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History of The Prince of Persia 1 to 8
The Prince of Persia games
have come a long way, from 1990 all the way to the present day The Prince of
Persia has been jumping, bounding and leaping onto our computer screens.
Beginning as a simple 2D puzzle game made by one man the Prince has taken over the world, not only being named the best computer game hero in the Gamespot contest but even having a Disney movie made about him and his adventures.
Well I have been playing the Prince of Persia games since that very first 2D outing and i thought i'd add my players point of view to the hundreds of reviews and opinions out there on this amazingly long lasting and popular series.
So read on and (hopefully) enjoy My history of the Prince of Persia games from 1 to 8.
===Warning Spoilers to the story lines and events of Prince of Persia within===
The Prince of Persia 1990
is the beginning....(well almost it actually started on the apple II but this
is the first proper prince).....The Prince of Persia was a pretty unique game
in its time for a couple of reasons.
First and foremost was the lovely fluid animation of the Prince himself, the motion captured movement of Jordan Mechners little brother as the story goes.
And the second key feature was the involvement of Time, not in the time warping style of the modern princes but instead by adding a real-time countdown during play of one hour, this combined with the mind bending puzzles and tricky timings needed was a fantastic boost to the tension and realism.
As for how it was to play?
Well it was a LOT of fun, it was taxing and satisfying while also offering a simple but classic story that drew you in.
There was also the many and various ways you could be killed (most of which involved quite a lot of blood and even some dismemberment) and although on the face of it the game seems simplistic and easy with only the few limited abilities of our hero it managed to be quite complex and testing.
Demanding perfect timing and some skill with the sword, forward planning and a keen memory The Prince of Persia not only WAS a fun game but still is and with the brilliant DosBox emulator can still be played with ease.
The Prince of Persia was a milestone game and should be remembered and played by anyone who loves the other more modern titles just so that you can see where it all began, it also hold a few little secrets and links to the story and characters that have been re-worked in so many different ways throughout the series.
The Shadow and the Flame 1993
The second instalment of the Prince of Persia games was VERY much like the
first, and i've got to be honest i didn't play it until many years later on the
DosBox Emulator, But now that i have i can say that as Prince of Persias go it
really very good.
This prince is similar to the original but this time rather than just the odd potion to restore health or poison you the world of Persia has much more fantasy and magic in it, and the prince too has many more tricks up his sleeve.
Again the animation is very satisfying as are the puzzles and there's even the time limit again (though i think it's longer than an hour) the story has become more complex and so has the fighting system allowing for a much greater level of skill and technique in order to defeat the enemies, joining the ranks of the baddies are also some different dangers such as snakes, strange floating heads and a variety of warriors.
All this makes the Shadow and the Flame a real treat to discover after so many years of wondering, it's classic story of prince trying to free princess is still there and has echoes of the modern day films tale, but best of all is the expansion of the original concept while still holding true it the games mechanics.
Again this Prince is a great way to pass the time, you will of course spend a lot of your time re doing a section trying to get through but that's what the prince was all about and it all helps to show you where the various themes and ideas came from to create this fantastic world and history.
Prince of Persia 3D 1999
we jump forwards a few years and come across Prince of Persia 3D
This is a strange and awkward addition to the Princes story.....and one that i have yet to play properly, I have looked at it and play a bit but nowhere near as much as the other Princes past and present.
From what i have seen it's not bad, a but clunky but as with most of the games of it's era that was just the way it was, and if your a fan of the 3RD person genre (as i am) then you'll forgive it the odd bad camera angle and dodgy control system for some classic polygonic princing.
This is the first time the Prince became 3D and from this point on he never looked back, I still fully intend on playing this game through just to say that i have done all of the prince of persias, but also because it has a certain charm and enough features to derive some satisfaction out of but for now i can say little about it or it's story simply because i don't know so i'll let Wikipedia do the talking.
(Click HERE to go to the wiki page about this game)
The Sands of Time 2003
Make way for Ubisoft the company we all have to thank for bringing us so many hours of Persian fun.
In 2003 the first of the Prince of Persia Trilogy was released, The Sands of Time.
