To tenuously coincide with this weekend's religious celebrations we've covered the self-proclaimed gaming saviors that were crucified by the critics and now we celebrate the resurrections - the games long thought dead and buried that were given a new lease life...
Prince of Persia
The kinetic adventures of Babylon's athletic blue blood first appeared in 1989 on Apple II and quickly leapt to a multitude of other platforms, including Sega Master System and NES. The original was a running and jumping race against time - players were given an hour to navigate through 13 levels, rescue the imprisoned Princess and complete the game. The mixture of sword-based combat, ground breaking character animation, trap-lined platforming and neatly designed puzzles ensured that Prince of Persia stood out from the hoi polloi at a time when every bearded man with a home computer was having a pop at making games.
When did the series go ice cold?
10 years after the original (and six years after the sequel, Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame), Prince of Persia 3D was released for PC and Dreamcast. The introduction of an extra dimension to the previously flat design was handled pretty well, with some excellent levels crafted to really show off the Prince's acrobatic talents. However, the game was dogged by terrible controls and a stubbornly fixed camera that was wholly unsuited to the flux-focused gameplay.
A new king is born!
In 2003 publisher Ubisoft announced that it was working with series creator Jordan Mechner on a brand new Prince of Persia game, subtitled The Sands of Time. Using the 1989 original's core elements as a blueprint - acrobatic moves, the notion of time, sword fighting, deadly traps, romance etc - the development team created a modern classic. Despite receiving critical acclaim, however, Sands of Time enjoyed only moderate success in terms of sales.
Does it live on?
Since its resurrection Prince of Persia has provided gamers with mixed riches. The two sequels - Warrior Within and The Two Thrones - failed to capture the delicate wonders of Sands of Time. Both games have been tweaked and ported to other systems - Warrior Within appearing on PSP as Revelations, while Two Thrones is being dressed as Rival Swords for PSP and Wii. An excellent turn-based strategy DS title, Battles of Prince of Persia, also exists. What we're really waiting for, though, is the Prince's debut on PS3 and/or Xbox 360. We know it's coming...
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