What Sands of Time Gets Right


New member
Apr 15, 2008
Uber Waddles said:
Yes, Sands of Time had superb platforming; Assassins Creed 2 did it better.
I'd be forced to disagree. The AC games have consistently suffered from poor, spastic, and inconsistent controls. Nor would I describe AC2 as being a predominantly platforming game; and the few puzzle sections where they go for platforming are significantly inferior to the Sands of Time.

Sands of Time was about as close to a perfectly balanced game as you're going to get. And the gameplay was simply a joy to experience. And it wedded that gameplay to one of the best-told stories in the history of video games. It may not be the best game of all time, but if it isn't, then it's very, very close.

Atmos Duality

New member
Mar 3, 2010
jtesauro said:
Your point about voice acting in these games is interesting to me, because as much as I like it, it's not the sort of thing I'm married to. I heard recently for example that The Old Republic was originally supposed to be a partially voiced game more in the vein of Dragon Age: Origins, but that everyone liked a fully voiced protagonist so much in Mass Effect that they said they needed to do it here too, even given the massive undertaking that would be.

Then again I can remember hearing from a random gamer on my site months ago, we talked about the same thing, and the fact that DA WASN'T fully voiced really turned him off after having liked it in Mass Effect.
Sounds like the standards have changed completely then, and in a way, this proves my point that high presentation values now trump high gameplay quality. After all, if this is what the market wants then it would be foolish for the publishers to not deliver.

So as much as it can restrict rewrites and make more work, I don't think it's just the studios trying to be difficult or snub anything else, it seems to be something that people enjoy now.

And heck, it's been then another zelda game...
This is why games quoted as having a "strong story" today have more in common with movie scripts than novels. Don't get me wrong, this can turn into something amazing, but the I still believe the strongest stories aren't found buried up to their necks in Hollywood cliche's (Deus Ex manages to pull that off. So does Killer 7, which is a bit of an irony).


New member
Jul 28, 2009
Indeed, arcs are something that we don't see enough of in video games today. One of my favorite game series of all time, Kingdom Hearts, yields absolutely no arc whatsoever. By the end of game Three, Sora is still the same naive, good-shall-triumph, heart-of-the-cards child that he was at the start of game One. What makes Kingdom Hearts even more infuriating is that everyone EXCEPT Sora gets their own arc. Jack Skellington goes from a man (skeleton?) lost in his own delusions of grandeur, oblivious to the impact his actions have on those who love him, to a reformed leader willing to accept advice from those techincally "below" him. They copy Simba's story arc wholesale from his movie. Riku, once a child whose only desire is to escape from a place he finds oppressive, ends the game as a young man who realises that what he once thought was a prison was really where he wanted to be the whole time. Cloud... never mind. Cloud just angsts his way through both games. To watch all the character growth that goes on around the character, while he himself his immune to any kind of development, is truely infuriating.

But, regarding the chemistry between the two leads in PoP Sands, I am reminded, oddly, of Disney's "The Rescuers" for the same reason. Despite the romance being between two mice, their dialogue and pacing as they go from perfect strangers to lovebirds is amazingly natural. It rises up a scale, going from "strangers" to "people who work together" to "friends" to "more then friends" to "love" very naturally. It doesn't cop out with a song like in "Beauty and the Beast", it doesn't mash two dolls together and say "they love each other now" like they do in "Sleeping Beauty". It is a very natural (that word again) progression, and I love the movie for it.


New member
Mar 10, 2009
martintox said:
Huh... When I played Sands of Time, I just saw an average story with a "badass" male lead and an annoying female lead who inevitably fall in love because hollywood says so.

Although, it might be because I played the game in french and the french voice acting is horrible, which was weird for a Ubisoft game at the time. Beyond Good and Evil and Rayman 3 had great french voice acting...

I think I should take another look at Sands of Time, in english this time.
Yes, you should. The thing is that he tries to put up this badass screen, but fails..

Just like everything french.

[small]Just kidding[/small]


New member
Nov 20, 2009
romxxii said:
MrNelg said:
The one thing I've noticed with you Ben is that you're constantly explaining what made the game fail, and NOT what made the good parts good.
You must be new to Zero and Extra Punctuation, then. To paraphrase Yahtzee's Batman:Arkham Asylum review, you don't call a sewage technician to redecorate your bathroom, and you don't watch Yahtzee to hear about how a game is good. He understands that his fan/hatedom want to hear him bash a game.

You want to know what Yahtzee thinks makes great games? Watch his Psychonauts, Silent Hill 2, Prince of Persia SOT and Saints Row 2 reviews.
I'm pretty much aware of that. What I was trying to suggest, was maybe Yahtzee should try something new; something different, instead of doing the same bloody thing, day in, day out. The whole point of my post was helpful advice, not an unreasonable demand. That's what anyone needs, and it's up to them if they wish to take notice of it or not.

Speaking of fans, since when dose Yahtzee listen to fans? Aren't fans clinging, complaining dipshits?


u mad?
Jan 12, 2010
The only game I've played all the way through, where I really like a character's arc was Assassin's Creed 1. Altair is a very dynamic character. He starts out as the big, high-and-mighty arrogant character, who has been raise by Al-Mualim, but has been so busy trying to impress him that he focuses only on killing his targets and becoming a better assassin, that he completely ignores the basic three tenets of Creed.
When Al-Mualim strips him of his rank, he is at first resistant to this treatment, but there are several very well-written and well-acted scenes that show his development as a character. (The scene with Al-Mualim where he finally learns the meaning of "Nothing is true, everything is permitted" comes to mind.)


New member
Apr 7, 2008
I'd like to suggest not worrying about SPOILERS when doing any kind of "in-depth" article on video games, or any topic for that matter. It's so limiting as to complete neuter the discussion on had, like trying to do an article on sex and having to use childish words like "pee pee" or "wee wee."

Good article otherwise, your writing really perks up when you have something you enjoy talking about!