(Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

Prince of Persia (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

Game Review

Prince of Persia Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Worthy of the throne

Most gamers are familiar with the original Prince of Persia. Its incredibly realistic animations, created by Jordan Mechner from hours of video footage of his brother running and jumping around, made it an instant hit, and it's still one of the most well-known western game franchises today.

Most people, however, are only familiar with the game's original version, released on the Apple II computer and then subsequently ported to pretty much every platform under the sun. Until the recent release of Prince of Persia Classic on XBLA and PSN, this SNES version was the only actual remake of the game around, and it still delivers in spades.

Strangely enough created by Masaya, of Cho Aniki fame, the SNES version of Prince of Persia is essentially the same game as always, but with many, many new features that make it a must-play even for those that know the original inside out. Of course, nothing has changed story-wise: you still play the role of a young man thrown in the palace dungeons by Jaffar, who intends to marry the princess you're in love with in order to seize the throne.

Of course, you can't just allow him to do that, so you'll have to use your athletic skills to acquire a sword, escape the dungeon and subsequently make your way through the palace to defeat him. You'll have to run and jump across gaps, climb up ledges and dodge traps, many of which mean instant death. Of course, the prince isn't like Mario, so falling from too high up will also make your life expectancy shorter. A lot shorter.

It's not just a platforming affair, because you'll also have to solve a lot of puzzles and fight Jaffar's loyal henchmen (as well as the undead) in sword combat. Puzzles basically only come in the form of slightly raised tiles will open certain gates, but you'll often have to figure out a quick way to the gate after stepping on the switch before it shuts. In some cases, you'll even have to find a tile higher up to drop on the switch to keep it pressed down, because the gate shuts too fast otherwise.

Combat is rather simple but nonetheless thrilling, with both you and your enemies having the abilities to attack, move around and parry blows. Most of the guards in the first few levels will hardly even attempt to avoid damage, but you may have to exchange ten or more parries before you can finally land a hit on the stronger guards, indicated by their different colour schemes. Of course, if the environment allows for it, you can also force enemies into traps or even push them off ledges.

Skeletal enemies, on the other hand, will almost never be truly defeated; they'll often simply crumble into a pile of bones only to spring back to life later, so make sure you do what it is you need to do quickly before they come back while you're busy — if an enemy hits you when your sword is sheathed you'll be killed instantly, no matter how much life you have left.

Speaking of life, it can be increased by finding one of the scattered vitality potions. Some are in plain sight, but you'll have to look very carefully for others, for example by visual hints in a room indicating the existence of a secret room beyond a wall. There are also smaller potions which simply restore your life rather than increase it, as well as subtly different small potions which damage you instead. There are other unusual potions to find too,

Since Jaffar has been defeated some 20-odd times on different platforms, for the SNES version he has seen fit to do a bit of redecorating. Instead of the original 13 levels, this version boasts an impressive 20, with two hours to make it to the princess before you lose. Jaffar has also been kind enough to include an optional five level training mode for the new players. How generous.

Of course, you can still proceed through the palace even if you do run out of time, but it'll be for a hopeless cause, as you'll be met with a bad ending after all is said and done. Thankfully, if you get stuck on one level and lose a lot of time before finally figuring out the solution, you won't have to start all over to get the good ending, as the game has a password feature that remembers your current level as well as the remaining time when you entered it.

Many of the game's 20 stages are completely new, but there are also a bunch of levels you might recognise from the original in there. They have been redesigned however, and as such there are some new rooms and rearranged traps, as well as completely new types of traps. While the original also had a handful of bosses, there are a couple more here, including one very unique new one who doesn't actually fight you with a sword.

The SNES version of the game also looks and sounds fantastic, with each level being fairly detailed and accompanied by a range of music, from atmospheric to foreboding, that appropriately changes to a fast-paced battle theme when you fight an enemy.

The level design and music changes completely after every few levels as well, which means you end up going through about eight different areas rather than the two almost identical looking ones from the original. And although the original game was completely silent save for sound effects, the music Masaya created here is spot-on and accentuates the rest of the game perfectly.

Conclusion

Originally, the SNES version of Prince of Persia was announced to be included with Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands on Wii but, for unknown reasons, that ultimately didn't happen. Thankfully, Ubisoft has now redeemed itself by releasing the game on the Wii Virtual Console instead.

With more and larger levels, great graphics and music and many other new features, this is easily the best version of Prince of Persia ever made, and comes highly recommended.

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Game Trailer

User Comments (38)

AbuJaffer

#1

AbuJaffer said:

I remember trying this game a while back and it didn't work for me at first... but I got used to it quickly.

Shiryu

#3

Shiryu said:

Decades later, it's still my favourite version of the Prince. Everything NCS did was pure gold.

Ninjadead

#4

Ninjadead said:

The SNES version IS a unlockable in Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, at least the PAL version that is ...

