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Page 1:
Introduction
Prince of Persia (1989)

Page 2:
Prince of Persia (SNES)
Prince of Persia Classic
Screenshot Comparison

Page 3:
The Shadow & The Flame
The Shadow and The Flame

Page 4:
Arabian Nights
Harem Adventures
Special Edition

Page 5:
The Sands of Time

Page 6:
Warrior Within
The Two Thrones
Battles of Prince of Persia

Page 7:
Prince of Persia (2008)
The Fallen King

Page 8:
The Forgotten Sands (Consoles)

Page 9:
The Forgotten Sands (Portables)

Page 10:
The Graphic Novel
Before the Sandstorm
The Sands of Time (Movie)

Discuss on the Forums!

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Prince of Persia: Warrior Within / Prince of Persia: Revelations / Prince of Persia: Kenshin no Kokoro (プリンス・オブ・ペルシャ~ケンシノココロ~) - PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Windows (2004), PSP (2005), PlayStation 3, iOS (2010)

American PS2 Cover

While Sands of Time was a critical success, the game didn't sell quite as well as Ubisoft had hoped. Furthermore, Warrior Within would also be the first game in the series with no involvement of creator Jordan Mechner whatsoever, which might have motivated the developers to put their own stamp on the series with an entirely new tone for the next game. At any rate, they decided to give Prince of Persia a darker, more mature edge in hopes of snagging more mainstream gamers. The Dreamworks-cartoon-reject Prince of the first game has become a dark, ferocious warrior, given that he's constantly stalked by Death for screwing with fate in the The Sands of Time. His only chance for survival is to find the Empress of Time to make her lift the curse called upon him by fate. All the while, he's stalked by a scantily glad figure called Shahdee, more affectionately known as "The Time Bitch" amongst gamers. Along the way, the Prince further meets Kaileena, also scantily clad, who decides to give him a helping hand.

Although Warrior Within does lose some of the fairy tale charm (and cute romance) found in The Sands of Time, the darker approach isn't necessarily a bad thing. Many fans have lambasted this decision, claiming it's "too angsty" and "filled with generic rage", and accused UbiSoft of selling out to the masses. For the most part, the changes in tone suit the game, although at times they go overboard with the bland heavy metal guitar riffs and cheesy battle taunts. (The changes did pay off, however - Warrior Within sold much better than Sands of Time.)

The biggest complaint with Sands of Time - the battle system - has been given an overhaul. In addition to your primary sword, you can pick up weapons from slain enemies or elsewhere, which can then be used in melee combat or thrown. The fighting is much deeper and allows for combos and some stilysh acrobatic tricks - you can jump off enemies, thrown them, or propel yourself off walls, cutting anything in your way. Attacks can be charged to do more damage, and the Prince learns powerful, Sands-fueled special attacks during the course of the game. In keeping with the tone, it's also much bloodier. The pacing has been changed a little as well - instead of long encounters of continuously respawning enemies, you face more frequent but shorter battles. While the improvements are welcome, combat still feels a little sluggish and lacks a lot of the punch found in titles like Ninja Gaiden and Rygar.

The coolest parts come when you're being chased by the Dahaka, the physical incarnation of Death. The screen goes black and white, and all you can do is run. If you lollygag or merely jump too late, the Dahaka will catch up and shove the unfortunate Prince into his gaping jaws of unpleasantness. It's similar to the Nemesis from Resident Evil 3, although the concept is better executed here.

Warrior Within (Xbox)

Warrior Within is also somewhat harder than the original, both in the battles and in the platforming. The jumping puzzles maintain the same genius as its predecessor, although the environments have been revamped to look even better. The Prince must climb his way through a mechanical tower and a garden environment, lending an atmosphere similar to Castlevania. The only real problem stems from the overwhelmingly confusing plot, which involves jumping back and forth in time through portals. There's more exploration and backtracking compared to the linear Sands of Time, but your map is almost entirely useless, so it's very easy to wander off in the wrong direction. Extensive backtracking is rewarded with silly weapons like a teddy bear, and also required to get most health upgrades. Only when beating the final boss with all of those, the "good", canon ending is revealed.

The game is also somewhat buggy, filled with graphical glitches and other snafus, across all three initial platforms. The Xbox version contained additional time attack and survival modes for Xbox Live, before the old Xbox network has been shut off. The game was also released on the PSP under the title Prince of Persia: Revelations, which features a few new (quite tough) areas, but has lots of load times and even more bugs. Plus it doesn't exactly control well with the PSP. The same goes for the iPhone/iPod touch port by Gameloft, only worse.

