June 15, 2007


Prince of Persia Classic

A remake of the venerable original Prince of Persia game was released on the Xbox 360 Live Arcade bit this week. Swank graphical overhaul, mainly; it's pretty groovy.

There's just two things that downgrade my final rating of it from "great" to just "pretty good." These are:

1: They greatly reduced the amount of gore in the game. Chopping blade traps in the original made a terrific meaty thunk when you got caught in them, bisecting you and resulting in blood all over; spike traps left you impaled in a pool of crimson. Almost all of that effect is gone. My suspicion is that Microsoft (or M$, amirite?! From my parents' basement in Wyoming, I STAB AT THEE!) mandates that Live Arcade titles have to be T-rated at maximum.

2: One of the charms of the original Prince of Persia, PoP 2, and the Sands of Time revision, was that Jaffar wasn't your traditional videogame boss--he was mostly an afterthought. He was a frail evil old man, and the challenge lay in navigating the deathtraps and guards to get to him. So in the first game, fighting him at the end was only a bit more challenging than regular guards, and less so than one really fast fat guard (who the remake dubs the Gatekeeper); in the second, the trick was running his ass to getting cornered so you could immolate him with your own spiritual powers (shadow and flame, yo!), and in Sands it was just an emphatic easy takedown. He wasn't full of cheesy patterns to memorize, he didn't have multiple stages--you met him, you killed him. It was just to cement having kicked the game's ass prior to finally getting to him.

The developers of the remake apparently disagreed with that approach, instead believing that what the original's Jaffar fight really needed was just more bullshit to make him more of a traditional endgame boss. Therefore he's faster than any other enemy in the game, you have to fight him twice, etc.

But aside from that, it was a good remake.

posted by Gar @ 1:15 PM
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