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Game Reviews
'Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones'
By: UBI Soft
(PS2 / ASIN: B000A0EFJM / Rated: M / $49.99)

Features: Play and master two distinct characters, the Prince and the Dark Prince -- wield the powers and weapons of two master warriors with different combat styles, attitudes, and histories. The expanded Free-Form Fighting system lets you choose the way you kill - Strangle enemies from afar, use a new stealth art to inflict surprise decapitations -- and much more. Dominate enemies on the perilous rooftops, dodge through chaotic streets, and ambush pursuers in dark underground passageways. Manipulate time to surprise enemies, using all-new Sands Of Time properties. Action combat, agility and story-driven puzzles are blended together for a rich gaming experience.

Description: 'Prince of Persia: Two Thrones' picks up the incredible action and adventure of the series with an all-new chapter. The Prince has returned from his adventures with his love, Kaileena. Instead of the peace that he longs for, he finds his homeland ravaged by war and the kingdom turned against him. The Prince is captured and Kaileena has no choice but to sacrifice herself and unleash the Sands of Time to save him. Now a fugitive, the Prince discovers that past battles have given rise to a deadly Dark Prince, whose spirit gradually possesses him.

Verdict: 'The Prince of Persia' series has left a huge mark on the gaming world. The newest in the series makes that mark permanent, keeping true to the entire series. Fans old and new alike, should be satisfied. The prince has returned from the Island of Time to Babylon with his new love Kaileena. To those who didn't see the alternate ending to the previous title, Warrior Within, you may find yourself a little confused here. As they come into the harbor, they're ship is invaded and Kaileena is captured. You soon find that the man behind the attack is the vizier from the very first game. He then murders Kaileena and unleashes the sands of time on Babylon. As the prince, you're going to battle to save your kingdom and avenge your lover's death. The prince has to worry about more than just the sand creatures and the viziers warriors. Because of the sands of time, he'll also have to confront his arrogant self from the past. There will be moments in the game where the prince will have a conversation with... well... himself. The darker version of himself. This stems from the fact that Warrior Within suffered heavy criticism and complaints from fans about how arrogant he was in Warrior Within. This in and of itself would be easy to poke at were it not done so well. The voice acting is A+ material, and the change is consistent throughout the entire game. You're also given the oppurtunity to play as the Dark Prince from time to time. As the Dark Prince you'll have an interesting weapon that resembles a chain. The Dark Prince is much more aggressive in combat, and a lot of fun to play as. The downside, however, is he constantly looses health. Luckily for you, this isn't a problem at all. Every enemy you defeat drops health to restore you. You shouldn't run out of health very often. The only hard part about playing as the Dark Prince is his acrobatic moments. You'll eventually get it down, but you'll probably die several times first. There's a new technique added in 'The Two Thrones.' This tactic is known as "speed-killing." By sneaking up behind an unsuspecting enemy, you can grab them. This begins an animation known as the speed-kill. The game will then pause for a moment and you'll have to press a button to execute a strike. You'll execute anywhere from one to five strikes. If you don't press the button, the speed kill will fail and you'll have to fight the enemy the normal way. But hey, if you mess up, you can rewind and try it again. The animations are incredible looking, and they're a lot of fun to pull off. You can run across walls and perform some really awesome jumps of course, something 'Prince of Persia' is very well known for. Several puzzles throughout the game require you to run along walls and jump to switches to get through. Again, some of them are done by a bit of trial and error, but they are, for the most part, fun. There are also chariot races, but they're not much fun, really. A simple mistake could cost you your life. Once again, trial and error will be the key in succeeding. The good news is that you've got the sands of time on your hands. If you horribly screw up at any of these trial and error moments, you can easily rewind back so long as you've still got some sand. The game looks gorgeous. The environments are a lot of fun to explore and sulk in, and the character models look good too. It's obvious at some parts that it's the same graphics used in the previous two games with almost no changes, but the previous games were gorgeous anyhow. Some of the pixels don't quite fit in with the environment, and that's okay. You probably won't notice them. If you're looking for what is the best of the three versions, there's no clear winner. The XBOX version has great load times, but a few lighting effects cause it some problems, and the PS2 version suffers from slow down in some areas. There's almost nothing wrong with the Gamecube version, but it depends on what you want. If you want fast load times, go with the XBOX version, it's lighting problems aren't really that noticeable. Overall, 'Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones' marks a thrilling conclusion to a remarkable trilogy. Any holes it left in the plot are neatly filled. Any fan of the series will be satisfied.

Reviewed by Arnold Lando