What Sands of Time Gets Right

Boba Frag

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So.... no reference to the Rebecca Mayes video....

I agree- it's what made AC2 and Mass Effect (1 and 2) work so very well for me, and why they're two of my favourite games of all time.

Really tricky to pull off a lot in mainstream gaming, but I think its downright annoying when its done very poorly.

God of War's Kratos is just a dick.... and no amount of centaur bashing makes up for that.
 

John the Gamer

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I never had to walk slowly to pass the spiky floor segment-thingies; I just rolled over them, or ran over the wall to get past. always worked for me, but then again, I played the pc version, and the other version are possibly different. Though bats and birds are indeed annoying, even on the PC.
 

sketchesofpayne

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Let's see, games I thought had decent, if not good, story and characterization:

Odin Sphere
Disgaea 2
Mana Khemia
Persona 3
Persona 4

Hmm... Can't think of any PC games I've played that have a /character-driven/ story. It's usually more about the setting than the characters.
 

thegamingbrit

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Aug 10, 2009
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This is similar to my feelings on the original Ratchet and Clank where the main character's mood changes throughout in response to the stress or anxiety he's feeling.
 

Enigma6667

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It's nice to see you doing something other than bashing every game you see every now and then.

I have to say, I'm glad that you didn't have to sit through the movie version because you would've probably hated it to death. None of the stuff you mentioned such as character arc were even in the film. Dastan (The name they came up with for the prince) barely had any emotions other than arrogance and pride, and the actress they got for the princess was phenomenally awful, and never really seemed like a romantic at all. And even worse was that their romance and attempts at humor were so forced it made me want to gag.

Which was a shame because it was still an entertaining action flick, but all of the emotional luster and development that you mentioned are completely absent in the film.

Trust me, you made the right choice in avoiding it.
 

Flishiz

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I think the problem with having an arc in a game is that the gameplay often reflects a character. Often a game will have improvements for a character like new abilities or weapons, but if the protagonist has a change of heart, like suddenly deciding to vow never to kill with their own hands again, then you can't exactly fairly say to the player "well, all that stuff you were investing your time and XP in was just a total waste." Unless you're Alpha Protocol.
 

Pro DELBOY

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Jun 26, 2010
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The storyline to Homeworld on the PC back in 99 gave me the sniffles from the very start. It was total goose-pimplely game from start to finish and I recommend it to all sci-fi fans out there.
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Jul 18, 2009
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This was the problem I had with Uncharted 2: The characters don't seem to change throughout their misadventures. They're exactly the same at the end of the game as they were at the beginning. Ready for another witty adventure.

Oh, and you forgot to mention the love scene. Still the best one of any game.
 

Sonicron

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Mar 11, 2009
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Before you ask, no, I didn't miss the point of the article, but the one line that stood out for me was the very last sentence.
Yahtzee... you used the SAW?!
You cruel, cruel bastard. >.>
 

carpathic

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Jhereg42 said:
The game hero is a little different from the Movie Hero, and as a result true character arcs are actually pretty hard to come by.

Most of the Game Hero types have their roots in power/hero fantasy type situations. When a hero is 'flawed', it usually just means the writers want an excuse to make him an ass, not write in true flaws. AS much as I enjoyed Mass Effect 2, it was pretty obvious that whether he was a paragon or a dick, Sheppard was designed to be an exceptional example of the human race, and it was a little bit disappointing.
I had an argument about this with a coworker today (though we were talking about the role of women in history and how they have been often devalued.) Okay, so this might have little to do with this on the surface, but my idea was that perhaps the history of the good and the great wasn't so bad. Much like the stereotypical hero. When I control an average hero in exceptional circumstances, it doesn't feel real or connect with me. It is like Bill Gates being the richest guy in the world. I can't connect with him, because it feels more like he was a lucky guy with the right product at the right time, in the right place. With Super-Shepards and the like, it feels more transcendant because there is no doubt that it is his efforts.
 

challenger001

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Apr 7, 2010
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Assassin's Creed 2 has come up a lot in these comments and I can't help wondering if maybe Yahtzee has a bit more endearment towards it than he let slip in his review. Ezio certainly has a character development arc, there are plenty of nice tombs all about the free-running mechanic, and the scenery looks beautiful to boot. Why is it that he holds the first PoP so close to his heart when Ubisoft have created much the same, only better?
 

Woodsey

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Straying Bullet said:
Basically what he's saying that Prince of Persia: SoT remains the best game evur and nothing can beat it's characters and story? BioWare might be rivalling their games but still, this game needs a serious HD Package towards the PS3. No doubt.
Fuck that - play the original and don't trust someone to remake it.

OT: Totally agree, in every way. Easily in my top 5 too. I'd say the only game story I "prefer" is in Mafia.

The very best part of the Sands of Time is it's theme of growing up and accepting your faults and the wrong things you've done, which is a massive part of Mafia too.

Who knows, maybe I'm trying to subconsciously tell myself something.

SoT is just so full of charm, of soul, and of passion. Whilst the platform and combat is, to be honest, better in the Forgotten Sands the game is so much worse because it lacks any kind of passion or character development - in fact the Prince's development made in SoT is sort of written out in TFS. Don't get me started on the one single (very flippant) comment he makes about Farah, because it gets me mad.

challenger001 said:
Assassin's Creed 2 has come up a lot in these comments and I can't help wondering if maybe Yahtzee has a bit more endearment towards it than he let slip in his review. Ezio certainly has a character development arc, there are plenty of nice tombs all about the free-running mechanic, and the scenery looks beautiful to boot. Why is it that he holds the first PoP so close to his heart when Ubisoft have created much the same, only better?
I'm not sure if you really "get it" - he doesn't love the game because of the platforming (although I'd say he likes it because of that), it's all about the characters. The relationship and interaction between the Prince and Farah is incredibly strong and well-written, and the Prince's arc is far more focused than Ezio's.

Ezio grows up and has a good arc and is a likable character, but the Prince really changes.
 

Jhales

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Jul 29, 2009
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I played Sands of time with cheats, just so I could focus on the story and characters, and less on the game play. I really enjoyed it. It was fun. And after I beat SoT, I moved onto Warrior Within, expecting the story to somehow continue from SoT. I've only played WW for maybe an hour or so, I couldn't stand it and I didn't know what was going on. Apparently if I had the instruction book, I could READ some stuff which explains the GAME.
 

Newbiespud

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Oct 28, 2009
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The first character arc I really noticed in a game was that of Altair from the first Assassin's Creed. He starts out proud and hot-headed, which directly gets him and everyone around him into trouble (and/or dead). So he's slapped down to novice status and instructed to assassinate the region's evils in order to redeem his own evils.

And it actually happens. As Altair undertakes the long, arduous task of assassination over and over again by himself - and as he learns more about the true nature of the corruption rampant in the cities, hearing his targets' twisted logic - he calms down and becomes wiser about his actions, taking a brand new look at the meaning and reasoning behind the Creed. And this sheer wisdom lets him ascend above the tyrants, and (without spoiling too much) even above the masters of the Brotherhood of Assassins.

Looking back, the arcs in Sands of Time aren't nearly as blatant as Altair's, and that probably makes them of a higher quality. But regardless, I can agree that a meaningful character arc can really enrich a gaming experience.
 

MuD3

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Jun 22, 2009
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kind of sick of hearing about your huge hard on for sands of time...
 

GethinPetrelli

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May 12, 2009
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I don't see how the having a bad story has to do with a games budget being more focused on graphical content. Surely they're still paying SOMEONE to write a story. Their just paying morons who couldn't see a decent story if it bit their face off.