Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
by Donald Melanson
25 , 2004
The original Prince of Persia, created by Jordan Mechner,
was notable for two reasons. At the time, its graphics were phenomenal,
with smoother animation than had been seen before in a computer
game. It was also really hard.
This latest incarnation of Prince of Persia, dubbed The
Sands of Time, is likewise a beautiful game, with gorgeous graphics
and incredibly fluid movement. The gameplay is equally impressive,
with the most intuitive controls this side of the Zelda series.
Unfortunately, it's also quite short and fairly easy. A situation
that always makes a reviewer's task difficult. Is the game good
enough to recommend even if it can be completed in a few days? It's
a no-brainer for a rental. But is it worth the fifty or sixty bucks
to buy it? In the case of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,
it depends on your idea of replay value.
Like the best platform games from the 8 and 16 bit eras, completing
the game once is only the beginning. The second time you play it
to discover all the secret areas. Then you play it to complete it
in the fastest time, and so on. At least you do if you're a fan
of the genre. Unlike most of those games, however, in Prince
of Persia you have unlimited lives, and can save your progress,
which makes things considerably less difficult.
The game's storyline is your typical save the princess fare, with
one innovative twist. Central to the story is a dagger that lets
its user control time. In the game, it literally lets you rewind
the game, which adds a new dimension to the gameplay. Fall off a
ledge onto some well-placed spikes? Rewind and try it again. Of
course, there's a limit to how often you can do it.
As is increasingly common these days, the disc also contains many
DVD-like features on the making of the game. Also hidden in the
game is a complete version of the original Prince of Persia
game. The GameCube version has some additional features when linked
with the Game Boy Advance version of the game, but I wasn't able
to test those.
While it lasts, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a
dazzling gaming experience. It's a shame it doesn't last longer.
Here's hoping for a sequel.
Melanson is the founder and editor-in-chief
of Mindjack. He keeps an irregularly updated weblog at: melanson.ca
and writes about movies at: melanson.ca/movies.