App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Prince of Persia. Most gamers know the name well. The 1989 Jordan Mechner classic had no small amount of influence on a number of other adventure-themed platformers that followed, and it still holds up today. Even with the more recent trilogy (and subsequent one-offs) having no small amount of success, there's just something about the original that's timeless. Classic, even. Dressing it up to look like the more modern games doesn't change that.
Just as he did the the first game, the badguy with a beard has locked the prince away. And given the princess an ultimatum. Players will have one hour to work their way through a gauntlet of levels full of death traps, hostile enemies, crumbling platforms, and plenty more unhealthy things. A glowing butterfly helps to mark the correct path, but a little exploration should be encouraged as it can sometimes yield health-boosting potions or healing items.
The controls have been tweaked slightly to make Prince of Persia Classic a tad more user-friendly. Small things. One thing, really: being able to leap straight up to grab or lower oneself down from a ledge without having to turn to face the proper direction first. Aside from that, it's every bit the classic that the title implies. Right to the core. Ultimately this means that the only real difference is the incorporation of the "new Prince" artistic direction, but that doesn't make it any less of a good time. Plus it looks prettier now, too.
The downside to being such a faithful representation of an almost 25 year-old games is that it still possesses some of the same problems. Checkpoints certainly help to alleviate the annoyance of constant deaths, but the level design is still very much trial-and-error. It certainly won't be a problem to those who've played the original to death and have memorized absolutely everything, but it might be off-putting to newcomers. I've also found the movement slider to be a bit too sensitive when shifting between running and walking (I usually end up running when I don't mean to, which can be deadly), but I was able to adjust to it fairly quickly. For the most part. And lastly, where my gruesome deaths at? Not that I don't understand the reasoning behind the omission but getting the Prince bisected and so on has always been something of a habitual meta-game.
Prince of Persia Classic is a great game because it's essentially a graphical update to an already great game. A handful of tiny adjustments have made their way in, but it's ultimately still the same game we all remember fondly. A couple of extra modes, one of which has a stricter time limit and the other which tasks players to beat it all on a single life, also help to sweeten the deal. Series vets and greenhorns alike are bound to enjoy themselves.