March 31, 2007

Prince of Persia The Sands of Time and Warrior Within Reviews(PC version) and the mall of asia

Overall Score: 9.4
Graphics: 9 - the graphics can still amaze even in the next-gen generation, the movements are fluid
Gameplay: 10 - face it, the controls are great in the PC and the fighting can't get any cooler than this; puzzle solving can be easy though
Sound: 10 - soundtrack consists of Middle-Eastern and hard rock influences which sound truly great though they only appear in fights
Value: 9 - definitely worth playing over and over again
Tilt: 9

Full review:
One word describes Ubisoft Montreal's POP revival effort- magnificent.
If you think Prince of Persia franchise was dead especially because of the ill-fated revivals, think again. This one isn't just another bad revival, this one is a unique, original masterpiece that combines style with state-of-the-art technology. Most notable (and convenient) is the rewind feature which saves you from repeating the whole level from the last save point as well as the great level design and big-scale buildings made possible by Ubisoft Shanghai's rendering engine. The lighting effects and colors make for a certain kind of storybook appeal and the prince just looks mature and edgy I guess.

The trademark acrobatic moves of the prince are very fluid (in the PC) and smooth. He swings like a gymnast and is definitely the fastest ladder climber I've played in my own life. Putting that aside, the voice work puts a lot of personality on the character and is very fitting for the prince. Speaking of audio, the sound effects are great as well as the BG, which is a great mix of hard rock and Middle-East influences... too bad the music only plays during fights and not during the puzzles part of the game which is by the way, maybe a bit challenging to others.

The game is pretty short with a duration of 8-10 hours but it still provides addictive gameplay and a great (I just keep saying it) story courtesy of Jordan Mechner (creator of the original) himself. Keyboard controls are of a style used in FPS's (keyboard-mouse coordination) and they actually work pretty good. The game is great enough to be played over and over again though if you want to go on with the story, try Warrior Within which they say, is a worthy successor to the great game. Too bad the bonuses Gamespot mentioned in their review doesn't appear here in the PC version.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
Overall Score: 9.1
Graphics: 9 - still looks really good
Gameplay: 9 - additional controls for the keyboard were added but what the hey, it works
Sound: 7 - annoying hard metal rock soundtrack! good SFX though
Value: 9
Tilt: 10

Improves upon its predecessor in many ways... but the soundtrack's way annoying!
In POP:SOT, the Prince released the Sands of Time and sealed it again and after that everything rewinded back to the time when nothing's happened yet. Now, a monster called the Dahaka which is basically a walking black hole wants to consume the prince because he opened the sands. Though the old man says, "You cannot change your fate. You will die.", the Prince tries to defy his destiny in this part of the trilogy which sports a darker tone and an uber-annoying soundtrack of hard metal rock! That is actually my only complaint since they improved on everything else. Sure, I can live with the darker Prince image but the BGM is the one that truly makes me wanna break the PC instead of being in a fighting mood for the times of combat.

More combos mean more variety in battle. You can behead or split an enemy in half in a gory fashion as well as do the acrobatic tricks the Prince is famously known for but the storybook atmosphere in the first game just fares better.

Now I conclude the review by saying that this installment is a bit too dark for a game with a theme and story like this but it still makes for a satisfying experience which should not be missed anyway!

Lame Holy Week...
We're only going to the Mall of Asia this holy week and we're gonna eat, perhaps, at the (very expensive, so we're gonna share) Highlands Steakhouse (ironically, meat shouldn't be eaten during the Holy Week...) but still, it's better than to make our skin "rot" at Island Cove or Splash Island...

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