Prince of Persia: Warrior Within

from , originally released 31st December, 1969


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Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Review

That we have the ability to play a last-generation console game on our cell phones is amazing, so let’s give technology a round of applause. Don’t be modest, technology, you deserve it. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, an entire Playstation 2 game that’s been revamped to fit on your iPhone or iPod Touch. And despite a few problems, it fits surprisingly well.

Warrior Within is the moody middle child of the PS2 Prince of Persia trilogy, and it contains everything that makes the series so fun, primarily its highly polished fighting and platforming. The basic formula of the game is that you enter a cavernous room, the camera circles around to show you all of the ledges, poles, beams, and platforms you’ll need to traverse to reach the exit, and then you’re given control to do it. Once you complete the room, you’ll usually have to fight a group of enemies and traverse a trap-filled hallway before entering another room and starting the process over again. It’s a winning formula because each part is fun and engaging in its own way.

Off with their heads!

Platforming is the series’ trademark, and it’s for good reason. The prince has a wide array of moves available to him, from running up walls and shimmying along ledges to swinging from ropes and slicing his way down curtains. You’ll use all of these moves in increasingly difficult situations as you progress through the game. Falling to your death is always a danger, but the prince gets the ability to rewind time early on, which eases the frustration. However, you can only use it a limited number of times.

Fighting is similarly well done. You can use one or two swords to hack, slash, or perform combos that usually end in gruesome fatalities. You can also roll away from or leap over enemies as you fight. The context-sensitive buttons change depending on whether you have your sword out, which keeps the screen free of clutter and ensures that you won’t accidentally stab when you mean to jump off a ledge.

So Warrior Within is an excellently crafted game. Unfortunately, a few issues were introduced in the PS2-to-iDevice transition. The first is the result of the screen size. When you’re navigating the complex environments, it can be difficult to tell where you’re supposed to go next. You can swipe the screen to move the camera or tap buttons to view the environment from various perspectives, but oftentimes the next ledge or or rope you have to grab is too distant and tiny to make out clearly. Similarly, the camera sometimes moves on its own and won’t let you swipe it to where you’re trying to look.

Look out, Goliath.

Another issue is the controls. Precision is of utmost importance during the platforming parts, and the controls falter a little here. Don’t get us wrong: it’s clear that a lot of work went into making sure the prince does what you want, but we still found ourselves falling into pits when we felt like we should have made the jump. Also, if you’re not using the latest iDevice hardware (second generation iPod Touches and 3G iPhones or older), you’ll experience frequent mid-level loading. Generally it doesn’t last long, but it can happen at very inconvenient times, like in the middle of a jump.

But for every negative in the game, you’ll find several positives to make up for it. The boss battles are epic and exciting. The voice acting and cutscenes come straight from the PS2 version, and they’re top notch. There’s even a prominent female character in a thong, which doesn’t take away from the game’s appeal one bit.

With a little more refinement, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within could have been a Must Have. It looks great and plays better than you might expect. The control and screen size/camera problems are the only things keeping us from giving it our full recommendation. Gameloft is working on an iPad version that might address some of our qualms. As is, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is a really fun game with occasional unnecessary frustrations. Look on the bright side: It could have been much worse.

News:

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is Back on the App Store

After an all-too-brief initial release, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within has returned to the App Store. The early problems with the game’s menus seem to have been cleared up, and it’s now available here for $9.99.

For our take on whether or not it’s worth a Hamilton, we’ll have a full review for you soon. But in the meantime check out our hands-on preview of a near-final build of the game. For what it’s worth, the 10 minutes we played of it were quite excellent.

News:

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Released, Then Pulled

The much-anticipated game Prince of Persia: Warrior Within was released last night for $9.99, but quickly pulled because of an issue with the game’s menu.

Gameloft announced on their Twitter page, “There is a little menu problem on Prince of Persia. The game will be removed from the App Store & we’ll let you know as soon as it’s fixed.”

Users are reporting that the menus were missing art, with gray boxes covering the screen instead. Some menu options were visible, but missing buttons made navigation difficult.

The rest of the game seems to have worked just fine, but if you missed the window of opportunity, you’ll have to wait for it to be re-released. In the meantime, check out our hands-on preview of the game, download the classic Prince of Persia Retro, or go to your local movie theater.

Previews:

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Hands-On Preview

The iPhone version of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is a port of the 2004 game released for the PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, and PC. It’s the darker, more violent sequel to The Sands of Time, the popular action platformer that breathed new life into the franchise.

If you played the game on a console, then you’ll know exactly what to expect from the iPhone version as, like the iPhone version of Rayman 2, it’s a direct port and every level is exactly the same. You’ll still run around, hacking up bad guys and navigating perilous terrain. The controls feel very tight, and we didn’t have much of a problem performing wall-runs, jumps, and rolling dodges after playing for a few minutes.

As usual, there’s a D-pad on the left and buttons on the right. The buttons change depending on what’s going on in the game, but you can jump, block, attack, dodge, wall-run, and pick up dropped enemy weapons. The many control options didn’t feel overwhelming, and we got used to the feel of the game very quickly. However, we only played the first level, so it’s possible that the trickier stunts later in the game become more difficult.

With all of the 3D platforming, we were glad to see that you can change the camera angle at will. You can drag your finger across the screen to rotate the camera around your character, or you can tap buttons in the upper right-hand corner to go into first-person view or pull back the camera to see your surroundings from a distance.

This is a dark game, and blood flies out of enemies as you hack them up. You can even slice enemies in half vertically, which we found particularly satisfying. The fighting felt precise; we had no problem handling the prince during the action.

The game also features the exact same cinemas, cut scenes, and voice acting as the original version on the console. We’re glad to hear that last part, because Gameloft hasn’t exactly had the greatest voice work in their past games.

With 24 chapters, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within should take about seven hours to complete. It will be released by the end of the month.

News:

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within Screenshots

Gameloft has just released the first screenshots of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within. Originally released in 2004 for the Xbox, PS2, GameCube, and PC, the game is the sequel to mega-hit Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The screenshots for the upcoming iPhone version of Warrior Within look quite detailed, polished, and… stabby. Check them out below.