Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 14+
Posted: August 10th, 2004
By: Webmaster-Josh
This 2003 year-end release may very well be the most surprisingly good game we've played in a while. How does this
Canadian-developed game fare? Read this insightful review!
Sound

I always like to get the bad out of the way, so let's do that first. The voice samples are good, but they have very bad
compression. The voices can hardly be heard during cutscenes because the sounds and music drown it out. You have to
turn the volume loudly during these parts, and even then it's hard to hear. I honestly have no idea why the voices are of
such a bad quality, considering that most other GCN games are just fine here. Bad mistake!
On the other hand, the voice acting is well done, although it seems like the prince's accent isn't really Persian per se; then
again, I could be wrong. Players really feel connected to the Prince as the game is told by him, and in those times, there's
usually not sound trouble. Farah and other characters' voices are well produced, but most are from the Prince and Farah.
The sound effects are on par, with various noises that all sound fairly imaginable. A lot are repeated, but the way they mix
up the sound effects is great. Dolby Pro Logic 2 was a smart move; it helps the sound and music spread out across your
speakers even more. The music is very good, but there really isn't much to hear. As you progress, the music always seems
to fit the theme, and as you finish the fight with monsters, the music ends, but in a way that it is not juts cut off, but as in
a real movie song. Since the game is relentlessly paced, you'll hardly notice tune repeats. Overall, I felt the voice
compression needed to be better, and considering sound plays a key role that really hurts an otherwise high score.
Control

Controlling the Prince is not perfect, but not too shabby either. First off, L and R are used a lot, so it seems like it should
be easy to execute. Well, you always have to make them click; pressing a little won't activate them. That's not the way it
should be set up because if you move your finger only slightly, it will somehow stop the action. That was another bad
mistake. You have a little flexibility with the controls, but most will want to stick with the default, which is fine.
B is mainly used for attacking, while A is for vaulting over enemies. Those should be reversed, because I'd rather press A
repeatedly, not B. The style is almost stealing off of Zelda, so that might explain their reasoning.
The camera is very flexible, and appears to flow like a movie. This adds a little effect that makes the game cooler. The
camera hardly ever gets stuck behind something, but when it does, you'll usually have to quickly reposition it. This could
be a problem when fighting enemies. Fighting enemies also isn't so easy as the game kind of chooses one enemy for you,
and you can switch between fighting different enemies using the control stick. The problem is that if you want to move
past some enemies to knock down a wall, you can't. Drawing your sword automatically locks the camera onto an enemy.
This usually isn't a problem. The one major problem when fighting is when you fall. Enemies will alternate attacking you,
making it very difficult to stand back up. You also cannot rewind right when you kill an enemy. For about that two second
period, if you die, you won't be able to rewind; a minor annoyance though, as it seems purposeful for the difficulty.
The fixed camera angles can also be misleading. Jumping from pole to pole can prove fatal if you don't move the control
stick exactly right. When you run from wall to wall, it can also prove fatal if you don't time it right, however, this
annoyance seems okay because it challenges you a little more. Any camera problems are a big score hurter, and this game
has several. Overall, these should have been analyzed, but considering everything else in this game, it isn't so bad.
Graphics

This game's graphics is second best to Star Fox Adventures, meaning I
was more than amazed! Everything about the game's graphics are
incredible, not just the scale of heights, or beauty of lights, but the
amount of artwork put in. The reason it doesn't score a perfect 10 is
because the amount of artwork doesn't exceed that of Metroid Prime,
but everything else does. The cinematic feel really adds to the effect.
The camera allows for amazing angles of anything. The fact that they
have this aspect is what impresses me. Only minor framerate problems
and rarely some bad animations deduct from the score, and looking
back at the game, I couldn't forget these things. However, you won't
find better graphics on any other game than Star Fox Adevntures in my
opinion. Just excellent!
Replay

Just when you though this was getting good, it doesn't get so good. The replay value is the major flaw of this game. The
main adventure only takes about 8 hours the first time through. Because you may have missed some extra items, bonuses
or maybe just some lines of speech, you'll want to play one time through again. Once you unlock the original Prince of
Persia game, you'll have fun trying to complete that (The control is terrible on that game, though). There's even a 3D
version of one of the Prince of Persia levels, but even these added feature cannot save the short main game.
I don't think enough other reviewers have pointed this out, because they like the game too much. You gotta face the facts,
man. This game will be beat in only a matter of days. There are no extra collectibles, really, and the percentage of game
completion doesn't involve the collection of items. This game is too easy, and there should have been more puzzles or
obstacles. Instead, it feels like they filled the game with enemies. Fighting enemies gets to be a pain after a while, trust
me. It's not that you won't like those 8 hours, you just would wish there was more. The GBA connectivity is only a small
addition as it is not needed, only helping with health recovery. This game is one of those that doesn't need multiplayer
modes to be good as a whole, but multiplayer certainly would have added some replay.
Design

This was a surprise game for me, and I was thrilled when I played it. The game decides to take a plotline involving the
Prince saying everything to us. Since we play as him, it makes sense to hear his thoughts. This aspect in itself is not new,
but not many developers attempt to have this in their games. Ubisoft does it well! The story is also pretty good, if a little
reminiscent of "The Mummy". It is still original enough to feel like its own story. The plot also draws in the players in a
way that we will want to beat the game even faster! Cinematic scenes also add to the plot, if you can catch all of what they
are saying.
The developer knew that this would feel like a movie to players from the beginning. The filled the game with fixed camera
angles and plenty of landscape angles, thus adding to the feel. Some of these angles are fooling, but most of time you can
figure it out. The rewind button will help cover mistakes. The rewind button also covers mistakes from battles. The Prince
does Matrix-style moves and attacks to kill enemies. For somebody who is not 'athletic', he can sure do a lot!
The game is the typical adventure genre, but a little more action was added, similar to Star Fox Adventures. One major
downfall is the lack of puzzles. Once again, they seem to fill the game with monsters. When I finished the 'lever' puzzle
(having to pull all four levers to the top at once), I expected there'd be more puzzles like that. There really aren't any,
making this game too easy. It's even easier because the developers automatically fix the camera to where you have to go
next, making the discovery part a little less exciting. Because the areas an be big, they did this so beginners wouldn't be
confused, but by doing this, they made the game easy, thus shorter. I'm not terribly disappointed with design, but this is
not an A+ effort either.
Scores
Sound

7.9
Control

8.0
Graphics

9.9
Replay

6.5
Design

8.4
8.1
Final Words

For such a 'great' game according to everyone else, why is the score this low? 8.1 isn't very bad, but compared to other
sites, well... Let's just say I was disappointed by a lot. The GCN version probably doesn't suffer as much as the others do,
so PS2 or Xbox versions are probably better overall. That still doesn't justify the bad replay value. I cannot see anyone
playing this game more than twice; it feels like a good movie, but doesn't exactly play like one. I can't say that this is a
terrible game, and the score says that this is rather enjoyable. If you ignore the replay for a second, you'll see that you'll
want to play this game for the graphics alone. Many players will also be interested in this type of game, being like a movie.
I recommend for a rent only due to replay, but this is a great game!