1.03.2009

The New Prince of Persia

I like the latest Prince of Persia, but as I've been playing it, I keep noticing certain things that drive me crazy. Everyone's praised this game for the fact that you don't die and have to restart, and I like this feature. But I still find myself having to do complex platforming sections over and over (and over and over...and OVER AND OVER AD NAUSEUM) because the section where I'm supposed to go next isn't well lit or the camera doesn't swing around in time to show me the jump I'm supposed to be making. Then I miss, and I have to restart from the very beginning. (Right now I'm experiencing this in the Spire of Dreams, but I've struggled throughout the game.)

Obviously, not many other people are having this problem, or the game wouldn't be receiving accolades as easy and "casual-friendly." But because of this challenge, I'm probably not going to finish the game, even though I really really want to! I just don't have time to keep doing the same jump sequence until my creaky fingers press all the buttons just right. Nap time (when my son is sleeping is my only real time to play games) is precious, and after trying something 10 times or more, I just say, "Basta!"

The other thing that I'm completely confused about is combat. I understand the combos (though I really had to study the combo tree to figure out how the system worked). But I just can't get used to the way the game constantly reminds you to block by flashing "RT" (for the Right Trigger button) on the screen. If this has to do with the counter system that was explained briefly in the tutorial, well, I missed or forgot that part. All I know is that *just* as I'm getting ready to attempt a great combo, the game reminds me that all I can do at that point is block. I think. Or am I missing something? Am I actually supposed to spend half my time in combat pressing RT and waiting for my turn? And if this isn't the case (which I hope it isn't, because pressing RT and waiting isn't any fun), then why hasn't the game, which obviously has a huge fondness for flashing text on the screen in the middle of combat, reminded me how to do a counter? Or given me any way to figure out how to do it? I'm not complaining that the combat is too hard, because it isn't. I just don't like being forced into blocking all the time, and I wish the game gave me a way to enjoy the combos and be more active in combat.

I've always loved this series' acrobatic platforming, and this game does that better than ever. But I also loved how the previous games' levels were sort of like puzzles you had to solve, as well as being tests of your reflexes. This game loses the puzzle-solving and mostly just has you power through levels, pressing Y or trying again when in doubt. I miss the puzzles a bit, but -- when I don't have to redo sections because I couldn't tell where or when I was supposed to jump -- I'm enjoying the faster action of this game. And I am still totally digging the architecture and ambiance. Sure, the corny dialogue and voice acting do tend to kill the vibe, but it's a rare game that lets you gaze out at gorgeous vistas while teetering on a ledge that feels like it's a mile high in the sky.

So I'm pretty bummed that I'm not going to finish it. (At least they packed a whole lot of achievement points into the first half-hour of the game!)

Also: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

9 comments:

polg said...

The repetition side of things sounds like Mirror's Edge, did you try that one? I really enjoyed it even though there were sections I had to play over and over.
And I can't believe that at this time and age developers still struggle to deliver good cameras -sigh-

Alex said...

Different strokes I guess, I thought this game was super easy.
I'm curious though about your problems with the game. Is it just that that you lack the dexterity to do the platforming or are you having trouble with they way the game essentially buffers your commands?
For example, if you're running along a wall and need to grab the ring that's ahead, you can press the button before you get to the ring and the Prince will still grab it in time (this also brings up the argument some are having that the game is basically one long QTE sequence, but I'm not getting into that)
I know I had some problems where I wasn't sure if the game got my input or not and would end up jumping to my death because I pressed X too many times out of confusion.

Also, that message you're getting telling you to block, I took it as the game telling me when to counter. You just have to get the timing right.
Usually you have to wait a second after that message appears, then tap on the right trigger and you should counter. You should also be able to counter anytime the enemy is attacking, you just have to get the timing down (I'm not 100% sure but I think it's right before the attack hits you; it's been a while...)

Anyway, I hope you stick with it. It's a great game overall, with an ending very reminiscent of Shadow of the Colossus, if that's any consolation :)

Cody W. said...

You're right about those Achievements. At least The Simpsons Game had you push a button to get the first one. This game sort of just gives it too you. Kinda nice, actually ;)

As for the platforming itself, I didn't have a whole lot of problems, and I like that if I fell I wasn't taken back to the beginning of the level. Some parts were a bit annoying though, the sections without a ledge to land on and thus no checkpoint. Overall though I thought it flowed really well.

Graphics are stunning of course, and it makes me wish the next Zelda will do something a little different. And the combat... well, yeah, as a lot of people have said, it's like a big QTE sequence. Too bad, because it looks so pretty as you're fighting, ha ha.

Sadly, I didn't have enough time to finish it.

Jennifer said...

hm. I'll try timing the counter thing, but it hasn't worked so far....

As for the platforming, some of it is dexterity and some of it is what you're describing, Alex. The timing is hard to gauge exactly and the visual cues vague enough that I've been having trouble 'perfecting' a run even with practice. It gets frustrating.

But still, it is a fun game!

Dan said...

I actually liked the dialogue and characters, I think I listened to it all. I also miss the puzzles, although there are a few if you want to find some hard to reach 'light seeds.' For me, each enemy in the other PoP games was a puzzle in figuring out how to sneak up without alerting them.

Some tips,

-Hold RT to block.
-Press RT right after the enemy attacks to counter.
-Try holding RT to block the first hit and then counter the second.
-If you get knocked down, I heard you can press 'A' repeatedly to get up, but I didn't know this so this is uncomfirmed.
-Learn to notice certain patterns that trigger QTE's such as being near a wall. I found I needed to start pressing 'X' before it told me to get that part.

-Learn one or two combos and you can beat some of the more lengthy fights. I use XXXY - XYA - YXYB - AYY. I usually don't get to the end of the combo, but even the first three parts will drop them to half health.

I found that there were still some cases of trying over and over, but not nearly as much as some of the hang ups in the other PoP games.

Good luck!

Dan said...

Oh, one last tip,

I think your combo is interupted if you're too far away when you start. Try to get a little closer and hold RT to let the enemy get a hit at you. Then you'll know you're close enough to start fighting.

lifeworksbylaura said...

I really enjoyed this game. Completed it twice and got all the achievements.

I completely agree with your frustrations. PoP needed a make over and thats what we got. Better then nothing =). At least they know what issues were brought up from fans and I am sure they will make that next one better.

The Letter D said...

Wow, are you psychic? Was your last issue with EGM, its last issue?

dan said...

You must have some sort of super human attention span to want to finish this game.

I felt like I played three hours of vaguely interactive quick time events.

My OCD and ADD fought an incredible battle those three long hours. The lack of attention finally won, but died shortly there after from wounds sustained.

Sorry to hear about 1up and EGM. Hell of a team.