If you've gone through Prince of Persia before then you'll feel right at home with the castle's layout. With only a few minor exceptions, Prince of Persia Classic uses exactly the same level designs as the original game. Every enemy, trap and falling walkway has been recreated in this brilliant update, which goes a long way to prove that this 18 year old level layout is relevant. UbiSoft takes some liberties towards the end of the game, but for the most part it's not on anything that drastically changes the game ... and personally I thought that the slightly changed boss fight is a vast improvement.
One thing you can't say enough about is the amazing graphics. While this retains that original 2D look, the polygonal graphics really shine. I dare say that this is one of the best looking Xbox Live Arcade games yet, from beginning to end this game looks absolutely fantastic. This game was never about huge bosses and Hollywood-style explosions, so it shouldn't surprise you that the best parts of the graphical update are the minor things added to the backgrounds. For the first time ever this castle actually has character, from the dreary swamp-like basement to the top of the castle (that stands above a major city), the backgrounds shine every step of the way. Couple this with the amazing animation and you have one hell of a great looking game.
But Prince of Persia Classic isn't perfect; there are a few problems with the game that keep this from receiving and even higher score. For one thing, the game itself is not very long. While you might not get through it the first time through, chances are you won't have too much trouble on your second of third attempt. Getting through the entire game won't take you more than an hour or so, so don't expect to go into this game and have a lengthy adventure. It's also worth noting that after you've beaten the game you probably won't want to play it again ... unless you're one of those people who really want to get the best times on all of the levels.
The game isn't without a couple new modes, but neither of them extends the longevity of this game out as much as one would like. There's a Time Attack mode that is basically the same as the normal game, only this time with even more of an emphasis on the time limit. There's also a brand new Survivor Mode, which requires you to beat the entire game without dying ... that's right, without dying! This is no easy task, to say the least. These slight variations on the original game are a night touch, but they probably won't keep you busy for long. At $10 (800 Microsoft Points) this game may not seem like a good value, however the game is still a lot of fun to go through and, judging by how well it's aged, it'll probably be fun every time you come back to it in the future.
My final complaint is that this game doesn't come with the original Prince of Persia game, using the non-enhanced graphics. This seems almost crazy given the small amount of space it would have taken up. I still have the original game at my house that runs off of a standard floppy disc, so there's no way adding it would have required more than a few kilobytes. It's nice to have the new graphics (I don't think anybody is going to complain about the way this game looks), but it would have been a more complete package if they also added the original game.
Regardless of whether you've never played the classic before or you're a seasoned veteran, Prince of Persia Classic is definitely worth checking out. The graphics alone are worth the price of admission, but beyond the visuals this is still a compelling action game with plenty of worthwhile puzzles and a whole lot of combat. The original Prince of Persia is one of the best games of all time, and this enhanced remake only improves on the classic.
Prince of Persia Classic sets the bar high for what a classic game remake should look like. Not only is this one of the most exciting Xbox Live Arcade games currently available, it's also one of the best looking. Regardless of the price, this is one adventure you should think about going on!
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