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Prince of Persia: Warrior Within
Reviewed April, 2005 By Tony Peak

Developer/Publisher: Gameloft
Platform: J2ME
Single/Multiplayer: Single
Handset Used for the Review: Motorola V300
Price: $5.99

The Prince of Persia returns once again in Warrior Within, and Gameloft proves there's still plenty of life left in this series. Like Sands of Time and Harlem Adventures, Warrior Within is still a side scrolling action game with deadly puzzles and traps mixed in. This time around however, there's an increased focus on combat as well including a very challenging 15 level 'survival mode' style arena.

Like the Prince's other adventures, you'll spend much of your time avoiding pits, spikes, blades, and other staples of the Prince of Persia universe with leaps and switches. The Prince has matured in this adventure however, and is now noticeably more acrobatic and combat ready. Wall running, freezing time, finishing moves and counter attacks are all a part of your arsenal now, and you'll need every move. Thankfully controls are still very simple, one handed button combos such as down, attack (2, 5) or forward, attack, forward (6, 5, 6). Wall running is a simple as holding down jump, and thanks to the well choreographic fighting moves, even taking on multiple enemies from both sides at once is a snap.

The graphics in Warrior Within are easily the best of the series yet, which is no small task considering Sands of Time already looked very, very good. Both the sprites and the environment are very detailed, sharp, and richly textured. All of the Prince's combat moves animate smoothly, the enemies react convincingly, and the finishing moves show a lot of style to boot. The game's 10 levels are spread over a variety of environments, from a pirate ship to outside garden type structures, and of course ancient palaces. Each carries with it the same detailed, handcrafted feeling that is sure to turn heads. A surprising amount of detail has been packed into this tiny screen. There's not much audio to speak of, the game is mostly silent, but the little intro tune and opening music to each try feels very in sync with the rest of the game. Most of the sounds are instead handled by vibration, such as swords clashing and stone traps falling.

Prince of Persia: Warrior Within is without doubt a solid, lengthy, thoroughly enjoyable adventure that fans of the series will certainly enjoy. The campaign should clock in at a few solid hours of gameplay or more depending on how many retries it takes. It took me several sessions of 30-45 minutes to finally complete. The arena will take quite a bit of practice to survive, and easily extends the play time much further as well as offering very quick entertainment. I would have liked to seen more use of the time element, but all in all it's hard to find fault with Warrior Within.

Playing Hints and Tips

- In the arena, Payback and Blade Dervish will be your best moves. Knock the enemies down as quickly as possible, then finish them with a stab to the ground. Don't bother trying to whittle away their life. The heart stab attack works as well, but it's rather slow and not guaranteed to work in a time limited battle.

- Try breaking barrels and other objects around the map for health potions and other hidden items. Careful though, many are trapped with hidden enemies.

- To get a highscore, it's important to move fast for a time bonus and to avoid retries as much as possible, each one takes a pretty big penalty from your score.

 

Screen Shots

game screen shot
Prince of Persia screen shot

 

 

 

 

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics

Detailed, varied, and incredibly rich, Gameloft shows they really know how to pack a lot of punch into both a small screen and a small space. Warrior Within really looks incredible, and shows just how far Mobile games have come.

Sound

Not much sound to speak of, but the few tunes and menu effects are fine. Vibration is well timed to the events on screen, so it doesn't feel lacking.

Fun Meter

The adventure will have you swinging from chains, fighting invisible enemies, learning new combat moves, and outsmarting trap after trap. Still the classic Prince of Persia gameplay that has worked so well, but beefier than ever.

Addictivity

The long campaign will have you playing for several sessions, and the new moves and new environments will keep you coming back. The arena mode takes a lot of practice to win, even after successfully finishing the title. Seeing as it's a linear game with a start and finish, there is a limit to the replay value, but its well worth your time and money.



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