Link79

#6

Link79 said:

Assuming america is getting this also I believe I'm in for a real treat when this game hits the shop! Finally a vc game I can be excited about.
Also yes as said before Forgotten sands did not include the snes version.
I own that game and it's definitely not Snes.

Zimeon

#10

Zimeon said:

The SNES Prince of Persia is included as a bonus on The Forgotten Sands-disc (at least the PAL-version). I bought it for about 11 euros a while ago. Two great games really cheap :)

timp29

#11

timp29 said:

This was a favourite for me on the SNES, but later in its life. I remember plying through it many times, and loved the revamped intro and music on the SNES. 9 or 10/10 in its time definitely.

motang

#12

motang said:

I remember playing this game on a Mac, it was so much fun. Can't wait for it come out in the US.

Mok

#13

Mok said:

I was playing this on one of the school's computers back in the days. Loads of fun.

LeasTwanteD

#14

LeasTwanteD said:

@Zimeon (10.): Did you play the included version of the original ?
I'm confused since some say it's the SNES version that's included while others claim it's the Apple version.
It would be great to hear from someone that actually played the included version. If it's really the SNES game i can invest the 8 € in ... ummm ... something else. :)

Link79

#15

Link79 said:

@ BattLeToaD
The version in Forgotten sands is definitely not the Snes version.
I don't know about the Pal version but in America we didn't get the Snes game as an unlockable. I have played the unlockable one on Forgotten sands and It ain't Snes. Doesn't make much sense for them to have gotten that version but we didn't.
It's this one right here being played on the actual Wii forgotten sands game.

This same version was also unlockable in the first Sands of time game.


Here's the Snes game. See the difference?

weirdproq

#18

weirdproq said:

@James I thought the SNES version of Prince of Persia was in Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. There was a sticker on the box saying so.

Link79

#20

Link79 said:

@ Weirdproq
Anyone who's actually played it on forgotten sands for wii knows better.
See the above videos for proof.
I guess it was a big mix up and that sticker was wrong.

proffrink1986

#21

proffrink1986 said:

@weirdproq I don't know about a sticker, but there is a little box in the upper left-hand corner of the box art that says it includes the 1992 version of the game. Unfortunately, it doesn't specify which version released in 1992 it is. However, it is the Mac OS version that is being emulated/ported. You can compare the following video of the Mac OS version to the video posted by Link79 of the version in Forgotten Sands.

The Mac OS versions of Prince of Persia 1 & 2 were also included in the Xbox version of Sands of Time as a bonus.

Omega

#22

Omega said:

I have played the version on the Forgotten Sands and I didn't liked it at all. On a scale from 1 to 10 I would give it a 0 despite the division by zero error that may occur.
Is the SNES version really that much better? I can't believe that.

EarthboundBenjy

#24

EarthboundBenjy said:

This game makes me feel like I'm controlling someone who does not know how their limbs work. I can't stand it.

timp29

#25

timp29 said:

Prince of Persia 2 was fantastic. But the SNES version was horrible without the Sound Blaster and its ability to produce speech

JGMR

#26

JGMR said:

What I mostly liked about this version, was the moody background music.

MeloMan

#27

MeloMan said:

I really wanted to like this game the couple of times I tried, but I just couldn't swing it. Good to know that I can redeem myself once more if I so choose.

Geonjaha

#28

Geonjaha said:

@23 Nope - it'll probably get less than 8/10 just because it has a superior version on the SNES unfortunately.

SqueakyTheBone

#29

SqueakyTheBone said:

I've been playing this one for a little while now, and it just ain't doing it for me. Kind of a shame, but still, i'm glad I got the opportunity to play it.

Wilford111

#31

Wilford111 said:

I really wish it was released here in the US. Prince of Persia was one of the first games I ever remember playing as a kid.

WanderFan91

#32

WanderFan91 said:

Good review, Drake. I got to experience this game recently on my SNES (and beat it with the good ending in four-five days, including the day I got it), and I've got to say Prince of Persia is a fantastic game. :) The way the levels are designed, the way the enemies and potions are positioned, and the fact that you're in a forced time limit really makes you think and strategize how you're going to beat the levels. The graphics and animation are superb, the controls take a bit to absorb but are intuitive, and the various music tracks add a lot to the atmosphere, which works for this game. Quickly became one of my favorites on the SNES, despite the difficulty. :)

SqueakyTheBone

#33

SqueakyTheBone said:

Ah man, turns out I was a little quick too judge with this one. I went back to it recently, and despite a few uh, 'teething troubles' with the controls, its grown on me quite a bit. Its always worth giving these things a second chance it seems!

Alucard83

#34

Alucard83 said:

I still don't like this game. I never understood the high review rate for this game. This feels like Halo game. Too over rated.

Ninjadead

#35

Ninjadead said:

@James Why does my PAL version of the Forgetton Sands have a fully playable version of Prince of Persia unlocked then?

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