Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PS3 Essentials) PlayStation 3
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Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PS3 Essentials) Product Details
Released on Sep-2012
- Classic Gameplay Reinvented: From huge-scale multi-enemy combat to dizzying feats of acrobatic prowess in gigantic environments enhanced by the Prince’s ability to control nature and time, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will push the Prince’s prodigious abilities to unseen levels.
- A Blockbuster Experience: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will offer players unforgettable set pieces made possible by the advanced technology offered by the award-winning Anvil engine. With all-out war at the gates of the kingdom, the Prince’s abilities will be challenged like never before through the course of epic wow moments.
- Mastery Over Nature: Wielding powers of nature and time, the Prince will have unparalleled mastery over his environment and his enemies. The Prince will discover that harnessing the forces of nature itself will prove to be a devastating companion to his ability to rewind time.
- Return of a Fan-Favourite Franchise: Set between Prince of Persia The Sands of Time and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will provide fans a new chapter in the Prince of Persia universe and deepen their understanding of the Sands of Time series.
Most people try and shed a few pounds after Christmas, but Sony has only gone and cut down the already slim PlayStation 3 in preparation for the festive season.
At 2.1kg the new model weighs less than half of what the original - and now rather chunky-looking - PlayStation 3 did. It's even lighter by a quarter than the current slim model. Part of the reason its able to shed so much weight is because it now has a top-loading sliding disc compartment rather than the current automated slot system.
The announcement was made as the Tokyo Games Show kicked off in Japan, but the good news is we won't have to wait very long for the benefits to reach our shores. The new console will be available in two distinct models and the first, which comes with a hefty 500Gb hard drive, will be on sale in Europe from September 28th. That's next week, for those without a calendar.
A cheaper alternative, with 12Gb of internal storage, will launch a few weeks later on October 12th. For those who buy that model but decide they need more space, a standalone external 250Gb hard drive will also go on sale, as well as a vertical stand for those who like their consoles perpendicular.
Various games will also be bundled with the console, including Assassin's Creed III and the upcoming interactive Move title, Wonderbook: Book of Spells. There'll be a FIFA 13 bundle as well, exclusive to GAME.
Coinciding with the new console is a range of budget PlayStation 3 games under the Essentials banner. Uncharted, Resistance, LittleBigPlanet, God of War III, Assassin's Creed and Far Cry 2 are among the titles you'll be able to pick up for less than twenty quid.
Clearly, Sony is hoping to lure away a few potential Wii U customers. Which will you pick for your winter gaming needs?
Stop the clocks
Cher may have sung about her desire to turn back time, but it was Ubisoft that made it a reality. Now they're using the ability to rewind and restart to skip past the minor speedbump that was the rather easy 2008 Prince of Persia and restore the series to its roots. Roots, in this case, being the evergreen Sands of Time, which landed on PS2, Xbox and PC.
Forgotten Sands is a sequel to that game, though you wouldn't know it. If you're worried that your lack of familiarity with a seven-year-old game will hold you back, don't sweat it - the debt is thematic rather than narrative, with visual style and controls carried over while the story follows its own path.
This being Prince of Persia, that path is likely to take you up, over, through and round a dizzying array of vertigo-inducing obstacle courses. You're dashing through a war torn Arabian palace, trying to save your brother from the evil influence of a gigantic demon, but the tissue-thin plot is really just an excuse to get you up and (free) running.
King of the swingers
Crisp control means you can throw yourself, literally, into the challenge with confidence, safe in the knowledge that the Prince's balance and aim won't let you down. The camera occasionally wobbles as it points the way ahead, but any frustration will come from your own sloppy timing rather than any technical stumbles along the way.
Whether you're vaulting over deadly traps, or swinging to safety hundreds of feet above ground, simply clambering around the game's adventure playground levels is a joy in itself, and while the scenery never changes from start to end, everything looks and feels just right. And, of course, if you do make a fatal mistake, you can always reverse time a little and try again. The feature may be old and a little overexposed, but it remains incredibly useful.
The repertoire of parkour-inspired moves is expanded with the rather brilliant ability to turn numerous water features solid at the press of a shoulder button. Turning waterfalls and fountains into pillars and walls, and back again, it opens up a clever new avenue for navigational puzzles, and tests your skills at timed button presses to the limit. The precision required perhaps gets a little too fussy in the final stretch before the obligatory big final boss battle, but any frustration is converted into elation when you finally master a tricky sequence.
Dying for a slash
Combat isn't quite as inventive, falling back on the old hack-and-slash melee style popularised by God of War and Devil May Cry. The Prince doesn't have the same rich combo heritage to draw on, however, and with no block move the fights are reduced to tumbling away from enemies before battering the buttons to chop them into sand. At least you won't get lonely - the improved graphics engine means you can be facing upwards of fifty enemies at a time.
Each monster destroyed earns you some experience, which in turn transforms into skill points that you can use to unlock and develop your stats, as well as four elemental magic powers. These leave fiery trails behind you, send waves of ice crashing forwards, summon tornadoes or encase you in stone armour. None are as impressive as you'd hope, even at their highest level, but they're effective enough at clearing a space during a massive ruck.