This game was quite simply brilliant, it had all the beauty and fluidity of it's very early ancestor but also came with fully 3D graphics and lovely cartoony effects.
For players it was in my opinion the most satisfying puzzle/acrobatics wise it had complex and cunning traps and puzzles and allowed the player to do almost all of it without assistance.
It also introduced the now classic Time control story, a wild mutation of the originals time limit, The Prince has power of the flow of time it's self and all the paradoxes that come with that.....and with this not only did you get all the fun of rewind and slow-mo but you also got the wonderfully circular story that takes you from beginning to end and right back again.
The fighting system was fun but easily see able in it's entirety, so once mastered you no longer saw new animations or effects during fight but still could derive some pleasure from the fluidity of your transferring form one target to the other.
The controls were tricky for a PC user sue to the camera angle changing the direction of movement but once you'd gotten used to it it became predictable and useable easily.
Overall i really enjoyed this game and would certainly play it again (especially since you can patch it to allow widescreen resolutions) it was just a lot of fun, it had a good story that used the time aspect well the graphics were light and cartoony but still realistic enough to be really quite stunning in places and the acrobatics were well thought out and wonderfully entertaining to achieve.
The Warrior Within 2004
the Darkside.....The second instalment of the Trilogy was the wildly contrasting
POPWW it was bloody it was dark and it was Fun.
Okay i don't like the darkness in this game it was too gothy for me and for the most part i would (and still do) play it with the sounds off....just too much rock.
But that's not to say it was a bad game in fact it was a very very good game, a game i still play even after completing it and intend to complete on the hardest difficulty eventually.
The major improvement here was the fighting engine, which was given a big overhaul and suddenly became the best bit of the game, that’s not to say they let the player down acrobatics and puzzle wise but although there was more to do in this one I still think that POPSOT was the superior game for using acrobatics and level design.
All in all POPWW is a great experience, the story is really quite mind bending but once you figure it out again uses the time travelling theme to full effect and leaves you impressed at the complexity. It also requires a good deal of skill to learn the new fighting techniques and rewards the skilful with some wonderful animations and slow mo kills.
The abilities of the prince are much the same as before with a few fun tweaks and the environment though dark and foreboding at times still offers some stunning views and scenes.
Of the Sands of Time trilogy this is certainly my favourite and the one i most return to.
The Two Thrones 2005
Third and final episode in the Trilogy, The Two thrones once again changed the
game and how you play it and this is really what i loved the most about the SOT
Trilogy, each game was similar using the same engine but offered something new
some different way of doing things so that you never ended up doing the same
thing over and over again. And when you think about it this is really quite an achievement,
they so easily could have been carbon copies of each other or dreary re-skins
of an old idea, but instead each one opened up whole new worlds and experiences
that were unique to that game alone.
In the Two Thrones the idea of the Sand Wraith was taken to it's limit giving the player not just one prince to play but two!
This coupled with the SpeedKill technique totally changed the fighting system once again.
Of all of them i felt this was the least 'finished' version and it was less enjoyable in both it's fighting (than POPWW) and acrobatics/puzzles (than POPSOT) but still it was worth the play, the return of Farah was a nice change from the much darker WW but the lack of two endings despite every opportunity for one was frustrating.
It could have done more with what it had but in the end T2T is another great game and worth a play through...but maybe not two.
The willingness to change what they knew worked is the best feature of this game and the return to the lighter more cartoon like world of the Prince was a major improvement.
Sands of Time Trilogy Poll.
Which of the Sands of Time Trilogy was your Favourite?
Prince of Persia 2008
Strangest Prince yet.
With POP2008 Ubisoft departed from the classic prince world they had created, Completely. For one you no longer had control of time.....in fact other than acrobatics and an amusingly named Donkey link there’s initially little to connect This Prince with ANY of the previous princes.
But now that i've completed it and seen the film i can see that it has many of the same themes, but this time the focus was on the Prince and Princess story line, which brings me to the worst part of this game in my opinion....the ending.
Now being a PC user i was unable to play the DLC end of the story but from what i've seen from the first game i'd rather not. To be forced to 'undo' everything you fixed during play for the most ill thought out reason in gaming history was a final twist in the tale too far, and left me with a damn bad taste in my mouth after completing the game.
