Prince of Persia Shadow & Flame Review

Prince of Persia Shadow & Flame Review

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.prince1

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.

Prince of Persia Review

Prince of Persia Review

Sep 24, 2012

Ubisoft just dropped Prince of Persia on Android fans. You know what?

It’s about time.

For fans of the Prince of Persia franchise, this will be welcome news. For others, it will be a gateway to fandom.

I was pleasantly surprised by the way the developer designed the gameplay. It is always tricky porting a popular PC/console title to mobile OSes, but in my estimation, Ubisoft comes as close to making it happen as I have seen. Any qualms I might have had about the 2-D nature of the game were summarily quashed as soon as I got my fingers on the screen.

Working to save the ubiquitous damsel in distress, I guided our hero through a dark and trap-laden structure, with sword-wielding guards serving as extra garnish. I learned how to use levered squares on the ground to open up gates. A lot of jumping, crouching and running were involved. Timing was everything, or else I would fall to my demise with sharpened stakes. Visual cues were important. Red stains on the ground meant danger, and I learned to avoid or jump over those parts. Invoking Kenny Rogers, I had to know when to hold ’em, and when to fold ’em; early on, I learned taking on a swordsman with my bare hands was foolhardy. There were different paths on the map, but not all were made equally.

And the map did help with navigation. It was a nice addition to the gameplay, as it gave you a visual representation of your location and your goal. There were a number of different ways to get there, and I liked the explorative idea behind movement (there was the option to work with guidance).

Another cool aspect was the sword-fighting. Assuming I had procured the right equipment, I could take on Jaffar’s minions, using a sword and shield. Graphically, the presentation was simple, but I found it effective, especially within the storyline. Tossing in stats with a social neworking element was an innovative way to keep folks coming back. It’s rare for me to find a game that literally makes it tough for me to review because I can’t put it down. Thanks a lot Ubisoft. Thanks.