The Top 7... prettiest games of 2008

Pick your jaw up off the floor and bask in their rainbow-colored glow

Barely sneaking in at the end of the year is Prince of Persia, Ubi’s latest re-imagining of a franchise that seems to outstay its welcome every single time. This outing, however, has our attention (andadmiration) thanks to its slick lighting effects and some of the best textures we’ve ever seen. In place of the traditional mud-colored palaces and earthy palette are open stretches of gorgeous land buzzing with life and foliage that actually sways in the breeze. Compare that to the previous games:

Also in place are brilliantly animated cel-shaded graphics that sizzle on the screen. While Sands of Time and its follow-ups may have the edge in the gameplay department (we’re not terribly keen on the “press one button to do everything” idea), Prince 2008 visually ousts its predecessors with ease. This extends from the aforementioned environments and graphics to the very characters themselves:

The last time we saw the hero currently known as Prince he was half emo-haired pretty boy and half charred asshole. If we have to choose between whatever that thing on the right is supposed to be and the new Prince, with his weathered face and robust wardrobe, we’ll go with fancy pants any day.

Or maybe we need a mix of the two? We dressed our six-foot, super-cereal Warrior Within Prince with a lovely feather boa, fashionable GamesRadar tee and just-casual-enough tie. Hm, we still prefer the new one. If only he didn’t talk like Brendan Fraser in the Mummy movies…

As for prominent female leads, uh, Prince ’08 gets our vote. Maybe you’re into frowny vamp chicks with impractical costumes and corpse teeth. We’re not. Sorry if we prefer Elika’s stately visage.

Perhaps the highest praise we can heap on PoP is the fact that this is what an HD Zelda game could have looked like (minus the rampant typos – seriously, there are a lot). Running through the many temples, palaces, dungeons and vast overworld constantly reminded us of Twilight Princess… if it were made with technology invented in the past five years. Nintendo, we’re begging you, please take advantage of modern computers.

Dah-huh! Not sure who was salivating eight years for another 3D romp ‘em up starring the world’s favorite/only bird and bear duo, but those who stuck in out were rewarded with a luscious landscape bursting with color. Hats off to Rare for once again crafting a visual feast with the same flair as Viva Pinata.

That completes our list, but as a quick aside, we really, really want to stress the accomplishments of Wario Land: Shake It! It’s not on this rundown because we already wrote a whole articleabout it and the fact that most Nintendo-published games are pretty.

Hear more about this article inTalkRadar.

Dec 8, 2008

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