Prince of Persia Classic

The first thing to note about Prince of Persia Classic is that it's unlikely to be the forgotten gem that many will imagine. Were it The Sands of Time from the Playstation 2 days, lovingly recreated in high-definition, the story would almost certainly be different, but this particular Classic does more to remind gamers of the great strides achieved in gaming technology over the last decade, as opposed to rejuvinating retro gaming. That said, even this early iteration of the Persia series shouldn't be completely ignored, and ardent fans of the classic Prince will thoroughly enjoy repeat plays, each faster than the last, striving for a higher position on the leaderboards.

Prince of Persia

Like any good retro classic, Prince of Persia is set in two dimensions, though the technology used is advanced enough to add a little texture to things, with multiple layers used to generate a projective effect seperating foreground and back. Character animation is relatively simple, particularly compared with the cell-shaded delights of the 2008 release, but the artistic style is consistent with the backdrops and presents a complete image reminiscent of a serious cartoon. Of course, as with any retro game, graphics are unlikely to be a strong point, unless they're entirely reinvented, along the lines of the masterful Bionic Commando: Rearmed, and similarly the sound is quite basic, with simple effects, minimal voicework and some slightly grating pieces of music.

Such elements can be thoroughly cast aside in any pure retro experience, even on the processing monster that is PS3. Instead, the focus is on lovingly-recreated platforming and combat gameplay. The prince can jump admirably, performing flamboyant backflips and daring leaps, as he navigates various caverns and networks of palace chambers. Gauging every distance precisely is a skill that comes with time, enabling expert players to glide majesitcally through levels, while newcomers languish in the lower levels, unable to even glimpse the swiftest paths. The Prince is armed with a potent poking stick, perhaps a Persian Shamshir, with which he can merrily thwack incoming nasties, and as enemies themselves swiftly become armed, timing begins to play a crucial part, again providing clear separation between beginners and masters.

Prince of Persia

For those not keen on repeat plays and timed challenges, the short length of the game (with a timer counting down from the very beginning) may be somewhat shocking, and without replay value, the game would indeed be best avoided. However, if the addiction sets in, and speed runs are your forte, then like Super Metroid and other 2-D classics, there's scope for an eternal hunt of sorts, seeking out faster and faster times. Unless you're getting paid handsomely, that does seem a little boring though, particularly when other titles on the Store, like Wipeout and Warhawk, offer a fresh experience with every play.

Essentially, Prince of Persia classic will undoubtedly suffer the marmite effect. Some players will switch on, dabble for a few hours and wonder what else there was to do after a quick completion, while others will savour every split-second-saving perfected jump as they relentlessly aim for new, faster routes. If you can predict in advance which category you fall into, buying this game or not with be an extremely easy decision.

Game details

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Review summary


Basic but tuned extremely well


Updated for PS3, but simplistic


Above average, but not outstanding


Not very long, but replayable



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