It’s been a week of magazine scans on here so lets keep the theme going with a stack of Prince Of Persia reviews. These are in honour of Dos Game Club choosing Prince Of Persia for their July game. I spent the first 3 weeks of the month playing through the first three games in the series. I’m not new to any of them but it had certainly been a while.
Starting of course with the original classic Prince Of Persia, I don’t have any entirely contemporary reviews as dedicated PC Gaming mags in the UK don’t actually go back quite that far but I did find 3 articles looking back at it. This first comes from the second PC gaming mag I ever bought, PC Review Issue 8 (June 1992). This is back when these magazines had about a third of their pages at the rear printed on cheap telephone directory style paper that were full of buyers guides, directories of dealers and one classic game of the month :-
Another game of the month article from PC Zone Issue 5 – August 1993
And finally a much later look back from a “Games That Changed The World” supplement which came with PC Zone sometime in 2005:-
It took a while but Prince Of Persia got an inevitable sequel in 1993. Going back and playing it now I have mixed feelings. It expanded the scope and story of the first games with cutscenes, a responsive soundtrack, much more varied backgrounds + new enemies and traps. It seemed very slightly unfinished to me though with less precise controls, occasional bugs and incredibly frustrating gameplay. They really did turn the difficulty up to 11 on this one so any minor issues with jumping or combat get magnified out of proportion. That said it is still completable if you persevere and learn by rote but expect to swear at your computer a lot before you get there.
It’s back to PC Zone Issue 5 for the first review:-
And another from PC Review Issue 21 – July 1993 :-
On to Prince Of Persia 3D which came out much later in 1999. That puts it outside of the DOS era so it’s not strictly relevant for a DOS gaming club but I fancied playing it anyway. This was a much maligned game at the time as I recall but I quite enjoyed it. The formula had already been done by Tomb Raider to a large extent but Prince Of Persia 3D certainly plays much like the first games so it was more or less what I wanted from a sequel even if it’s not exactly a classic. I was playing a patched version and I gather there were some issues with the original release which may have been a factor. It is quite a slow paced game much of the time in which you are always having to plan out your moves which may have put some people off. A more controllable camera would have been nice but it wasn’t that bad and this was 1999 I suppose. The introduction of quicksaves makes it a far less frustrating experience than Prince Of Persia 2 – if I had to pick between them I’d choose this one. Before the reviews, I found one preview when trying to figure out which month I needed to look at. This is from PC Gaming World in May 1999:-
The first review is PC Zone 83 – December 1999. I’m not entirely convinced we were playing the same game:-
A fairer review from PC Format in the same month:-
And the last one from PC Home December 1999 :-