But i suppose i have to forgive them (eventually) and say that while i did not agree with the end of the game the actual play was quite fun. Even for the Prince it departed from the grip of gravity and allowed you do achieve feats of unimaginable acrobatics that combined with the Princesses magic did produce some great visuals and very arty gameplay.
But the combat was merely a sequence of coloured buttons to press and the scenes very staged, for a film/game hybrid it was good and to a certain extent it was fun. But as gamer who likes to be in 'control' it felt a bit too much taken care of for my liking.
I think it's a very impressive game and a beautiful creation with an interesting story with real feeling characters but it is not my idea of a Prince of Persia game it's more like somekind of odd side story to the 'Real' Prince of Persia timeline that the other games follow.
Taken on it's own merits I like the game and as another example of the ever changing and flexible approaches to the Prince of Persia genre it's interesting, but it still rates only as an offshoot in my terms rather than a fully fledged Prince of Persia title.
The Forgotten Sands 2010
Final game (so far) in the Prince of Persia Saga.
The Forgotten Sands is to date the final instalment of the prince of Persia's, and comes in during the time between POPSOT and POPWW a seven year period in the story during which the prince apparently had this rather incredible adventure...before bumping into the Dahaka.
This game takes the graphics and film like story of POP2008 and merges it with the tactile time controlling world of the Trilogy.....and it dose it well.
The game is beautiful moving much closer to a 'real' look than previous titles but still with a fantastical air of the mysterious east and Persia.
The story is again not really dependant on the passage of time or the Sands of Time but it still manages to involve a sense of time and it's effects on the world, and of course there is the ever present Prince Princess motif this time managing to also incorporate the magic side of things from POP2008 and in fact echoes of pretty much all preceding games, there's the fight system which though much simpler than POPWW still requires skill and timing, there is also the odd speedkill and of course much acrobatics.
And the acrobatics is where this game takes off, with it's addition of the power over water and later on the power to recover memories of collapsed buildings and walkways the jumping and swinging parts of the game can become quite complex and confusing with split second timing required between activating certain powers while de-activating others.
Near the end you are asked to leap between waterfalls rhythmically turning them solid one second only to bounce off the water and pass through another water fall then needing to freeze again in order to repeat the process....even the explanation is complicated hehe.
Anyway the bottom line is that this is Game is a real treat it has a wonderful mix of all the games and all the themes and delivers in almost every way, it could have been longer and it could have been more complex but really i'm just nit picking because this is really and truly an excellent game and fine end to an epic series.....and of course i'm not hoping that it is :)
Prince of Persia The Movie
finally the film version.
Okay first off i was not a massive fan, Gyllenhaal did well and the whole thing was fun enough but it wasn't great when i was expecting some real live action/CGI coolness with regards time control and the like, and when it did show the classic reverse time ability it was cool....but it only happened what three times!!?!
Having played All of the games and see all the different version of the Prince of Persia Story i can see what they were doing, the film in fact entwines pretty much ALL of the story lines from most of the games...sort of. Even parts of the very early 2D worlds got a hint, and i can only guess this is because Good old Jordan Mechner the father of all the Princes was strongly involved with the story process, an di hope he finally got the story he'd always wanted told out.
As a film version of the games is not what i'd have done....but as a film it's okay, and i suppose if you want time control action and amazing visuals there are many hours of gameplay to serve that need do the film didn't need to bother.
All in all it's a pretty impressive addition to a stunning achievement for Jordan Mechner and Ubisoft, together they have made one of the foremost and best known gaming series ever made, and along the way they've made some Amazing games that will forever live in our memories and on our hard drives.
Well that's it the entire history of the Prince of Persia so far.
I personally hope this isn't the end of this epic genre of games since the idea and execution is still perfectly valid and has many more ways it could be expanded upon.
There's certainly a few other versions and additions out there on other platforms that i've not added into this guide, such as the GBA and DS games many of which are fine products and interesting extra details in the world of the Prince.
But as for new highlights in the main line of games....I suppose only time will tell ;)