Friday, April 23, 2010

VGR PoP2 The Shadow and the Flame

I know some people may like it, but this is, like always, my own personal opinion on this game :P
I'm a huuuuuuge fan of the original...It's the kind of game I play at least once per year, and it never gets old.
But the second one.. it's...another thing....

PS: This is for the console ports! I still haven't tried the DOS/MAC versions! This is for the SNES and unreleased MD versions!

Edit2010/09/02: Updated template to current one instead of the huge JPG picture I had before.  

VGR: Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame
From Brøderbund
Played on SNES & Megadrive
Also available on Dos, Mac, unlockable in Sands of Time (Xbox)

Type Action/Sidescrolling platformer
Year 1994

The prince thought he had just defeated Jaffar and would be able to take his place next to the princess...
But things are never easy in Persia!

This is the direct follow up to the original classic "Prince of Persia".
Jordan Mechner, its creator, wasn't directly implicated on this one (he was just involved overseeing it). instead it was developed by Broderbund who ported the first game over all available systems at the time.

The game was only released on Pc, Mac and SNES. A Megadrive version was actually completed but not released because "it didn't met Sega's quality expectations" at the time (oh-oh).

I actually played through both versions, writing down and keeping passwords each couple of levels to go through both versions at the same time...

Sometimes, Sega fans and Nintendo fans fight over their own versions of the same games...
Which one's best? N-fans prefer their own kind of music and visuals, and their controlers. S-fans prefer the actual arcade feel on their system, their 16-bit different type of sound or the good ol' Sega pads...

Well this time i guess both will agree for once.
Both version suck.
That's right! Maybe you want to disagree, but let me explain!
Afterall, Sega did cancel their completed port's release for a reason!

But first, here's the plot: eleven days after the last game's ending the prince was enjoing his time in the palace. when one day, he found the evil Jaffar impersonating him next to the princess and the sultan of Persia. what
did he do right then?
Jump to the next window to escape the guards....and the game starts!!

So the game starts kinda crazy, good thing right?
Huh... maybe not...

While the first game is the basis for all great adventure platformers emphasising puzzles and somewhat exploration, this one's much more orientated duel and combat.

In the first game, the engine was great. There was a learning curve of course, but when you died, it was mostly because the player sucked.
This time you'll die, because the game's cheap. And there are lots of flaws on the game's part.

The graphics are better this time, much more console-oriented maybe, but I find it kinda lacking something...
The last game had a 8-bit impression (it was an 80s dos game afterall), this time they tried to play with reliefs and camera angles.
But it looks a bit strange from time to time....
There are some nice attempts in the skies and backgrounds... but the more present caves and corridors are dull and boring....
Also more than 60% of it seems to be a rehash of the original's Prince of Persia.

And the music... Ow, my ears....
The first game has some classic tunes in the console ports. but this one, may you play it on a SNES or MD, you won't prefer one soundtrack over the other!!
It's horrible, awfull, repetitive... you will turn off the sound if you want to finish this one!!

And now some specific points over both versions.
(ps. I have not played yet the Mac and Dos versions, maybe they are somehow better).

In the snes port, everything seems accelerated. My guess, the game seemed a bit slow for a 16-bit game. So they simply added some speed in the engine. It makes some traps and specially the numerous countless fights really really annoying! I don't play Prince of Persia for dull repetitive combats and running through the scenery at the speed of sound, but for the platformer aspect and the precision of its engine!!
Also there's a good bunch of glitches in traps, floors and elements.

The megadrive version, even if not released, was perfectly finished. I mean, as much as it could have!
It couldn't have been better if it had been sold back then!

The game's pretty much the same, some backgrounds have different details but the experience's exactly the same. I find the controls a bit better in this one, but it may just be because I'm more familiar with this system. there was no glitches with traps here, and the game runs at the same speed as the original 1st PoP here.
Still, the overall places and puzzles are the same, keeping the cheap deaths, lackbuster level design and all the combats. I really hate fighting many foes at once. The engine wasn't made for that!!!
No options in this port - the music can't be turned off here (simply mute your tv or emulation program!!).
The jumps aren't like in the Snes version, but more like in the first game, making some large sections in this sequel very annoying....

However the game seemed to me a bit better than the released Snes port... very odd impression...

Overall: You will die a lot in this game, not because of your gameplay but because of the game poor design....

In theory it seemed like a great concept.
Loved the first game? This one's just the same with more new levels, a somewhat more interesting plot (the prince runs off, go on a strange island, finds the source of his shadow-y clone from the first game, goes back to persia, fights again jaffar...).
And more fights!
But really the first game was a classic, not because of its plot or fights.... The game should have stayed true to its roots, as a platformer, and offered more interesting level design like in the first game! Not just bland levels, throwing around tons of enemies...and the music, oh god.. the music... my ears need some old school 8-bit
goodness to erase that noise...

It's kinda surprising to see Nintendo's Seal of Quality on this one, specially since Sega didn't approve there port!

I would say "try it" if the music and levels were better... it's still nice to know about the original prince of persia trilogy of games... (before Ubisoft's take)
But this one... went really annoying across the middle and it's pretty long! (there's still a time limit but you'll have to try it more than once to beat it!)

Conclusion, nowhere close to the first one. They tired to re-do the first game while adding more combat without changing the formula...

I give it:

 1.5 / 3 Bruces !
3/3 a must play 2/3 give it a try 1/3 bad game and 0/3 run from it! 

No comments:

Post a Comment