Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time - GameCube

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Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (GameCube)
Also for: PC, PS2, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Soft. Co.: Ubisoft
Publishers: Ubisoft (GB)
Released: 20 Feb 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 7+
Connectivity: GC/GBA Link Cable
Accessories: Memory Card


Prince of Persia is a game that most of us will be familiar with. In its early days it was simply a 2D platform affair, but a classic one nonetheless. And during the Prince's heyday, more than a dozen versions of the game were made, and the formula can even be seen in some of today's handheld offerings such as Tomb Raider. Now the series has made the move to 3D in Sands of Time for GameCube.

Though some Prince of Persia purists may not consider it to be the best version available - simply because it’s not a hardcore two-dimensional platformer - that's not say it isn't a great game.

However, the emphasis on gameplay remains intact, and is firmly based on the elemental mix that made POP and others - such as Konami’s impossibly good Castlevania - such massive hits. Platform game basics combine seamlessly with combat and a need for exploration and puzzle-solving, generating a Metroid-esque feel, in a pure 3D world.

A storyline as formulaic as it is intriguing sees the young prince unleash a whole bunch of nastiness within his father's castle by tampering with a dagger, which his mum probably told him not to touch. He must now rid the vast palace of its new blight, as well as ensure that the integrity of the space-time continuum isn’t breached.

The lesson? If he’d have listened to mum, he could be outside now, playing football... a mistake we’ve all made.

But the real innovation in Sands of Time lies in the player's ability to control time. Here, you can freeze time, rewind and so on, a mechanic that starts out as a gimmick, but soon becomes a factor central to the gameplay. Quite simply, the possession of time control affords players mistakes. Should players plummet to their death, players can simply freeze and rewind time as they see fit. Time control is limited, but it's a great idea that is implemented well.

Sands of Time is undoubtedly a worthy follow-up to the original outings. We look forward to more games like this in the coming years.