Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Posted 2 years ago By - Marko Djordjevic
It has become trendy for developers to release significantly different games on the Wii in comparison to what we see on the other two consoles. In some cases, the change pays off, and in others the final product is just a mess. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is the latest game to see a completely different gaming experience from it’s Xbox 360/PS3 sibling and for the most part, the game stands on its own but still has problems that hold it back from sheer greatness.
Placing itself in between the events of The Sands of Time and the Warrior Within, this edition of the Forgotten Sands puts our Prince at the forgotten Kingdom of Izidar and the promise the land could be his if he manages to help a young Djinn (Genie) Zahra get rid of the evil forces that corrupt the land. As the Prince, you will be required to do your fair share of puzzle solving and battling in order to help her.
Unlike the other games in the Sands of Time series, which dealt with rewinding and freezing time, here the Prince is able to use Creation Powers in order to complete puzzles. These powers include a Spirit Hook that allows him to move from ledge to ledge easier, a Whirlwind which lifts him high in the air and a magical sphere that helps transport him safely. While not as especially impressive as being able stop and rewind time, these creation tools do add a cool new depth to each puzzle. Later in the game, you will need to use a combination of the three in order to advance.
While you can’t rewind time to prevent your death, the game does have an interesting restart mechanism involving Life Orbs. If you happen to fall from a ledge or in battle, as long as you have a Life Orb, you will be able to continue from the exact same spot. You re-build your life orbs by collecting Djinn Souls which are located all over the maps.
Combat has always played second fiddle in the PoP series and, as you would expect, it is this iteration’s weakest point as well. Surprisingly, the issues with combat doesn’t necessarily stem from the waggle controls but from the camera which creates problems on various fronts.
You will often be placed in scenarios with plenty of foes which will require you to jump, hack and slash. But problems in completing attacks and seeing all that is around you can become a huge hindrance. The free-roam camera is never set at the best position. All too often you will have to reset the camera by hitting the ’C’ button and while doing this, you are left more open for a slew of attacks and the loss of a large chunk of health.
The camera also poses a problem during certain puzzles. In numerous situations, you need to act fast and change direction. But the camera just can’t move at the same pace. There will be times when you are certain you’re doing the right thing only for the camera to rotate and put you in the wrong spot leading to an unnecessary death.
The only other issue in the gameplay comes from the story. Not to say the story is bad, it’s just the pacing is poorly implemented. For those who like to be constantly stimulated, the slow pace in the reveal might turn them off. Very limited information is given to you and the Prince from Zahra in regards to the land of Izidar. Even the occasional foreshadowing from the game’s narrator doesn’t give you enough information as to what is actually going on. This isn’t necessarily something that many will view as a bad thing, but at the same time, when other PoP titles constantly gave you more and more, you may look for the same here.
Graphics and Sound
Surprisingly, The Forgotten Sands is actually a really nice looking game that offers a lot of variety in its visuals. From the close-quarter situations to the epic vistas, there is a lot on hand here. A really nice touch is the use of color in different areas, which is especially noticeable in the foliage. The darker hues really stand out in key situations and even when you’re in an open area, the environments never look muddied or bland. One issue though does come from the enemy repetition. The catalogue of baddies the Prince will face is a bit low and repeat themselves much too frequently.
While the cast of characters in The Forgotten Sands is small, their delivery in the cut-scenes are all well-done. In particular, the Narrator’s voice will stick with you even with her vague lines of dialogue. As for the score, once again, a good job is done with musical cues kicking in at proper points through the adventure. Even the sound effects from the various contraptions play out well and add another layer to the puzzles you encounter.
Unlike the XB360/PS3 versions of the game, the Wii edition of The Forgotten Sands is a fairly sizable adventure that should take you more than 10 hours to complete. On top of a lengthy story, there are tons of additional content that can be unlocked by completing the game’s version of achievements called Heroic Quests. These bonuses aren’t just additional costumes and developer clips but you can unlock the 1992 SNES edition of Prince of Persia and special challenge levels. The standout challenge level is a 2D-stage that is really reminiscent of the old-school PoP games and is a blast to play.
Once you get past the issues stemming from the camera and the typically bland combat system, this edition of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a worthy title for your Wii collection. If you haven’t played the series in a while and are looking for a nice, challenging puzzle adventure, then this should be right up your alley.
+ Excellent puzzles with great variety in difficulty
+ A lot of additional content
- Camera often poses a problem
- Very slow-paced story
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Release Date : 2010/05/18
System : Nintendo Wii
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft Quebec
Category : Action-Adventure
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
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