Who's that Prince?

I've mentioned before that I love the Prince of Persia series, so I won't go into that here. What I like most about it is how it has been handled throughout the years. It's more like the Final Fantasy series than something like Sonic. Each installment is its own universe--the only common threads being the Prince, environmental puzzles, and acrobatic traversal.  The prince is an archetype, a simple framework on which great fantasy games are built.

The new game due in May, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, takes place during the early parts of the Sands of Time trilogy, which wrapped up in 2005 with Two Thrones. Apparently this will fill in the seven year gap between the light and whimsical Sands of Time and the angsty, visceral Warrior Within (also known as the game where the prince becomes a total douche). I just finished playing Two Thrones on the PSP (it's called Rival Swords there) and I was reminded at how well Ubisoft turned things around after the harsh reaction to the hard rock "edgy" tone in Warrior Within. The trilogy is a redemption story in more ways than one, but that's a blog for another day.

What I was also reminded of while playing Rival Swords (stay with me on these names), was the visual inconsistency of the prince's design. In gameplay he went largely unchanged, as it seems they used the same character model for all three games.