Prince of Persia (2008)

prince of persia (2008) - the so-called prince

3 rating

(3/5) – action – adventure Reviews: Metacritic 81%| Game Rankings 80.68% | zero punctuation
Reference: wikipedia12 | Achievements
Walkthrus: Mahalo | WikiCheats | GameFAQs
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal, Engine: Scimitar / Anvil

Game Synopsis

In Prince of Persia (“PoP”), an unnamed prince, who isn’t really a prince, travels with Princess Elika to each of the 24 regions, jumping, climbing dodging, fighting enemies to get to the region’s ‘fertile ground". He defeats a bad guy, Elika ‘heals’ the fertile ground, then they retrace their steps on either side to collect light ‘seeds’ (Crackdown-style) to level up. THEN HE DOES IT ALL AGAIN – TWENTY-FOUR TIMES. That’s the game.

It’s gorgeous and somewhat fun, but left me wanting. I preferred the the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time on the original Xbox – especially the fighting elements and the ability to rewind time.

General Observations

Tomb Raider Meets God of War : The game style can best be described as a cell-shaded combination of God of War, Crackdown, Assassin’s Creed and Tomb Raider without GoW’s terrific combo-leveling up system. I note that PoP uses the same game engine as Assassin’s Creed (Scimitar) which explains a lot.

prince of persia (2008) - grand scale Grander in Scale: This Prince of Persia is much grander in scale than the original Prince of Persia: Sands of Time  and similar in scope to Assassin’s Creed.

Level Intricacies: The intricacies of the 24  regions are quite amazing – especially given their three dimensional nature. You explore every nook and cranny, but, unfortunately, you must explore each nook at least three times to fully complete the game. This is the poster-child for games that extend play by forcing you to retrace your steps, over and over.

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Silent Hill Homecoming is Unplayable – No Y-Axis Inversion

Reviews: Metacritic 73%| Game Rankings 77%
Reference: Achievements| wikipedia12
WalkthrusWikiCheats | GameFAQ   | Mahalo
Developers: Konami | Double Helix Games
Genre: survivor – horror
Status: Abandoned after escaping hospital

As explained in my “Video Game-induced Nausea, Dizziness and Headaches” post, I had to abandon Silent Hill Homecoming due to nausea caused by the inability to invert the Y-axis.

It came as a shock to me that, while there is an option to invert the Y-axis when shooting, Silent Hill Homecoming does not give you the player the option to invert the Y-axis when walking around, fighting or doing anything else in the game. This is extremely rare in modern video games.

silent hill homecoming nurse killingA quick Google search to see if there is a patch, cheat code or some other way  to rectify the situation yields posts like this one and flame wars like this one. It seems that Konami is aware of the issue and just doesn’t care. No patch is available and none is in the works. It’s truly bizarre that Konami does not provide an across-the-board option to invert the Y-axis in a major title such as Silent Hill. This is a standard option in virtually every console game that comes out these days.

The upshot for me – the game was unplayable. I tried. I killed some nurses and critters, got a couple achievements and made it out of the hospital. But 25 minutes of playing without inversion made me too dizzy and nauseous to continue. FYI, the game also suffers from reliance on quick time events – which I detest.

Thank goodness this was a rental. Back it goes.

Star Wars: Force Unleashed

3.5 rating  (3.5/5) 
Reviews: Metacritic 72%| Game Rankings 72%  | zero punctuation
Reference: Achievements| wikipedia12
Walkthrus: MahaloWikiCheats | GameFAQ  
Developer: Lucas Arts Genre: Action-Adventure
Engine: Ronin, DMM, Havok and Euphoria

engaging story – music – excellent auto-save points – genuinely fun – first rate physics – achievable achievements – fair

Cons: some camera issues – use of quick-time controls – boss battles – no co-op or online modes – corridor corralling


Simply put, for action-adventure fans, Star Wars: Force Unleashed (SWFU) is a fun game, with a nice difficulty ramp, good auto-save points and challenging for players at all skill levels.  The primary gaming mechanic are force powers similar to the telekinesis powers in Deus Ex: Invisible War  While a tad glitchy, the game was generally solid. Unlike so many other games, (except for the star destroyer boss battle discussed below) I didn’t feel cheated by silly gimmicks to prolong game-play or artificially make the game more challenging. It was generally all-round good fun.

Star Wars - Force Unleashed - Darth Vadar on the Wookie Planet of Kashyyk

Star Wars Story Between Episodes III and IV

Star Wars - Force Unleashed - Juno kisses Starkiller Star Wars fans will enjoy the story. It is a reasonably immersive, entertaining and well told story about Darth Vader’s apprentice, Starkiller and his love interest Juno Eclipse. The story takes place between Episodes III and IV of the Star Wars series. However, it wasn’t a ‘bridge’ between the two episodes as I had been lead to believe. It was more or less an irrelevant side-story (much in the way the Enter the Matrix game was an engaging side story to the Matrix Trilogy) involving some of the familiar Star Wars characters (Darth Vader, Princess Leia (using Carrie Fisher’s likeness but not her voice), Senator Organa (using Jimmy Smits likeness and his voice), Senator Organa (briefly using Ewan McGregor’s likeness) , R2D2, Emperor Palpatine, among others).

Star Wars - Force Unleashed - Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) and Starkiller Star Wars - Force Unleashed - starkiller and princess leia

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