Jul 30, 2013
My cardinal rule for sequels of successful games? Don’t do ’em unless, well, you can outdo the preceding one.
Ubisoft did well with Prince of Persia. Mobile games that emanate from desktop titles can be hit or horifically miss. I thought the original was pretty good, so Prince of Persia Shadow & Flame one does have some living up to do. As to be expected, the comparisons to the original have to be made.
The first upgrade that will stand out is the change to the controls. In the original, the virtual joystick held sway. It was easy to understand, and the extra moves were fairly simple to invoke.
In the new iteration, gestures make up the most of the default control set and I like that the gestures are mostly intuitive. Slashes control running, upward and downward maneuvering, and even attack moves. There are button taps as well for some things, but it was nice that the game is fairly generous with regards to gesture placement. For folks who would rather have a d-pad, that option remains.
The gameplay is similar as well; our hero rolls through in the side-scrolling adventure, scaling walls, jumping over gaps and fighting off defenders. The fighting scenes are a battle of life-bars, with defense and attack. There is at least a little bit of dueling skill required for this, and it pays to have health bonuses handy. Defeated foes yield coins for collection. There are plenty of hazards and otherworldly enemies, so the action rarely ceases.
The scenery is fantastic. I loved the graphics, and how the developer was able to bring the sun-drenched structures that make up the virtual playing environment to life. This one starts out outdoors, and the general artwork of the exterior structures was well rendered, The animations did have a subtle hint of stiffness, but were smooth in most places.
For anyone who enjoyed the previous title in the serious, this one should be a welcome reboot. For those new to the mobile franchise, it should be a treat.