Sunday, January 08, 2012

Prince of Persia - Warrior Within

To the island of time! And while we're there, let's turn back time long enough to get back to development!
The second game in the new line of Prince of Persia games brings back our favorite protagonist. But not exactly in the way we loved him in Sands of Time. "Huh?" You say? Relax, just read along and you'll see why.

STORY: The story is supposedly a continuation of the one in SoT. So now the prince is being chased by the Dahaka, Fate's answer to deviations in the time line. That's the prince, in case you didn't notice. So now, the prince has to go to the Island of Time, the island where the Sands of Time were created by the Empress of... Time. Jesus. Couldn't they have made up a better name? Maybe the Persian words for Island of Time and Empress of Time, maybe? And how is she an Empress? It's just one small Island of Time. Either way, expect some plot twists. Some pretty obvious ones though. You'd get the hint from watching the images in the installation.

The Character Design here is lacking. Well, Let's take a look at the new Prince. Never mind that he looks like Jesus Christ, because he's anything but Jesus Christ. He now looks more "bad ass", and by that I mean angst ridden. Just look at him. It's like he's going to lash out at anything if it bothered him enough. Didn't he rewind time back to the point where he didn't release the sands? So no need to be angst filled or mad. Or maybe he didn't get some from Farah? After all that hard work...

Anyway, there's the metal thong wearing lady who likes to walk naked in the cold rain. I won't make anymore jokes because metal thong jokes have been overdone. But you do get to see a gratuitous view of her metal thong ass as she ascends from a ship. Alas, I'm too old to fall for this. Then there's Kaileena, who is a servant to the Empress and aids you in your journey for reasons known only to her. She also has a lot of cleavage. 

And the Empress, who is, well, just as un-fulfilling as Kaileena and metal thong girl. Enemy designs, are just uninspired . Especially when they open their big mouths. Most annoying are the ninja girls who not only damage your gaming with their annoying acrobatics, but also damage your ears with their tasteless bondage taunts. I'm here to play an adventure game. Not a soft porn one. The only cool enemy design was the crow swordsman. And that's it.

GRAPHICS: Simply put, the graphics are better than compared with SoT. But that doesn't exactly mean it makes the game good. Though on a plus side, people with video cards who couldn't play SoT should now be glad to hear that you don't need a card that supports pixel shading. Good news for you MX 440 users. Just don't expect it to be fancy. The graphics aren't the best in the market, but then again, you don't really need good graphics to make a game great. You would notice that the atmosphere of the game is a little dark. It even shows in the graphics. All part of the plan to make Warrior Within mainstream and cool. And there's a lot of blood, if you like blood.

SOUND: Here lies the bane of the game. Well, most of it anyway. The audio is nothing like SoT. The music in this game has been replaced with hard metal. The only people who actually think this is good news are either hard core metal fans, or the ones who know not yet upon which trend they must follow. There is only one track that is passable, and that's because it has at least a Middle East tune to it, how subtle it may be. The music here isn't even a very consistent thing. It just seems to pop in and pop out. And at the most inappropriate times, as it may seem.

Then comes the voice over's. The game is really mature in that department. Seriously. In the demo, with the really bad voices, I was hoping that the prince was saying 'witch'. Alas, it turns out he was saying the 'B' one. Then there's the enemy voice over's, which is worse actually. It's like some bad 80's space flick concerning aliens and leather clad women. "Harder, prince, HARDER!" What the hell? What does this have to do with me fighting you? I feel guilty. It feels like I'm fighting mindless thralls, which they probably are.

The voice acting is decent most of the time. There are a few lines that sound... well... forced. I lack the proper word, but it shouldn't bother you much, now should it? I mean, after all, you're already listening to ninja chicks discredit your sexual merit.

GAMEPLAY: This is the most important part of any game. Well, it's a mixed bag. This time around, to go with the prince's degeneration into a generic "bad ass" hero, we get a new battle system that that guy in the movie section calls "Free Style" fighting. What this means for the gamer is that you can kill an opponent in numerous ways since you can do different combos. Like right, left, right, left or left, left, left, right, etc. What depth this new system has. Sure, it may be cool at first, but I'm the kind of guy who looks at the long run. And well, the novelty wears out after a few hours. In fact, you'll be finding yourself running from most encounters unless it's really necessary to fight. The game is more fight centered now. Which is just plain annoying. Thank you gamers who didn't enjoy the fights in SoT.

Luckily, the platforming that was so well loved in SoT is still here. Controls are still okay, though I have to whine about the camera. Sometimes, it just gets pretty bad angles. And that sucks when you're low on sands and need to do one risky jump. Eh, but still, it's fun and provides a good challenge. This is by far, the only real good thing about the game. And it should be since this is what made the first one great.

The game is pretty bloody too. The sad thing is, the blood looks so out of place. The only ones who should bleed are the human characters. Those that revert too sand, in my humble opinion, should not ever bleed. Sand and blood is just… too weird looking. And whacking an enemy with a wooden stick causes them to bleed? I don't think so. The levels are recycled too. 

In the later part of the game, you'll find yourself backtracking to places you've already passed, since the game just uses the same old levels. Oh, and along the way, you can smash treasure chests to unlock hidden artwork. Could serve as a fun little distraction. The only reason I'd want wo do it would probably be to fap to the metal thong lady. But then again, I think that it's just too much effort. Though on a plus side, there are different endings. So it should serve for good replay value. Considering that you're up to the challenge.

OVERALL: It's a good game. Hidden away under layers of stale gimmicks that the developers thought were cool. There is also a ton of glitches in the game. Some that require you to reload a save game to work out, or like me, start over. Yeah. And I was about to end the game too. But minus all that, it's a decent game. I suggest renting it.
SYSTEM: Play Station 2, Play Station 3, XBOX, Game Cube, PC



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