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Critical Reception: Ubisoft's Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones

This week, Critical Reception takes a look at the third installment of Ubisoft's Prince of Persia trilogy, The Two Thrones. Since the previous installment,...
This week, Critical Reception takes a look at the third installment of Ubisoft's Prince of Persia trilogy, The Two Thrones. Since the previous installment, The Warrior Within, was considered by many harsher critics to be an overly broad re-imagining, taking the game away from the spirit of the original, The Two Thrones returns the series to better form in a conclusion that garnered an average rating of 83% across all platforms from game review compilation website GameTab. Pluses about the game include, according to GameSpot's Bob Colayco: "Same great environmental puzzles you loved from the first two games; lengthy, well-paced campaign; speed kills keep the action moving; fun and challenging boss fights; prince lost the baditude." Yahoo! Video Games' Russ Fischer includes a similar list: "Incredibly smooth acrobatics; Great speed kill system; Beautiful Babylon." IGN's Ivan Sulic also says as much: "The story is cool, the heroes are likable, the weak are pitiable, the villains are bastards, the major plot points are exciting, the art is grand, the sound is wonderful...and then the gameplay comes. The established Prince platforming is terrific! The new emphasis on acrobatics as a means to extend combat (and vice versa) is exactly where the series needs to go, too." It appears that there's not much to complain about either. The negatives include, on Colayco's list: "Certain scenes rely too much on trial and error; start of the story may cause confusion." From IGN's Sulic, the main sticking point is: "At times it feels like every bit of wonder is always followed or preceded by the Dark Prince, which represents the sum of [the game]'s faults -- a reluctant admission that Prince of Persia still aspires to be a simple action game when it's so much more than goblin chopping." It is here that Yahoo! Games' Fischer provides a dissenting opinion, regarding the voice work to be "lousy," the storytelling to be "dodgy" at some points, and expressing concern that "most puzzles offer little challenge", which is opposite of Colayco's concern about scenes requiring too much trial and error. Interestingly enough, while most reviewers regard The Two Thrones as a welcome return to the spirit of the original and were generally positive about the game, it actually scored 1% less than The Warrior Within on aggregate, since that title garnered an average of 84% across all consoles, according to GameTab. Perhaps this fact reflects higher standards now than when The Warrior Within was on the shelves. Nonetheless, Prince Of Persia: The Two Thrones is sure to score with fans of the series, but whether it will find more mainstream consumers in this overstuffed, undernourished transitional holiday season is more difficult to say.

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