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Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones Review

December 6, 2005

edit: Friday 1:30 am – hey clones, if you have a minute, stop by A_Little_Fall_Of_Rain19’s xanga and take her survey to help her with her sociology paper.

For those of you who have been following my xanga for a while now, you probably might remember my past posts (here and here) wherein I fell in love with the Prince of Persia series that was reborn for the modern game consoles. You might remember the old school POP games that were made for the old school Nintendo-type systems that consisted of the Prince navigating various obstacles, solving a variety of landscape puzzles, and of course, trying to save the day by defeating the evil vizier and saving the princess. The game was fun because of its challenge, the story line, and the Middle-Eastern themes (musics and aesthetics) that provided the backdrop. Last weekend, the third installment of the series, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones was released, and thanks to the power of bit torrents and Kazim’s skills, I had myself a copy.

The POP franchise was dormant for a while, and with the advent of the Xbox and PS2, it was reborn through UbiSoft that used current gaming technology to recreate the classic POP series for a new generation of gamers. The former 2-D, somewhat-repetitive game had been updated to a breathtakingly updated one that featured stunning graphics, a powerful storyline, enigmatic characters, challenging puzzles, a free-form combat system, amazing acrobatics, and of course, the powerful character of the Prince himself. UbiSoft re-started the POP franchise with Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time in 2003 (while I still haven’t made my final decision on The Two Thrones, Sands of Time is currently my favorite). Sands of Time takes place in India, when the Prince is travelling in the company of his father, who decides to invade an Indian kingdom with the help of the treacherous vizier. We learn that the Vizier is only helping the king because he wants possession of the Dagger of Time, an object that he hopes will grant him immortality. In the ensuing melee, the Prince manages to get the Dagger, and when the Vizier sees that the Prince won’t give him the Dagger, he tricks the Prince into plunging the Dagger into the Hourglass that unleashes the Sands of Time, turning everyone into sand creatures. So of course, the youthful, innocent, naive, carefree prince feels remorse for what he’s done, so he wants to make things right again by destroying the hourglass. Essentially, this is what most of Sands of Time is about: navigating landscape puzzles and fighting hordes of enemies to get to this Hourglass to undo everything that has been done. Now, what made SOT amazing was the Dagger of Time, since it allowed you as a player to “re-wind” the game 10-15 seconds; meaning, that if for example, you accidentally made a bad jump and died, you could actually rewind the game (and everything would happen backwards) to before you jumped and retry it again. Anyway, along the way, the Prince is helped by the king’s daughter, Farah, and of course, he ends up defeating the Vizier and destroying the Sands of Time, thereby “undoing” everything that had been done before the attack on the kingdom and making this right again. And for all you sentimental folks out there, along the way, Farah and the Prince fall in love, but since the Prince is forced to rewind time, he ends up losing Farah, as only he remembers it since everything goes back to before the invasion and Farah doesn’t recognize him at the end of the game.

The Prince and his lost love.

So everything seems to be in order, right… well, of course not, it seems that whenever the Prince tries to make something right, bechara, he only seems to make things worse. So as the Sands of Time ends, the problem now is because the Prince has messed around with Time itself (with his rewinding and whatnot), he is hunted by Time (and its enforcer, the Dahaka) itself. With everyone around him dying as Time is trying to get to him (since he’s supposed to have died), the Prince finds himself constantly running like a vagabond fugitive, setting up the storyline for Warrior Within. In the second game, he journeys to the place where the Sands were created, in an effort to destroy them from ever being created (work with me on this time paradox) so that none of the chaos will ever happen. Warrior Within wasn’t as fun as the first one, since UbiSoft decided to go with a more heavy-metal/gothic feel to the game with dark pallettes and lighting, a Metallica-like soundtrack, more emphasis on combat instead of puzzles, and worst of all, the ebullient, remorseful, and selfless Prince evolved into a bitter, brazen, desperate Prince who only wants to save himself.

Clearly, the Prince is kicking butt and taking names later now.

Anyway, so he succeeds in preventing the Sands from being created by making the creator of the Sands, Kaileena, fall in love with him (what a stud, yo) and finally returns back to his kingdom of Babylon (yeah, he’s supposed to the Prince of Persia yet Babylon is Iraq… don’t ask…) only to find it in under siege, his father killed, and the evil Vizier in control. And once again, the Prince is trying to do the right thing: kill the Vizier, save his people, and become a hero… but the problem is that the Vizier kills the Prince’s woman (bechara Prince always seems to lose his squeezes), not only pissing off the Prince, but yes, you guessed it, unleashing the Sands once again. The added twist in The Two Thrones is that all this unleashing of the Sands on the Prince is changing him as well, and noble Prince is now slowly being consumed by a darker Prince, one whose arrogance, greed, and lust for power compete with our all-around-good-guy hero–talk about struggling against one’s nafs (self), right…

Essentially, The Two Thrones goes back to what made SOT so great: the landscaping, the puzzling, the Middle-Eastern music/theme, the good-guy Prince and brings in the good parts of Warrior Within: enhanced combat and the dark Prince. The interplay throughout the game (well, at least so far) between the good Prince and the dark Prince is quite unique, featuring a dual internal monologue between the two sides of the Prince, as well as transforming between the two characters. Each version of the Prince has its strengths: for example, the good Prince is more athletic, quick, avoids combat, and prefers stealth-kills to dispose of enemies; the dark Prince is all about going berserk in order to administer chastisement to his enemies.

