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Prince of Persia: Rival Swords review

This feature-packed PSP edition might be the Prince's best adventure yet

For

  • Controls great on PSP
  • Level design still amazing
  • Tons of new stuff

Against

  • Irksome camera problems
  • Horrible sound glitches
  • Unskippable cinemas

More than a year after the Prince of Persia trilogy wrapped with the awesome Two Thrones, the acrobatic adventure has squeezed its way onto the PSP with Prince of Persia: Rival Swords. Essentially just Two Thrones with a surprising amount of new content shoehorned in, Rival Swords isn't just one of the best Prince of Persia games - it's one of the best PS2-to-PSP transitions we've played yet.

Unlike a lot of other PS2 ports we could name, with their choppy framerates and impossible cameras, the action and controls in Rival Swords are pretty close to flawless. The Prince bounces around the game's precarious environments with the same fluid grace he does in the full-sized versions, and guiding him up the game's impossible structures and past its giant deathtraps is somehow even easier. Granted, moving the camera around still gets awkward, but that's more than offset by the new levels, multiplayer modes and other extras that got stuffed into this edition.

Like Two Thrones, Rival Swordsopens withthe Prince returning hometo Babylon to find it in flames. It seems that by mucking around with the past in PoP: Warrior Within, he's unwittingly resurrected one of his greatest enemies. Said enemy sacks Babylon and unleashes the deadly Sands of Time, turninghis soldiersinto monsters. Now Babylon is infested with sand zombies, the Prince is hunted through the streets and, worst of all, he's lost his shirt again.

Despite the downer of an opening, Rival Swordsmarks a return to the lighter, more adventurous tone of The Sands of Time, as well as to the puzzles that made that game great. There are still plenty of enemies to fight, but now there's a much greater focus on leaping, running and climbing your way through baroque deathtraps. These bits are challenging, but the solutions are usually obvious enough to not break your momentum as you hurtle through them. And if you screw up, the Prince can slow down or reversetime, letting you undo any boneheaded mistakes.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionThe best Prince of Persia since Sands of Time returns with cool motion controls and not much else
PlatformWii, PSP
US censor ratingTeen, Teen
UK censor rating,
Release date: (US), (UK)
Available platforms:PSP
Genre:Action

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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