So I’ve been making steady progress through books and games recently, and my most recent electronic conquest is the 2010 version of Prince of Persia.

One word: Nerdrage.

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved playing it.  The graphics are spectacular and put you in mind of those old Asian watercolor paintings, you get to fling yourself around walls, up canyons, down cliffs and all sorts of acrobatic awesomeness, and you don’t really die so there’s no worry of losing any game progress if you forget to save.  Sounds perfect, right?

Not so much.

But before we get down to the pros and cons, a bit of backstory.

You’re the Prince.  Well, you assume you’re the Prince because that’s the name of the game.  He doesn’t really identify himself as such so you just kind of have to assume.  Anyways, you’re the prince who’s lost a donkey laden down with gold in a sand storm.  You come across a princess by the name of Elika who of course has magical powers and is being chased by villains intent on doing her harm to keep her from locking away an ancient evil god named Arhimon.

Typical right?

You have to help Elika clear Arhimon’s taint from the lands of her people and trap him once again for all eternity, or at least until the wards fail again/someone frees him.  So you have to travel to four very distinct areas and defeat their respective mini bosses to cleanse the taint from the land and save the world.  Which of course you wind up doing, because that’s what heroes do.

And here’s where the cons come in.

The one unanimous complaint with Prince of Persia is the combat.  Elika is supposed to help you fight with her magic, but she’s really fracking picky about how close you have to be to get her to help.  And heaven help you if you call her in too early because then she’s too far away to help you when you really do need it.

There’s also some quick time events during boss battles that normally wouldn’t be so bad if they slowed down the action like they did in Dante’s Inferno.  In Prince of Persia you have just enough time for your brain to register which button you have to hit, but in the macro second it takes for you to send the command to hit the button its too late.  You’ve lost your chance and now the boss has regained at least half the health you knocked off it.  Crap.

But I think overall the most mind numbing and hair-pulling part of the Prince of Persia is that there’s really no point to playing the damned game!  You cleanse the lands, battle the god Arhimon, and Elika sacrifices herself to seal him away, but then you release him to bring her back!  WHAT THE HELL!  Never mind the fact that the ‘romance’ between the prince and Elika is never really developed and he’s pulling this love crap out of his ass, he’s just undone everything they worked so hard to do!

Apparently this was supposed to be an opening to a new Prince of Persia franchise, so I can understand some of their game choices in that direction.  But now it looks like this franchise was stillborn so when there’s nothing but a bit of DLC to follow it up, it’s really disappointing.

I haven’t gotten to the DLC yet by the way.  I’m waiting for the nerdrage to calm down before I even look at the damned game again.

On it’s own, and if you stop playing RIGHT AFTER the final battle cut scene, it’s not bad.  It’s got its flaws, but what game doesn’t?  It’s what happens after that cut scene that makes you see red after all those hours of hard work.