Wii

North America

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

by Neal Ronaghan - May 23, 2010, 10:49 am PDT
Total comments: 14

8

Is this Wii-exclusive version of the new Prince of Persia game worth it?

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, the first entry in the series made specifically for Wii, is exactly what you would expect if you've played any of the other games in the series. There is solid platforming that has you running along walls and jumping over gaps, combat that drags the game down, and a mildly interesting story that wouldn't be out of place in an Arabian Nights storybook. The Forgotten Sands doesn't reinvent the wheel, but since it's coming from such a strong background (the Sands of Time trilogy), it doesn't have to.

The Wii enhancements don't add a whole lot to the game, though they are interesting at times. The hook of the game is found in three Wii pointer-controlled powers. The Spirit Hook, used on walls, allows you to place rings so you can bridge gaps; the Whirlwind, used on the ground, shoots you up into the air to reach new areas; and the Magical Sphere, which you get late in the game, gives you the ability to save yourself from missed jumps. The game doesn't overwhelm you with these powers, and their introductions are very well-paced. The first few hours of the game even throws on a form of training wheels, as you can only use the powers in specified areas. After that, you're allowed to use the powers at will.

For the most part, the pointer control of each power are based on context and work well, except when the Magical Sphere shows up and occasionally causes you to place a Spirit Hook on a wall in the background instead of saving your skin. The powers also have combat uses, but the jerky camera control in combat makes it difficult to train your pointer on a foe.

Wii controls also factor heavily into the combat, which is the low point of the game. Basic gesture controls are used for attacks, which works most of the time. The best part of the combat is the upgrade system that adds more powerful moves as you defeat enemies and complete Heroic Challenges, which are more or less a form of Xbox 360 Achievements. The boss fights sprinkled throughout the game are large in scope, but really boil down to quick time events.

The platforming is spot on. You can move around from area to area with great ease, narrowly avoiding the different obstacles. If you're familiar with the series, it isn't anything too terribly new, but newcomers to the series will likely be wowed by the quality.

Graphically, The Forgotten Sands is hit or miss. The art direction is appealing, but the technical quality of the graphics is lackluster, looking more like a middle-of-the-road GameCube game than a Wii game. The sound is in a similar vein, with some sections having good sound design, and other sections lacking sound in some places.

There are a number of unlockables scattered throughout, including the Super Nintendo version of the original Prince of Persia. Unfortunately, that version is pretty awful, but the rest of the content is solid. The highlight of the unlockables is a retro-styled 2D bonus level that is reminiscent of - and better than - the Super Nintendo game that's included.

The Forgotten Sands is a good game, but it's really just more of the same if you've played a recent entry in the Prince of Persia series. The Wii additions aren't essential, boiling down to basic Wii Remote pointer control. If you're hankering for a new Prince of Persia experience this game is worth it, but it's not going to win any accolades for originality.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 6 8 8.5 8.5 8
Graphics
6

Despite the overall weak graphics, the art direction makes the game interesting to look at.

Sound
6

The voice acting is alright, even though the Prince sounds like a jackass when he bellows "I'm the king of the world" after healing. Outside of that, the music is good when it's there.

Control
8

Outside of the gesture-based combat and quick time events, the controls work very well. Pointer interaction is easy to accomplish while maneuvering around the environment with the analog stick and jumping with the A button on the Wii Remote.

Gameplay
8.5

It's more of the Prince of Persia platforming goodness that's shown up in almost every entry in the series since The Sands of Time. While it lacks a lot of the wow factor of the past games, it's still just as fun.

Lastability
8.5

Clocking in at more than 10 hours, there's a long quest to go through. Throw in the Heroic Challenges and the numerous unlockables, and you have a complete game experience with a decent amount of replayability.

Final
8

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is a quality experience made exclusively for Wii, and that fact shines through despite lackluster graphics and poor combat. The excellent platforming that made the Prince of Persia series classic is ever-present, making this a good game for any fans of the series.

Summary

Pros
  • Great platforming true to the Prince of Persia series
  • Lots of unlockables
Cons
  • Lackluster combat
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

vuduMay 23, 2010

Any plans to play the PS3/360 version?  I'd be interested in knowing how different the two games are and which version is the "best".

ControlerFleXMay 23, 2010

For some strange reason I dont feel inclined to play this game. Liked it for the NES all the way to The Two Thrones........ yeah yeah I know, but I liked it. Didn't play the 2008 version either due to those wonderful reviews.

With this one being so close to and maybe tied into the movie, I don't think it will have the IT factor of the Prince of Persia games of the past. And with the Walt Disney tag I'm sure this title wont hit the bargain bin either. Used it is..... oh wait am I allowed to say that?

TJ SpykeMay 23, 2010

It doesn't have anything to do with the movie (and Disney has zero control over the game), Ubisoft just decided to capitalize on the press from the movie by releasing a new PoP game at the same time.

Besides, they had that awesomely-ported GameCube PoP engine just sitting around not making them any money.

I wish I had the comparison of the 360/PS3 version, but I don't...for now. I plan on renting it or something down the line.

ZoltanMay 24, 2010

Quote from: TJ

It doesn't have anything to do with the movie (and Disney has zero control over the game), Ubisoft just decided to capitalize on the press from the movie by releasing a new PoP game at the same time.

I wonder why they don't do that with other movie licensed games, when you know that a movie is being talked about just start making a game with the property and don't be boged down by having little time because it has to be like the film.  Sure this PoP game may not be the greatest predecessor to Sands of Time but compared to other licensed movie games (since the movie is based on a game can you call it that?) I'm sure it's godly.

Another example is that Pirates of the Caribbean game they're making that isn't tied into a film, just let the developers finish then wait to release it when the newest movie comes out.  The profit might not be as instant but you'd sure sell a lot more.

I have a feeling Arkham Asylum 2 might go in this direction.

ZoltanMay 24, 2010

Quote from: NWR_Neal

I have a feeling Arkham Asylum 2 might go in this direction.

That's actually another good one, though this is all from a business standpoint, not necessarily from a "I want game as soon as possible" standpoint.

StratosMay 25, 2010

Lord of the Rings saw a couple book related games come out like War of the Ring and The Hobbit during the films release windows. Hobbit was actually a pretty good Zelda clone/platmormer on Gamecube. Very well made I would say.

Didn't The Hobbit has absolutely nothing to do with the films, though? It was made with the book license if I recall correctly.

While it's been delayed for over a year, Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest has a similar concept to it.

StratosMay 25, 2010

You know they were hoping to play off of the whole Middle-Earth craze that was going on at the time.

Quote from: Stratos

You know they were hoping to play off of the whole Middle-Earth craze that was going on at the time.

No doubt.

StratosMay 25, 2010

You should check it out for an episode of Extra Life.

I actually already played it to completion, so that kind of breaks the rules I set up right now.

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Genre Adventure
Developer Ubisoft
Players1
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Release May 18, 2010
PublisherUbisoft
RatingTeen
eu: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
Release May 13, 2010
PublisherUbisoft
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