As long as you can look past the more superficial alterations in tone, Warrior Within as a whole is a more than competent sequel to an already great game.

Revelations (PSP)

The PC version is available DRM free at GOG.com.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Director:

  • Jean-Christophe Guyot

Genre:

Themes:


Warrior Within (Xbox)

Warrior Within (Xbox)

Warrior Within (Xbox)

Warrior Within (Xbox)

Warrior Within (Xbox)

Warrior Within (Xbox)

Warrior Within (Xbox)

Warrior Within (iPhone)


Comparison Screenshots


Additional Screenshots


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Prince of Persia: Warrior Within - Mobile (2004)

The mobile version of Warrior Within follows the "big" game in its revised battle system. Now the acrobatic moves are all available from the beginning, but new combos, special moves and finishers are learned with each level. The aggravating wall jump is gone, in its place comes a lot of swinging on chains, which is much more fun.

In a nod to the original game, most traps are instant kills, but the game is very generous with chekpoints. Only towards the end the game demands a bit more precision as the platform warrants, just like the predecessor. For the first time on mobile phones the sands of time are there to stop enemy (and trap) movement, but it they are severely underused.

Warrior Within is the first game to bring some gore effects to your cell phone, and it marks also Gameloft's return to form regarding the sexy, with several images of scantily clad women that appear quite out of context. The rest of the graphics are not so exciting, especially since almost all enemies look the same - no sight of the impressive Dahaka.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Gameloft

Publisher:

  • Gameloft

Genre:

Themes:




Comparison Screenshots


Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones / Prince of Persia: Rival Swords / Prince of Persia: Futatsu no Kon (プリンス・オブ・ペルシャ~二つの魂~) - PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Windows (2005), PSP, Wii (2007), PlayStation 3 (2010)

PS2 Cover

PSP Cover

After deviating into goth-rock territory with Warrior Within, the third and final game in the "second-gen" Prince of Persia series returns a bit closer to its roots. The Prince and Kaileena have escaped from the Island of Time, only to find that Babylon is once again under attack by the Vizier. Players of the first game will remember that the Prince reversed all of his actions, so his kingdom was never destroyed - well, history repeats itself, as he also never defeated the Vizier. Kaileena serves as the narrator this time, but is killed early on. Farah makes a repeat appearance as the Prince's companion, although she has no memory of her time before with the Prince.

The gameplay is a mix of The Sands of Time and Warrior Within - the lame backtracking and time traveling elements are gone, but the more advanced combat system is still in place. Forget the stupid battle taunts, angsty voiceover and metal music - Yuri Lowenthal from Sands of Time is back as the Prince's voice, as well as the sweeping orchestral soundtrack. Yet the game is still darker and more violent than The Sands of Time.

The game seems to have taken some inspiration from Ubisoft's own Splinter Cell series, as the biggest addition to The Two Thrones are stealth kills, which allow you to take out most enemies quickly and silently. Considering that combat is still the weakest part of the game, and fights drag on longer than ever before (outside of the passages played as Dark Prince, who is much stronger), it allows smarter gamers to avoid most of it, although you can still rush in and fight if you please.

The Prince also learned a variant of Sam Fisher's Split Jump to hold himself in between narrow walls. Apparently, the release of God of War earlier the same year had taken its toll from the Prince as well, as stealth kills and boss battles are determined by quick time events. The frustratingly uneven distribution of save and reset points, on the other hand, feels more like a throwback to 1989.

Not far into the game, the Prince meets the evil Vizier. The villain seizes the Dagger, sacrifices Kaileena and turns himself into a sand god, while the Prince gets "infected" with the Sands, which turns him into part sand-monster at various points during the game. In these segments, the Dark Prince (as he's called) wields a huge chain, which can not only demolish bad guys, but is also used to swing Bionic Commando-style from walls and ceilings. The problem is, the Dark Prince's health is constantly depleting, so he has to pick up magical Sands every couple of seconds, making these parts feel like annoying time trials. The Dark Prince also plays a big role in the plot, as the "good" and "bad" parts of the Prince's personality argue and bicker like Gollum from Lords of the Rings. The gameplay is further mixed up with a few exciting chariot race segments, although they can get quite frustrating, since the chariots tend to fall apart quite easily.

The new additions are nice, but the gameplay and setting still just feels too similar to the predecessors, especially since these have been coming out at a yearly pace. Judged on its own, however, The Two Thrones is still very good.

A year after release, this game was ported to the PSP and Wii under the name Prince of Persia: Rival Swords. The Wii version adds WiiMote functionality for fighting, which doesn't seem exactly necessary, and also removes all of the blood in order to receive a Teen rating. The PSP version once again has a handful of extra stages.