The two sides of the Prince.

It’s this duality that powers the game so far. The voice acting and music changes between the two characters are superb, the storyline is once again engrossing as it was in SOT. I think UbiSoft realized what a blunder it made with trying to make Warrior Within less-Arabic, more-European and killing the charm of the game. They went back to what works, as the Babylonian landscape is simply amazing. The music is once again a classical soundtrack of symphony quality worthy of a Hollywood movie instead of just a game. The combat difficulty and flair is maintained from the second game, making fight scenes interesting, especially when you speed kill an enemy. Most importantly, the great puzzles and platforming is better than ever, and the Prince regularly pulls off his old death-defying acrobatics with a host of new ones as well (my personal favorite is how he can use his legs to slide down a chimney-like structure to leap and speed kill an enemy). There are also a few familiar faces (that I won’t mention in order not to spoil it) that one will encounter as one progresses through the game.

Overall, I’d say that if Sands of Time got a 10 from me and Warrior Within got a 6, then The Two Thrones is a 9.5. Anyway, enjoy the pictures and the trailer.

the Prince’s kingdom in ruins.

The good Prince

The chimney kill.

The dark Prince in action

The dark Prince and his new weapon, the Daggertail.

Still pulling off his insane acrobatics 
To view the trailer, click here.


From → Uncategorized

  1. The prince is a stud. But that girl is haraam. And I’m guessing those are fake.

  2. Why this post gets 0 eProps:
    1) You basically jacked the pics from Gamespot, save one or two.
    2) I could have read a real review by a real video game reviwer at Gamespot, who has actually played the entire game through and beat it.
    3) Xanga = blog, not a review website.
    4) You embedded a file, eating Fahad’s bandwidth.
    5) It was like reading a Bears game review on Hisham’s Xanga.
    6) You said Firefox owns IE when Firefox doesn’t even load the video. That’s like saying “even if the Packers lost to the bears, they still OWN THE BEARZLOL”
    7)  Because 0 eProps from me means nothing. You’re still gonna get 27 comments and 52 eProps (estimated). And who cares what I say/think?
    Hehe. In any case, the game looks great and it got good reviews. And it seems you got it to work by combining the partitions with the px-poptt.r00 file. Nice. If you ever find a patition like that, open the first number (either .r00 or .r01) with WinRAR and it should work. That’s what I did for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith or Madden NFL ’06, I can’t remember which one.

  3. Also, you might want to resize (read: remove) your embedded trailer file cuz it messed up the dimensions of your blog (the chatterbox is now squooshed).

  4. i bought POP the two thrones this weekend, but only got to play 1 hour of it. but i must say this game is awesome, I loved the sands of time, it still remains one of my favorite. POP and halo has got to be the best games on x-box. props on the screenshots as that prince is a stud!

  5. dude, show more pics of the babe.. she’s so hot yo. but too bad she doesnt wear clothesbtw, this new profile pic thing blah matches hotly with the equally pimp color skeempeace,IJB

  6. Dude, I love how you can write a post about any topic under the sun and make it sound awesome. I’ll have to check out the new Prince of Persia game soon now because of this review. The trailer looks awesome.

  7. Nice. Complaining like a girl worked.

  8. If I ever got into video games, I would be sucked in a pit of darkness and wasting time. 
    So I don’t even start.

  9. wait, wait, wait. did you actually pay for the game? have you learned nothing from the teachings of Msa Pirate?

  10. The real prince… KAMRAN RIAZ!

  11. Assalam-U-Alaikum…
    i am sorry but i take back what i said in my last comment to you….
    your posts are NOT ALWAYS enlightening….example? this one….
    i mean come on…Prince of Persia?!?!?!? nothing better struck the kr?
    Allah Hafiz

  12. saqib: done and done.msapirate: my dear chap, of course not, i have a modded xbox, so i borrowed a copy of sands of time and burned that onto the xbox… warrior within, i rented that and burned it onto the xbox… for the two thrones, i downloaded that off bit torrents and burned that onto a dvd and burned that onto the xbox. piracy is alive in well… as don king would say, “only in america!”a&e: the storyline in POP is quite enlightening actually since it narrates a tale about various aspects of human nature, and how one person can be driven to extreme lengths in order to set things aright. a number of themes are at play throughout the POP trilogy: the prince’s innocence, his desire to set things back to normal, his good intentions being marred by circumstance, his baser qualities manifesting himself as he realizes he’s being hunted and losing everyone around him, etc… perhaps one of these days, i’ll write a lessons learnt post from the series.

