Video Games Without Borders: Prince of Persia

The Sands and Time
of the Minarets, a Pasha and three Thieves who stole the treasure of the Sultan’s older son. Because it interests them a lot more the gold than the donzelle, since no precious bridesmaids will decide to join their Harem. The aim of the game – and of the pasha – is to chase the three thieves, reach them as little as possible and then retrieve the muddy. All in a world that recreates that of the classic fairy tales. But this is only the story that Games Without Borders decided to tell in the distance in 1973, as the good Prince was touched on a much tougher test.

The First Prince of Persiais remembered to date as one of the most important adventure titles ever, thanks also to the quality of the animations never before seen in such a title. Mechner used the technique of “rotoscoping”, which allowed him to recreate jumps, races and ropes with incredible realism.

All played strictly without interruption within an hour of time. Prince of Persiawas a really amazing achievement, succeeding in converting to the major platforms and home computers of the era, from Amiga to NES, passing through the Game Boy, then reaching the 16-bit consoles, namely Super Nintendo and SEGA Mega Drive, in a revised and accurate edition that kept all its charm intact.

A first sequel, made in 1993,Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame, and this time played the player on a mysterious island, always paying attention to the machinations of the perfidious Jaffar, who decided to take the prince’s appearance as revenge for the wrong in the original chapter. Prince of Persia 2 did not distance itself too far from the predecessor’s formula, even though offering an even better technical compartment and a much more articulated plot than it did in 1989.

Unfortunately, however, the Prince’s plunder suffered an abrupt setback due to Prince of Persia 3D, who despite the supervision of the creator of the Jordan Mechner series, turned out to be a title unable to cope with the success of previous episodes, even failing to keep an eye on the rising stars of that period (that is, the first Tomb Raider by Eidos Interactive).

Video Games Without Borders: Prince of Persia

Prince Warrior
After years of silence, where Prince of Persia was forgotten by most, Ubisoft decided to make it return to the splendor of a time thanks to a real second youth. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time , released in 2003 on the now-widespread 128-bit consoles, gained a fairly lightning success, thanks to a gameplay focusing first on the chance to rewind time with a mysterious dagger given to the Prince .

This allowed him to easily avoid death, although the use of the special powers of the weapon was obviously not infinite. Note: In The Sands of Time it was possible to unlock the original Prince of Persia of 1989 in its full version.

Ubisoft then succeeded in giving life to the prince, thanks to a series of sequels more or less faithful to his parent: Prince of Persia: Warrior Spirit , followed by Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones . Finally, it was the turn of Prince of Persia Revelations and Battles of Prince of Persia for portable consoles.

The trouble comes to the fore when Ubisoft decided to “reset” everything he had done good with the previous chapters, in favor of an aesthetically stunning title but lacking all the charm – and playability – that had characterized the series up to then. Simply called Prince of Persia, the 2008 title was distancing itself from the trilogy started with The Sands of Time, proposing a Prince of Warcraft and long tongue, in psychedelic settings and full of colors thanks to the technique of cel shading.

Accompanied by the princess of the kingdom in which the story takes place, Elika, our Prince could not die in any way, since every fall was a rescue by the donzella. This completely sacrificed the sense of challenge, limiting everything to the harvest of light seeds (well 1001). Despite the success of critics and public, Ubisoft realized that the game could not have followed and decided to return to his footsteps with Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, chapter eight in order of time and set between the Sands of Time and Warrior Spirit.

The game, despite taking on many of the 128-bit chapters of luck, was not particularly impressed with the hearts and minds of gamers who were “distracted” by another series that was born in those years, real heir to Prince’s adventures. I’m clearly talking about Althair and the Order of the Assassins. But this, after all, is another story.