|System: X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PSP, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Casablanca||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 18, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Much like the Sands of Time trilogy, the Prince still has the ability to use sand to a few different ends in order to help out in his journey. The two major powers you'll make use of are the ability to slow down and rewind time. Some specific areas will actually be impassible due to the speed of hazards unless you use your timed slow motion ability. The ability to rewind time is also incredibly useful throughout your adventure, helping to make up for the often finicky controls. Well, that is if it worked properly.
Just as frustrating as the stylus controls is your ability to turn back time and essentially undo your mistakes; it will frequently fail you. A few of the problems with the rewind feature come from level design. One of these major problems is having pits so deep that your ability to rewind time isn't long enough to put you safely back up on the ledge, leaving you to rewind just far enough to see yourself fall again and again without the ability to stop it. Another issue arose from some awkwardness with the way the Prince interacts with his environment. I can't relay the amount of times I've been standing on a tiny ledge just to have the Prince flail uncontrollably off of it to one side down a pit to his death and, given the incredibly limited time allotted for rewinding, there was no way to correct for it. There's nothing like starting a frustrating level over again because you just can't rewind far enough.
Besides the gameplay that seems to only have two settings, boring or frustrating, the visuals of this game are also subpar even for a DS title. The Prince and his many enemies look like character models taken directly from Final Fantasy VII, complete with jaggies and indistinguishable features. Despite the clearly scaled down visuals, you'll still notice things disappearing from the environment from time to time. In one particular level you're tasked with maneuvering a series of mirrors in order to reflect light at some crystals. Even in the flyover the game gives you prior to the challenge, these crystals will pop in and out of existence, making it harder to make a mental inventory of where you'll need to go to solve the challenge.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is truly a missed opportunity. Whether giving you direct, D-pad-and-buttons control over the Prince or just scrapping the 3D visuals in favor of a more classic 2D Prince of Persia experience would have made the game inherently better is debatable. However, what isn't debatable is that this game is made largely unenjoyable thanks to its questionable stylus controls and often useless rewind feature. Those looking to take the Prince for another spin should definitely look elsewhere.
CCC Staff Contributor