Posts Tagged ‘the sands of time

Platinum Review – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PS3)

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is my absolute favorite game from the sixth-generation of consoles, even over the magnificent Eternal Darkness. I fell in love with this on the GameCube back in 2003, and I’ve tried to re-play it in every incarnation it has appeared in, including as an original Xbox game through backwards compatibility on the Xbox 360. (Sadly, it was borderline unplayable.) Fortunately, the good folks at Ubisoft commissioned a well-made, high-definition port to the PlayStation 3 that ran extremely well. The only drawback was that all the cutscenes were still in 4:3 standard definition, a relic of an earlier age in television. Indeed, this irony is not lost on me because I remember thinking that the cutscenes used to look much better than the game itself, but now the reverse is true.

Best Trophy: Prince of Sand (Gold) — you receive this trophy automatically for simply beating the game, but given how great this title is, and how endearing the characters and the voice acting all is, the very privilege of playing it again made this my favorite trophy to earn of them all.

Worst Trophy: Sands of Time (Silver) — sadly, the eponymous trophy is a bit of a nuisance. It requires you to play the game for more than ten hours; but, due to my experience with the title, I could easily beat it in five hours. Thankfully, this timer is cumulative across multiple playthroughs, which is required for other trophies anyway.  It all worked out in the end.

Special Mention Trophy: Secret of Agrabah (Gold) — I mention this trophy because I remembered where each of the ten hidden locations were without the aid of a guide. (Shows you how much I’ve played this game.) Well, all except one of them. Had I not needed another reason to replay the game for other trophies, I would have been furious at missing this one location.


Written by Michael

19 June 2015 at 10:50 pm

Snap Judgment – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time HD (PS3)

It’s rather hard to refer to this review as a snap judgment, as I’ve played through Ubisoft Montreal’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time as many as ten times now. I originally had it on the Nintendo GameCube, and it was literally my favorite game of that generation. Even though the sequels that followed were not nearly as charming or compelling, that whole trilogy is special to me because it made me start taking video-game storytelling seriously. Admittedly, The Sands of Time certainly isn’t the tour de force that The Last of Us is, but I consider this game to be an important early step in game narrative.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the whole trilogy received a high-res makeover, which made this entry palatable to play on my HDTV; sadly, the in-game cinematics were not remastered and are still SD, an unsightly sore thumb in an otherwise crisp-textured if still low-polygonal port. The amusing thing about this is that I clearly remember thinking that those very cinematics were so much better looking than the actual game back in 2003; some eleven years later, the reverse is now true.

What has stood up well is how beautiful scored the game was; the music somehow builds from being playful to being serious and desperate by the end of the game, and its progression feels completely natural. This is truly one of the biggest achievements I’ve seen in this regard. Also impressive is the general voice work, especially Yuri Lowenthal’s portrayal of the Prince; while not always perfectly delivered, he and Joanna Wasick, the voice of Farah, had a wonderful and playful chemistry in the game. There’s cheesiness to be sure, but given the game’s storybook-style tale, their interplay really works.

The gameplay isn’t quite the lofty standard it once was, given its age, especially with regard to the combat mechanics. Nevertheless, I still remember The Sands of Time as an incredible achievement in the early part of last decade, even if gaming, voice acting, and graphics have gotten considerably more refined since then. I very much enjoyed pursuing the Platinum Trophy in this game, too, and it’s worth every penny of the $14.99 it retails for on the PSN.  A

P.S.  Every time I see an Assassin’s Creed game from Ubisoft Montreal, I get a little angry because I feel like that series stole PoP’s birthright this last generation.  Even though we did get two entries in the franchise since The Sands Trilogy, it still feels like it has languished quite a bit.  Here’s hoping for a bright return in this new generation of hardware; I would love to see an open-world entry, a la the Assassin’s games.

Written by Michael

27 July 2014 at 11:39 pm