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To start off, I randomly got a new game this past weekend, Prince of Persia. I thought I needed a break from all the Dragon Age excitement, and yes, even I will admit that it can get tedious after awhile. When I start swearing at the screen every few minutes, it’s time for a change of pace. Sometimes it’s nice to take a platformer and just enjoy the freedom it provides. Sometimes I’ll do that with Assassin’s Creed – just scale buildings and run across rooftops and sometimes assassinate guards when I need to and run some more.
Prince of Persia is similar to Assassin’s Creed in that they’re both Ubisoft games, and both provide wide open worlds that you can perform amazing leaps and climb to impressive heights. To be honest, I’ve never played any of the Prince of Persia games, so I’m not invested in the story emotionally. I didn’t even realize that this isn’t the same ‘Prince’ who usually stars in these games. This isn’t ‘Sands of Time‘ or ‘The Forgotten Sands‘; this is a whole different place with a whole different story. And you have a sidekick.
Elika's hot, nimble, and totally going to fall for the Prince.
A hot, female sidekick with whom there’s a whole lot of sexual tension.
In fact, the story starts with a bang. *wink wink nudge nudge* And I aaaaalmost mean a bang. Elika, your soon-to-be sidekick, literally falls on top of you. Shortly thereafter, you are carrying her, catching her when she nearly faints after healing lands, grabbing her hand when you scrabble across a cliff wall, catching her in your arms when you drop from a height, flirting with her, holding her waist as you fight a warrior, etc. Sure, she acts resistant, but with a guy who’s charming smile could dazzle stone and who’s chiseled abs could be used for laundry…it’s only a matter of time.
Many of the reviews that I’ve found for this Prince of Persia game are saying that the protagonist is unlikeable, stereotypical, and without a shred of a multi-dimensional personality. I beg to differ. While he may not be the funniest guy around, he makes an effort at jokes and in the process keeps the mood light where it could easily fall into the heavy and depressing side of things, and I’ve actually found myself giggling aloud at some of them. Flat jokes are absolutely realistic. Sometimes when guys try…they try to hard, and it’s painful. Others might argue that it’s actually sexist to force Elika to be the sidekick when she seems to be more valuable to restoring the lands than the prince himself. True, but what woman doesn’t dream about a knight in shining armor? (Also, it’s kinda funny what comes up when you Google ‘knight in shining armor’. I like the shopping results…there’s a teddy bear dressed up in medieval garb) Plus, while Elika surely could figure out how to pick up a sword and could fight alone, I think she takes some strength from having a figure like the prince there alongside her. Suddenly, the nightmare seems like it can be turned. It’s not too overwhelming or impossible to overcome.
To be honest, all this ‘tenting’ tension has me playing longer than I might normally (yep, up until 1 am playing the other night). I can’t wait to see what happens next.