You know your product has problems when it’s so glitchy that people create message board topics asking, “Will this game damage my PSP?”
For the record, I have no reason to believe that Prince of Persia: Revelations could possibly damage your PSP, unless you cram it into the system backwards or forcibly eject it like in Half-Life 2′s SMOD mod.
My experiences with the game’s bugs were pretty tame. Therefore, I can’t vouch for the authenticity of claims like “The Empress of Time disappeared into the ground and couldn’t be hurt, but she kept laughing at me from deep within her impregnable, subterranean shelter” or that famous tale of “My sword harmlessly passed through the enemies’ bodies, but that’s okay because they were frozen and couldn’t move anyway”.
So don’t believe the hype — even though the game sometimes looks like a bad Kung Fu film (audio clips for scripted events aren’t properly synced), out-of-control bugs are NOT what make Revelations an irritating experience. The insufficient framerate, unresponsive controls, and inopportune loading accomplish that on their own.
Revelation One: Because of the lag between button press and blade swing, sword-fights are a hell of a lot less entertaining than the fast-paced combat present in other 3D action games. When blades do clash, they don’t feel fluid. I could blame the PSP’s architecture for the controls and framerate, but smart developers would know I’d be lying.
Revelation Two: I jumped off a wall and landed on the ground. Not a long jump, mind you. I was so glad that I had landed on firm footing instead of falling into a pit . . . and then my happiness turned to sorrow as the prince crumpled into a heap. I got to watch his life slowly ebb away, and I couldn’t even do anything about it, because I didn’t yet have access to the time-reversing Sands. Apparently I had leapt onto The Ground That Shall Not Be Walked. This is what happens when developers exchange level design for scripted design — they get players leaping into totally accessible areas that they aren’t meant to be in, and the developers have no better way to handle it than to kill the player in some absurd way.
Revelation Three: While leaping across a pit I had leaped across five or six other times without any problems, the game stopped to load MID-JUMP. It’s extremely nerve-wracking to begin leaping across a giant chasm, only to have a yellow “now loading” symbol appear in the corner while the fragile prince hangs in mid-air like Michael Jordan . . . assuming Michael Jordan made a habit of leaping across bottomless pits, that is. This is the kind of thing that used to give PSP ports a bad name (until companies like Atlus and Falcom cleaned up Western developers’ mess).
But enough griping. This incarnation of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within isn’t just a screwed-up rehash of the console original. Ubisoft actually added some lengthy new puzzles. But I say that if you really want to experience some new puzzles, you should play a different game, because this one sucks.