Today Clearance Bin Review turned two!
It was two years ago today that I launched CBR and published our first review, The Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. By pure chance the opportunity to play the DS version of the game, which I knew to be notably different, came about last week and it seemed like a really fitting way to acknowledge the date. It’s just to bad the game sucked.
The only thing really worse than a movie-tie-in game is a movie-tie-in game for the DS. It is sort of a looking for the lowest common denominator amongst the lowest common denominator situation. While sometimes the results are horrible, many times it is more akin to not actually just reaching the bottom of the barrel but actually drilling a hole in the bottom of that barrel and scraping the moldy and dusty ground underneath.
A 2.5D platformer on the DS though seems like a good chance right? I mean; it’s Prince of Persia, a game that started off as a side scrolling platformer. A series returning to its roots after all these years has to be a good mix, right? Ehh.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands can be forgiven for the more or less lack of story (there is some very basic story outlined between stages), but it is hard to forgive the odd graphics and lackluster gameplay.
Visually the environments look around, and the enemies descent enough, but the prince looks like he may actually belong in the MySims games… or has some sort of brain tumor. He just seems comically out of place and misshapen. I never really got used to it, in fact it bugged me the entire game.
The real pitfall of The Forgotten Sands though is the gameplay. Rather than letting you use the traditional controls to navigate the levels everything is done by the touch pad. No choice either, all touch pad, all the time. The entire game actually takes place on the lower screen. Want to move foreword? Touch the stylus to the spot you want to move. This includes jumping, fighting (move the stylus like you are crossing out the enemies) and any other movement. The end result is that combat is really annoying and problematic and that most of the game just sort of feels like it is on autopilot. It takes away a lot of the fun.
Beyond that; the bosses are horribly anticlimactic, including the end boss, none of them ever took more than one attempt to beat. There are upgrades to be purchased, but by the start of the third act I had already purchased all available. The horse levels, which involve steering your character while riding a horse are absolute garbage and for a game based entirely on touch screen controls, said controls often feel poorly designed.
The Xbox 360 version of The Forgotten Sands wasn’t perfect but it was a pretty enjoyable time and played well enough that it got me to go back and play the earlier Prince of Persia for 360, which I loved. The DS version of The Forgotten Sands just feels like an after thought and never even comes close to living up to what ultimately feels like “the full versions.” When the best thing that can be said for a game is that you can beat it pretty mindlessly it is a good sign to avoid it.
Tomorrow I defend the planet and get a work out in Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth.
Final Rating: 2.5/10
CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: NDS/3DS
Time to completion: ~ 4.5 hours
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: $4.99
Current Price: $3.95 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: Under $3
Why you should buy it: You really need to kill three hours
Why you shouldn’t buy it: You’re DS is currently being used as a paper weight and that is a more valuable use of it.