly try to attack Farah.

On the GameCube version, you could unlock the original Prince of Persia and there is an interesting “making of� feature. I found the original Prince of Persia fun, but I actually found the mini-documentary even better. This game was very well done, to say the least. With superb gameplay aided with very interesting storyline, you probably won’t stop until you see the ending. This game will probably be even better if you liked (or loved) the original Prince of Persia. If you can forget about the annoying battles, you will enjoy this near perfect title.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 10
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 9.4
Written by Simon Review Guide

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