The digital delights of Sony’s scrumptious PlayStation Network service know no bounds. Aside from letting punters compete in online gaming, stream films, browse the Internet and more, its premier attraction rests in the copious supply of downloadable games ripe for the picking. From PSN exclusives to PSOne Classics, minis and plain old add-on content, Sony’s online space is chock full of goodies battling it out for your hard-earned digital dollars.
Welcome back to another installment of Inside PlayStation Network, where every Monday – Friday we’ll pluck a PSN release—be it new or old—and put it in the spotlight for a thorough dissection. Fancy getting a new PSN game but don’t know what one to plump for? Perhaps this feature will help. Didn’t realize that a game was available in your region until now? We've got you covered. Or, perhaps you were musing over what those lucky Japanese folk were tucking into over in the Land of the Rising Sun? You can be sure our coverage will extend to those rare regional exclusives as much as those firmly embedded on the public consciousness.
For our latest entry, we turn back the clocks to shine the spotlight on the classic platform romp, Prince of Persia.
Developer: Ubisoft Sofia/Gameloft
Region(s) available: North America, Europe
1989’s Prince of Persia was nothing short of a revolutionary release. Conceived by Jordan Mechner, the classic platformer stood out from the contemporary crowd thanks to its marriage of merciless difficulty, superb animations and gripping sword-based combat. For those who missed out on this defining slice in gaming’s illustrious history, the game has been reborn for a new generation of joypad junkies on PS3 and XBL under the moniker Prince of Persia Classic.
The story is your classic damsel in distress-based shenanigans. The dastardly Grand Vizier Jaffar has kidnapped the princess of a prosperous kingdom, demanding he accepts his hand in marriage or perishes. What’s more, she has only one hour to make up her mind. Cue our courageous hero, who after escaping from the dungeons, embarks on a quest to liberate the poor lass from Jaffar’s clutches. Indeed, while the basic template remains the same, this updated version has received a few extra bits and pieces thrown in for good measure.
Most conspicuously, PoP has benefited from a fairly extensive aesthetical overhaul, mirroring the visuals seen in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. In short, they’re vibrant, gorgeous and certainly far more substantial than what we’ve seen in other re-releases on Sony’s online service. Gameloft’s also thrown in a checkpoint system, which alleviates much frustration posed by the game’s crushing difficulty. Combat’s also been tweaked and improved upon the original release, and certainly isn’t a safe haven for button mashers.
Fortunately the core platforming elements are just as prevalent as they were before, with our hero forced to navigate an array of traps and obstacles, from spike pits, chopping blades to crumbling platforms and gaping chasms.
All the while you have the nagging, perennial ticking of the clock reminding you that time is not a luxury you have as you blast through the game’s 14, action-packed stages. Bizarrely, you can still save the Princess if you run out of time, though you’ll get an extended cut-scene if you manage to beat the clock. As such, PoP is an inherently short affair, though its bite-sized antics make it ideal for passing a spare hour or so. Once you’ve cleaned up the main game, you can also have a stab at the extra game modes, namely Time Trial and Survival.
Tune in again same time tomorrow for another poke around Inside PlayStation Network.