After the 2008 game, which often felt only loosely connected to Prince of Persia's long gaming heritage, this is an unmistakable return to form.
Don't come looking for surprises or new ideas, but if you pine for the swashbuckling days of yore, a weekend in the Prince's company is still hard to beat.
- A return to form for a classic series.
- Some fiendish level design.
- Exploration is a thrill.
- Later sections require a lot of patience.
- Slim story and dull characters.
- Nothing to do with the movie.
With Prince of Persia returning to consoles in the very same month the Hollywood version hits the big screen, what better excuse to look back at how others have fared when games and films overlap?
The Game: Nimble, athletic acts of derring-do played out against a colourful Arabian Nights backdrop since 1989. The graphics have changed, but gameplay still focuses on the simple pleasures of swishy swordplay and stunts that laugh in the face of physics.
The Movie: Based on the 2003 game, The Sands of Time, this shamelessly entertaining romp captures the daredevil thrills of the game perfectly, while inserting appropriate amounts of character and story. The yummy Jake Gyllenhaal and the yummier Gemma Arterton supply the eye candy and witty banter, while Ben Kingsley camps it up as the villainous Vizier.
Verdict: Since the original game was inspired by Errol Flynn's swashbuckling antics, Prince of Persia was always ripe for the movie treatment. Thankfully, they got it right.
The Game: The fighting fan's franchise of choice for over twenty years, this venerable series continues to go from strength to strength with the superbly balanced refinement of Super Street Fighter IV, released last month. Crazy characters with sublime gameplay - it doesn?t get much better than this.
The Movies: Oh dear. The 1994 movie version is terrible, but has at least taken on a certain cheesy charm over the years, if only for the bizarre pairing of Jean Claude Van Damme as Guile and Kylie Minogue as Cammy. The laughably bad 2009 movie slipped past cinemas and went straight to DVD, more dull than demented. For a truly faithful film experience, fans should stick to the Street Fighter II anime.
Verdict: Bizarre characters smashing each other to a pulp should be perfect B-movie fodder, but the lack of plot combined with dense backstory keeps tripping Street Fighter up.
The Movie: A seminal combination of action, comedy and horror, the 1984 original is still one of the most enjoyable and quotable blockbusters around. The 1989 sequel repeats the formula to disappointing effect, but the cast manage to keep things lively even as the story droops into slimy sentimentality.
The Game: There have been several Ghostbusters games over the years, but it wasn't until 2009 that we got something that truly recaptured the movie's unique tone. Having Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis on script duty helped, but getting the notoriously reluctant Bill Murray to return was a real coup. Strip away the fan-pleasing scenarios and dialogue and it's just another corridor shooter, but a shamelessly entertaining one all the same.
Verdict: It took twenty five years, but the result was an affectionate game that expanded and honoured its source material rather than just exploiting it.
The Games: Really? You need this explaining? The most successful videogame franchise in history. A catalogue of nigh perfect game design. A series that continues to inspire and innovate, whether its New Super Mario Bros on the DS or Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii. If you hate Mario, you have no soul. That?s science, people.
The Movie: Urgh. Look away, children! Taking the bright, inviting worlds created by Miyamoto and drowning them in an oily mess of techno-grunge architecture and smug 1990s blockbusterisms, this is one of the worst films ever made. Bob Hoskins has the moustache and dungarees, but the film bears no resemblance to the games, either in quality or intent. Horrible.
Verdict: Burn it with fire. The perfect videogame hero, Mario simply doesn't translate to live action. Never try this again, Hollywood.
The Games: Bombastic sci-fi horror with a parade of tough cops and military types creeping around mansions and secret labs trying - and spectacularly failing - to contain the monster-making T-Virus. Since Resident Evil 4 the games have become more about action than atmosphere, much to the annoyance of some fans.
The Movies: Well, they've got the sci fi and horror bits, and key characters from the games crop up occasionally, but this surprisingly hardy series exists more as an alternate off-shoot from the games than a literal translation. The lack of blood and guts is the number one complaint from fans used to brain-bursting headshots.
Verdict: Both are as daft and camp as each other, but apart from sharing a title and some characters, there's not much connection between the two. Harmless dumb fun.
The Games: Posh girl Lara Croft travels the globe, locating ancient relics, battling supernatural forces and shooting endangered species while wearing the very latest in bottom-and-boob hugging outfits. Some would say her appeal has dimmed in recent years, as developers struggle to find new ways to do the same old thing, but she's still a force to be reckoned with.
The Movies: All the pieces are there, but the fact that both the Angelina Jolie-starring efforts have been average (and that's being generous) suggests that you need more than an ass-kicking babe and exotic locations to make a good movie.
Verdict: The movies are accurate enough in translating all the important elements of Lara to the big screen, but her exploits are inevitably more interesting when you're controlling every leap and scramble.
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