  13. Anonymous permalink

    haha these props belong to saqib…and no one else…
    throw your mother…hands….
    get em high!
    i should be writing a paper…yeah….

  14. oh after u win the game, can i take the princess? 

  15. Anonymous permalink

    haha…i suppose you don’t have any [insert the expletive term here], then?… or did that impressive resume of yours just miraculously happen?…lol…i think not!
    sidenote: …fellaz, chill…the princess is an invention of imagination…nothing real…seriously…haven’t you heard? lust is wronggg.

  16. Anonymous permalink

    lol wow saqib is cool.
    this is post is good too, I can’t hate on it only cuz I do the same thing.

  17. the Dark Prince looks like a total badass………. I like him already.

  18. I’m still trying to beat POP: Sands of Time. These games are really hard to beat, in my opinion.

  19. Anonymous permalink

    i hate video games. but i like video game trailers. i just imagine all the dorks sitting there in a room drueling while creating ‘lost love’.hahahah….like kr. that’s y he had it as the first pic in this post. i see RIGHT through u my son.haha…
    and i went back and read/propped all the posts ive missed. very noice.

  20. Anonymous permalink

    hey great review man, game looks good enough, ill jus have to wait for a crack to come out so i can play it (i got it bootlegged)

  21. My response it too long. Which is why i dedicate my next post to you…Nothing special, but I can’t leave you alone for badgering on Warrior Within in such a way…

  22. I just saw the commercial for it and I have to admit, it looks pretty awesome. My husband had this weird twinkle in his eyes, so I suspect the Ahmed household will be soon owners of this new awe-inspiring game. We got done with God of War a little while ago and I thought that was a pretty kick-A game (well, I couldn’t finish b/c I’m a loser)…is Prince of Persia anything like that one?

  23. Anonymous permalink

    urhh i agree with queen rooojie about video games…but erh yay for prince of persia??

  24. those graphics are pretty neat stuff. last time i saw POP was the comp version from like 1992. i like this stuff by ubisoft… now, if only i could get someone in my family to buy the game and let me sit next to them so i can just watch and cheer them on (b/c really that’s about all i’m willing to do w/gaming. hehe.)
    i like the 5th pic. i wish i could live in a place like that.

  25. Anonymous permalink

    persian pride@!!!!

  26. i didn’t read that whole post, because i’m in spanish right now…but i’ll just say that Prince of Persia is pretty sweet. My brothers played it a whole lot. i like how there were all those puzzles to solve and stuff. dude, what happened to ur profile picture? that picture was the best ever.

  27. I agree with thing_on_my_head…I really miss that picture. Now whenever I see your comments on someones xanga I think you’re Bhaijan.

  28. What do you call a Mexican with a rubber toe? Why, Roberto, of course.

  29. Anonymous permalink

    i agree with thing_on_my_head. that picture of the “fob” was and still IS the best picture, like ever.
    you need to bring it back!

  30. salaaammmnice postbut his lost lover has an attitude in the game…lol

  31. hmm… sort of interesting that my friend khalid who has got a sick invidia graphics card decided to test out the sands of time on his CPU the other day to sort of prove to us that the CPU will always end up superior to the console for gaming… I was skeptical, but he can pretty much max out the graphics on the SOT with no problems and hardly any loading… go figure.  The doom 3 engine is pretty nasty too, as well as need for speed most wanted. 
    Lookout for MGS4 for PS3 in 2007… POP can’t measure up to the MGS series… I am sure you can agree.  If you can’t, oh well, you weren’t the first person unable to accept defeat… haha.
    Hmm.. enough of that.. silly persians, the muslims pretty much owned them… lol.  There was a particularly interesting event that happened in the forunning to the battle of qadisiyah… the persians had an elite unit of “gladiators” whom were projected to be each as strong as 1000 men in battle… well, one of our muslim ancestors snuck into their encampment, killed 5 of them, and stole 3 horses.. all in a nights work.. rofl.  So much for the gladiators.  But then again, the details, such as the number he killed may not be 100% accurate, it could be anywhere between 3 and 10.. I read about it quite some time ago…  Oh yeah, and to steal 3 horses, you ride one and tie the other two in line behind the first one… just thought I might clear that up because it isn’t instantly apparent how one guy can ride off with 3 horses, or maybe it is and I am sleepy… anyways.  salaamalaikumwarahmatullahiwabarakatu.

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