TWTGTW #3: Prince of Boredom

In many ways, Prince of Persia should’ve been the perfect game for me. I like 3D platforming games like Tomb Raider but I don’t like the fact that I’m a little bit rubbish at them, die a lot and have to reload all the time.

Prince of Persia does away with constant deaths and tedious reloading. The prince’s trusty companion, Elika, tirelessly swoops you up to safety every time you drop off a ledge or become endangered by an enemy.

People have argued that it’s this lack of challenge that makes Prince of Persia such a dull, boring and monotonous experience. I disagree. I don’t mind easy games. The reason I’m finding it so dull and boring is simply because I honestly don’t care about the story and these two characters.

For me, that’s not because they aren’t likeable or their relationship isn’t believable. Unlike some people, I’ve no issue with the casting of the prince. I’m not a long-time Prince of Persia fan so I’m not carrying around a lot of baggage of how he should sound or act. My complaint is that I do not want to have to stop the game every two seconds just to listen to the two protagonists witter on to each other. It’s not what they’re saying… it’s the fact that it interrupts the (otherwise flowing) gameplay.
Why do I have to repeatedly have to hit the talk button and stand perfectly still? They’re saving the world, for goodness sake… can’t they talk on the move?

In the end I’ve decided to just stop hitting the conversation button altogether, which is a shame because I’m no longer fully experience the story and the story is the thing that drives me through games like this. I’m now well over a quarter of the way through Prince of Persia but every time I play it looks less and less likely that I’ll ever drum up enough enthusiasm to get to the end.

I’m about ten levels into the campaign in Halo Wars. I’m not a player of this particular genre of games but it’s obvious, even to me, that Halo Wars is an RTS game for people that don’t really like RTS games very much. The problem is, I think, that’s it’s not necessarily an RTS game for people that actually do like RTS games.

Nevertheless, I’m enjoying my time with the title. I’m making steady progress in the story mode. