Forum Overview :: Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
PoP + PSP = POS! (HA!) by I need clarification 01/03/2006, 11:39pm PST
I was really looking forward to the first decent action/adventure title for the PSP, and I guess I still am. I took this title up with me for the long visit with the (almost) in-laws the past couple of weeks, so here's my review. Ready? Good.

First off, it's clear Ubisoft Montreal surveyed the limitations of the PSP hardware in the processing, resolution, and loading from the UMD departments and realized they were all more limiting than their equivalents on the full-sized consoles. Then they decided to just go ahead and pretend they were making this for a full-sized console anyway.

The game runs along smoothly at a steady clip of about 10 fps, occasionally dipping down to horribly unplayable 1 fps. No worries, though, as the frequent "loading" symbol is sure to pop up at an inopportune moment (say, in the middle of a wall-run), dimming the screen and pausing the action while the next polygon is loaded into memory, inspected, textured, lit, discarded, re-loaded, and finally drawn half-clipped, exposing the next puzzle behind it inadvertantly. Meanwhile, you can decide whether to continue pressing the buttons for the action you were engaged with, or to let them go. Either way, the result is the same: you're dead.

But wouldn't that clipped polygon exposing the next puzzle help you? No. Ubisoft has struck a bold new artistic vein, moving away from the brown and gray palette of the first POP title and exploring the new world of gray and brown, which coupled with the smaller screen and lesser resolution of the PSP turns each environment into a milky soup. There are moments where the player is completely unable to tell if the streak extending across the screen is a ledge or not. Fortunately, there are ways to test this:

1. Rotate the camera: PoP gives you a few camera choices right off the bat. There is the "follow" camera, which positions the camera in a random area of the room and points it toward the Prince, and there is the "landscape" camera, which brings the camera out to a (very) long shot. Many times, this shot does not even include the Prince, which makes it useful for admiring the grays and browns of the environment, but not so much for knowing where you are or which direction you should be heading. Finally, there is the "first person" camera, which allows you to look around the room with all degrees of freedom, but only while the Prince is standing absolutely still. Sometimes these views are all presented to you, other times they are not. In any case, they all advertise some degree of "freedom," which means you can hold down the L shoulder button and rotate the camera around. Usually you are given a very generous 10 degrees of rotation, helpful in identifying nothing.

2. Jump toward the ledge. Chances are it actually IS a ledge, and you will be rewarded with a canned animation of the Prince leaping gracefully onto the ledge. Unless it's not a canned animation and depends on accurate positioning, which is almost impossible with the given cameras. The beauty of this method is that it's reversable, thanks to the calling card feature of the PoP franchise, the Sands of Time Rewind. What this does is back you up to some arbitrary moment of gameplay prior to when you jumped. Here's where the bonus feature of the PSP version comes in: sometimes after rewinding the action, the game will take control of the player and force him into an action that is inevitably fatal. For example, if you are standing on top of a narrow column and leap toward a ledge and miss it, hitting rewing might bring you back to the top of the column, then suddenly propel you sideways in a full sprint off the column and on to the waiting spikes below. Fun! And a whole new era of action/adventure/platforming gameplay is ushered in, in which the player merely suggests to the character what he'd like to do, and then the game decides what really will happen.

The above might make it sound as though PoP PSP has a minor bug or two. This is certainly not the case! The game is so riddled with gamestopping glitches that I sometimes thought I'd purchased a handheld PC. Ignoring the awesome "no hard off" feature of the PSP, a quick flick of the power button will frequently freeze the entire unit. The incessant disc loading wears out the battery quickly, turns stuttery gameplay into slideshows, and causes every cutscene to lose audio synch, rendering the entire experience a complete joke. At one point I was fighting a boss and the entire PSP just shut off. This gave me a great opportunity to use my "time slow down" powers, remove the UMD disc, and throw it right in the trash before booting up Virtua Tennis again.

The end.
PoP + PSP = POS! (HA!) by I need clarification 01/03/2006, 11:39pm PST
    Yes, but is it *good*? NT by Gamespot(7.4(!)) 01/04/2006, 9:21am PST
        Wow, internet game review sites sure are full of shit!! NT by 2001 01/04/2006, 12:50pm PST
            The solution is God of War on PSP by Ice Cream Jonsey 01/07/2006, 2:18pm PST
    Re: PoP + PSP = POS! (HA!) by hades 01/25/2006, 2:06pm PST
        Don't let your mom know you've been here. by Mister helper (light) 01/25/2006, 2:47pm PST
   by Jerry Whorebach 01/27/2006, 6:58am PST
                I thought of another one. by Jerry Whorebach 01/27/2006, 7:33am PST
                    Highlights from the last six months. by Jerry Whorebach 08/05/2006, 8:26am PDT
        Go left NT by Fussbett 01/25/2006, 6:58pm PST
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