Review by DeathBlitz

Reviewed: 07/31/06

Ubisoft: They learn from their mistakes... in this series anyway

Ubisoft do learn from mistakes! After Prince of Persia 3D came out, it wasn't good, people didn't like it... then in 2003 a great game came out... followed by its sequel... and now the third and final game of the Sands of Time Trilogy: The Two Thrones. Let me take you back 7 years before The Two Thrones and into the first entry to the Sands of Time Trilogy...

When the first title, The Sands of Time, came out that day, not many people payed attention to it... they were wrong to do it. It is one of the best platforming and puzzle I have ever played. The Prince, with all his acrobatic skills - and cinematic might I add, just like The Matrix scenes. The story of a young Prince you unleashed the Sands at the word of the Vizier. Unleashing sands throughout the castle, making everyone sand monsters, with only 3 people not effected, Farah a compassionate woman, the Vizier, the bastard who made that happen and the Prince. This game had nearly everything! Graphics were good for its time, the nice Persian music, awesome platforming and puzzles, acrobatic skills, such as; running against walls, running (or vaulting) over enemies followed up by slashes, blocking practically anything with only a sword and a Dagger. He had some humour too... And he even narrated the story too! It was truly spectacular. The only thing it lacked was bosses, and they needed to have some combat with more depth plus some more length to it.

Seeing though it didn't get too much attention, even though I got it as one of my early PS2 games the next year. Ubisoft had to spice it up. The once charming, and mildly humorous Prince had been changed in its next game; Warrior Within - released a year after the first, set 7 years later. He became one bad-ass guy. Tattoos. Calls someone a female dog. Yells whenever you swing his sword - which was annoying. Anger consumed him, he thinks only of himself. And to spice it up, there are sexy ladies in this too. And then this obscure heavy metal music based on some Persian music. Do you know what that act did? It lost some fans, but not me I loved this more! The combat has WAY more depth since this one, Free Form Fighting Style, allows you to make your own style of fighting cause there was so many different combos to pull off. Stunning. Then they also heard the cries to have a longer game and did that too. See now? The problems in the first were fixed up here. But still they weren't happy with Prince's new dew. But this game suffered from many glitches... I encountered non serious ones.

So what needed fixing now? The Two Thrones fixes up Warrior Within's mistakes and made it WAY better.

The story follows after one of the two endings from Warrior Within. Prince and Kaileena, going to Princes home Babylon to rule there. As Prince was going to embrace Babylon to his girl, he finds it under ravaging war. His boat gets attacked with Kaileena being kidnapped. Prince then finds her, right before she was murdered by a familiar enemy... *cough* boss of Sands of Time *cough*. As he uses the Dagger to kill Kaileena, the sands were unleashed again. This time Prince had nothing to shield the Sands, he got infected, then chased after the Dagger which fell into the abyss of the collapsed rooftop. Now there is someone talking to Prince; his own conscience, stored inside him, making some humorous moments, and when the Prince transforms to his alter-ego; Dark Prince. Now struggling, Prince is going to stop the Vizier, and restore peace to Babylon.

Its the same-old gameplay, with more additions, you already know our Prince can; run against walls whether it be vertically or straight, jump over enemies, rebound of the wall to attack enemies, jump from wall to wall to make his way higher, shimmy on ledges, swing poles and of course the famous Dagger of Time (which you can use to reverse time if you die, slow down time, and unleash time attacks from Warrior Within). It also has his Warrior Within techniques too, dragging down curtains, Free Form Fighting System, secondary weapons are more needed now then ever, since your main weapon is the Dagger, which is slightly longer, but you need the extra power by stealing some enemies' weapons. And there some more that are included in this game, there are these shutters, to get to them you run against the wall, when you jump you go in a diagonal direction. And you can go between chutes, and slide down. You can go and place yourself on the top of pole. Also there are places were you use your Dagger, to hold onto a marked place of a wall, another thing with the Dagger, to open doors, like in Warrior Within, you have to grab this block and wait until it drags down, in this, you drag your Dagger through it.

And the most interesting new combat addition is the Speed Kill. When there is an enemy (or better yet, two enemies) close to you but unaware of you, Prince goes into a stealth mode, and when close enough, the edges of the screen get blurry, you initiate the Speed Kill, and time your taping of the Square Button with the flare of the dagger. In the beginning you get prompts, but later you have to rely on when it flares more, this definitely speeds up the killing process. When you are hanging from a chute and an enemy is under it, you can strike from above. This system is fantastic! You will want to use it whenever you get a chance!

Visually this game is nice and smooth. Babylon never looked this good... well... this is the only game I played with Babylon as the setting. The time in a very old Babylon, you can see the rooftops, everything is nicely detailed, like all in the Prince of Persia series. Even though they try to keep the character models the same, they did slightly change, Kaileena for one looks different only after days of travel, Prince practically looks the same as he did in Warrior Within. A the music is great, nice Persian/Arabic music, a nice change from that hardcore rock, and Godsmack's "I Stand Alone", which was done to show Prince's new attitude. Now Prince has his same voice from The Sands of Time. His humour isn't short from last time either, near the beginning, when he has no weapon, he found a measly dagger, and remarks on how he always get dumb weapons at the start of things (in Warrior Within he had to use a stick when his sword flew overboard.

The game can get quite lengthy, long as Warrior Within, or just a little less. Then again, if you want to unlock all the Artwork, you have to buy them with Sand Credits which you find through out the game. You can unlock pictures from all the of the Sands of Time trilogy. There is no alternative ending, why? Because this is the end, we don't want this to lead to another different ending, only one and the FINAL ENDING.

So should you get it or rent it? Or just forget it altogether? If you have the first two, or either one it will be a great and fitting ending, which is a mus have for fans. Or you might want to check out the first two games first. You can also rent it and see if you like it. It is an awesome action adventure, with nice puzzles to keep you thinking, unbelievable jumps, platforming is amazing! The Free Form Fighting System will test different types and combination of attacks. It is fantastic!

Ubisoft's Improvements from the beginning
After Sands of Time
- In Warrior Within the greatly improved combat
- Length increased since Sands of Time
- New/Improved acrobatics
After Warrior Within
- Music improved
- Glitches fixed
- New/Improved acrobatics
- Speed Kills
- Prince's attitude
- Dark Prince


Final Statistics

Gameplay: 9/10 - Nice acrobatic moves, and the Free Form Fighting System, great platforming.
Graphics: 9/10 - Smooth and detailed environments, characters aren't bad looking either.
Sound: 9/10 - The Persian music is fitting, and the voice of Prince is the same as from Sands of Time.
Value: 9/10 - It was really worth my cash! Nice and decent main adventure, then there are the unlockables.
Boost: 10/10 - Fitting ending, great game, speed kills are awesome!


Final Score:

9.3/10 ~ 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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