The PC version is available DRM free at GOG.com.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Director:

  • Jean-Christophe Guyot

Genre:

Themes:


The Two Thrones (Xbox)

The Two Thrones (Xbox)

The Two Thrones (Xbox)

The Two Thrones (Xbox)

The Two Thrones (Xbox)


Screenshot Comparison


Additional Screenshots


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Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones - Mobile (2005)

The mini version of The Two Thrones finally brings over almost all moves of the "big" prince. Wall jumps are back, though not nearly as frustrating, along with pole swinging, air attacks and the obligatory wall running. The combat system is even more advanced, although unfortunately it also introduces quick time events, mostly with the bigger mini boss minotaurs and giant snakes.

The controls are much more responsive than ever before, in the beginning it almost feels as if the game plays itself, until the later sections that require more complex maneuvers make the still flawed input recognition apparent. Slow motion is used a bit more frequently, although for the most part it's activated automatically in particularly cinematic situations, when the prince has to duck under a boulder or dodge the two giant snakes so they bump into each other with their heads.

Of course this wouldn't be The Two Thrones without the Dark Prince, and there are several fireplaces that serve as transformation triggers. Like on the consoles, the hero wears a powerful whip used not only to subdue enemies, but also to go Indiana Jones and use far away poles to swing out of dangerous situations. In best Prince of Persia tradition, the fight against "yourself" isn't missing, either.

The Two Thrones for mobile phones still has the disadvantage that it is for mobile phones, but if you get stranded on an island with no other gaming devices, it's one of the better action game choices you can make.

Quick Info:

Developer:

  • Gameloft

Publisher:

  • Gameloft

Director:

  • Yu Fei

Genre:

Themes:




Battles of Prince of Persia - NDS (2005)

Cover

Prince of Persia had reached the height of its popularity - high time to milk the franchise with some spin-offs. Battles of Prince of Persia is supposed to take place in between The Sands of Time and Warrior Within. Babylon is under attack, but instead of going on a magic adventure on his own as he used to, the Prince hires troops to fend off the Indian Vizier's army and other enemies.

During the rounds, Battles plays out like any other turn-based strategy war game. You move your units, take care of the positioning of your troops and attack the enemy by pointing on the main map on the lower screen. The upper one is used for status information and the mini map. The focus on stylus controls is a bit inconvenient, as you have to press up on the directional pad while dragging the stylus over the screen to scroll.

However, Battles of Prince of Persia is also a card game. Prior to each turn, you chose one card from your deck (which can be configured in the options menus). Some are simply used for movement, while others represent the usual repertoire of status buffs and spells. Each card comes with a number, which determines how many units it can be used to. So when playing a simple movement card with number 3, you can move three units in that move. There's a catch, though: The game is further divided into "hours", and each unit can only be used once per hour. When both players have moved all their units, the game progresses to the next hour, and a new hand of cards is drawn from the deck.

Aside from the 24 story missions, you can also engage in simple skirmishes against another player or the CPU. A map from the story missions is freely chosen for those, together with a winning condition (defeat enemy army, defeat enemy general, protect flag) and the size of your army. The graphics are functional at best, never especially pretty (aside from the hand-drawn cutscenes in mural style) or interesting.

One cannot help but wonder about the existence of this game. Who thought fans of a series of platformers would be the ideal target group for a card-based TBS? Because of the limitation of moves per turn and hour, the game is extremely slow paced, quite contrary to the fast and fluid gameplay the real Prince of Persia games players knew and loved. Even the cover partly recycled from Warrior Within screams "half-assed". It's definitely not a must-play title, even (or especially not) for die-hard fans of the series.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Lead Designer:

  • Stéphane Brochu

Genre:

Themes:


Battles of Prince of Persia (NDS)

Battles of Prince of Persia (NDS)

Battles of Prince of Persia (NDS)


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Introduction
Prince of Persia (1989)

Page 2:
Prince of Persia (SNES)
Prince of Persia Classic
Screenshot Comparison

Page 3:
The Shadow & The Flame
The Shadow and The Flame

Page 4:
Arabian Nights
Harem Adventures
Special Edition

Page 5:
The Sands of Time

Page 6:
Warrior Within
The Two Thrones
Battles of Prince of Persia

Page 7:
Prince of Persia (2008)
The Fallen King

Page 8:
The Forgotten Sands (Consoles)

Page 9:
The Forgotten Sands (Portables)

Page 10:
The Graphic Novel
Before the Sandstorm
The Sands of Time (Movie)

Discuss on the Forums!

Back to the Index