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The Underrated Sound (And Voice Acting) Of Prince Of Persia (2008)

June 3, 2012

 

Prince of Persia (the one with VA by Nolan North and Kari Wahlgren) was, in my opinion, a vastly underrated game. Critics seemed to love it, but the gamers were less convinced. People found fault with its difficulty, noting that it was impossible to actually die. For example, if you try jumping off a cliff to your death, you’re saved by Elika, the Prince’s companion. It was passed off as a ‘simple platformer’ because of this.

This implies that the game’s selling point is its combat, which it is clearly not. The game was praised by critics for its beauty and its artistic style. From VideoGamer.com:

It’s the environments and boss characters that stand out the most though, with the sights on offer here rivalling the best we’ve ever seen in a video game. The painting-like visual style gives the game a unique appearance perhaps only comparable to Okami, but it’s so much more impressive here. The environments are truly epic in scale – so much so that you’ll want to spend time simply taking it all in, especially once the area has been healed and returned to its beautiful natural state. Best of all, the frame rate (Xbox 360 version tested) is flawless for the most part. We experienced the odd moment of tearing and some very minor frame rate drops, but they were rare occurrences.

The game focuses far more on the experience of exploration, both in terms of the environment and that of the Prince and Elika’s relationship. Even their views on the ‘bosses’ of the world – the Corrupted – differ. They argue with the enemies mid-combat, and the bosses talk back. It is a masterful way of adding personality to what would otherwise be a bland affair of ‘find the weakpoint, exploit it X times’. Even before the battles, they talk about whether the actions of the Corrupted were justified. The Alchemist was one of my personal favourites – a man damned for trying to find immortality – followed closely by the Concubine, wishing for eternal beauty.

This is one of the most intelligent (and witty) boss scenes I’ve encountered in a very, very long while. It’s not clever in terms of gameplay, but in terms of character development and interaction.

 

 

And then there’s the music.  The music is by Inon Zur, also known for his work with Fallout 3 and the Dragon Age series. From the first track, the game’s style hooked me. Immediately it felt like a foreign, exotic land, and this music, Entering the Canyon, helped this immeasurably.

 

 

The first time I heard this piece, Healing Ground, upon entering a new area, I instantly fell in love with the game.

 

 

And the final pick from a smorgasbord from awesome. Upon completing an area, this track plays, called The King’s Door.

 

 

I recommend this game. It is a hell of an experience. The ending is surprisingly intelligent, too. Ambiguous, but intelligent. Unless you buy the epilogue DLC, which my only gripe with the game. I hate ending DLCs. Youtube it if you have to, instead.

Original sources: Wikipedia: Nolan North, Kari Wahlgren, Inon Zur; VideoGamer.com: Prince of Persia Review

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