Not this crude matter
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time review

To be honest, I couldn’t play this game all the way through. I wanted to play an exciting platformer, but what I got was almost zero excitement! The structure of this title is very simple: you start with a platformer part, where you swing on bars, pull switches horizontally and vertically, solve puzzles, walk on ledges, do the wall-run from The Matrix (well, this is a nice feature, I have to admit), and stuff like that. And then, here comes the part, where you have to fight. But these fights are staged, and just aren’t a least bit interesting! Let me tell you what’s wrong with them.

First of all: there are only a few types of enemies, you can fight. And… no bosses! You have to slice scarabeuses in half, you have to slash dozens of sand creatures, and they are always the same! Nothing new for so long, I gave up the game at 50%. And yeah, you only have a few fighting moves as well. At the first few occasions, you can beat them only using one move, when the prince jumps from their heads to the behind of their backs, turns mid-air and slashes them. It’s a great move, but it’s unblockable by your poor antagonists, so you repeat it over and over again, and you win but you become bored very quickly. If you want to fight nicely without abusing a move too much, I’ve got news for you: you can only use your sword and your dagger, you can slash and stab with them and that’s it. No combo moves, no skillful fighting, no reaction moves, combo breakers, no nothing. It just blows my mind! Why is this so goddamn lame…?

Later on in the game, the almighty move becomes blockable by the enemies (the developers must have realized how idiotic was it actually…), but now the problem is that… they ALWAYS block it! Well… you still can’t fight skillfully because the prince’s recovery time after a failed (or blocked) strike is unbearably slow (I’ve seen turltles moving much faster), and if you’re on the ground, the enemies can hit you repeatedly, and the prince just doesn’t want to get up! What’s wrong with him??? Ridiculous.

So now they always block the head jumping move… but hey, you have another unblockable move: this time you have to back against a wall, press the jump button and then the attack button, and voilá: now they can’t block this move! Seriously: it’s ludicrous! Close to that point where I stopped playing this game, I won a fight repeating this method about 30 times! Come on! When you play the jumping/puzzle solving parts you get a straightforward and linear experience. Nothing exciting or innovative there. The fight parts are extremely poor, so there’s no reason to get this game so far. Two aspects were missing from my review, but now I will mention them now: the story and the ability to reverse time.

So, the story is nothing special, really. The only thing worth mentioning here is the interactions between the prince and the girl (Oh, my god, I forgot her name… Talk about a poor story, they couldn’t even emphasize the second most important character in the game!), but those are so few and far between… and they aren’t even always funny. So the story sucks. The prince’s narrative is a nice thing, but once you get used to it, it’s not a big deal anymore, besides he only talks at the beginning, then very rarely, and then when you die.

Throughout your “adventures”, you can use the sands of time, which are giving you the ability to turn back time. It requires some “four dimensional thinking”, but not much. After a while, it gets old too. And in the platformer parts, you only use it to get a continue after you miss a jump. So what’s the point?

Sands of Time is an average game, they didn’t screw it up completely and for a while it was entertaining. But then it became repetitive, and couldn’t give me anything new. Boring platform parts, lame fights. I say, avoid it, if you don’t want to get frustrated!

Overall score: 64%