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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
8.2
Visuals
8.5
Audio
8.0
Gameplay
8.5
Features
9.0
Replay
8.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Game Boy
PUBLISHER:
Ubisoft
DEVELOPER:
Ubisoft Montreal
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
October 30, 2003
ESRB RATING:
Teen
IN THE SERIES
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

More in this Series
 Written by Jeff Milligan  on December 16, 2003

Review: Turning back the clocks on a classic franchise.


Prince of Persia is one of the older but greater gaming franchises that, back in the day, ruled the gaming scene. Since then the series has become little more than a distant memory for most. However, being the intelligent company that Ubi Soft is, they cleverly decided to bring back the series in all its glory on today's consoles. Titled Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the new addition to the series has made an explosion on the gaming scene, and with good reason. Luckily for Game Boy Advance owners, Ubi Soft also decided to create a portable version of The Sands of Time. How does it match up with its console brethren? Read on.


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Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is based on none other than, you guessed it, the Prince of Persia. After finding an ancient, magical dagger, the young Prince is tricked into using it to unleash a great and powerful evil. Using the power of The Sands of Time, the Prince must return the land to peace. Players take command of the Prince, but can also control other characters at certain times, including Farah, the daughter of a conquered Indian Maharajah (don't worry, I had to sound it out too).


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Upon first playing The Sands of Time, the first thing that hit me was that it's very similar to playing Aladdin on the Super Nintendo. I mean, come on, it's got an ancient middle-east setting, a main character that wears baggy white pants and carries a scimitar, and pole-jumping and avoiding pits are all but common place. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I, for one, thought that Aladdin was a great game back in the days of the Genesis, and the same view carries through into Prince of Persia. The Sands of Time also utilizes a side-scrolling camera, another attribute going back to the golden days of gaming, and a technique which is used less and less in current titles.


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The entire basis behind the GBA version of Prince of Persia is staying alive and solving puzzles by utilizing the Dagger of Time. This Dagger allows the Prince to collect Sand from fallen enemies. No, the Prince doesn't have a business filling up jars with sand and sea-shells like every shop in Florida does. Instead, this Sand allows the Prince to control time. Using the Sand Bar, players can see when time control can be used. When the bar indicates that there is Sand in the Dagger, players can use their ability to control different aspects of time. However, players must first learn to use certain time control techniques by collecting various scrolls that are located throughout the game.


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One benefit that Nintendo players have over other console versions of some games is the option to unlock exclusive content through the Game Boy Advance to GameCube connection. The Sands of Time is one of those times in which Nintendo followers get the goods. By connecting the GBA version to the GC version, players can unlock bonus material for the GC version of the game. Yet the best feature of the connection is the ability to unlock the original Prince of Persia from 1989 that can be played on the GameCube. This option takes a little work though, as players will have to unlock 3 secret switches during the adventure on the Game Boy Advance version. A reward which is well worth the effort.


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Obviously, the Game Boy Advance version of The Sands of Time isn't going to have the amazing graphics that the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions have. However, what it does have is a solid graphical interface for the limited hardware capabilities available. The voice acting and FMV's of the console versions are replaced with images and printed words that carry out most of the game's storytelling. Also, as was mentioned, Prince of Persia uses a side-scrolling viewpoint, which also works very well. There's no slow-down throughout the game, which is important when jumping pits and landing on certain platforms is crucial.

Bottom Line
Although the Game Boy Advance version of The Sands of Time isn't quite the amazing gameplay experience the console versions are, it's still a solid title for all you handheld gamers out there. If the gameplay itself doesn't snag your attention right away, certainly the ability to play the original should, which warrants the game a purchase by itself. If you're a follower of the Prince of Persia line of games, or a fan of the good ol' side-scroller, I see no reason why you shouldn't pick up The Sands of Time.


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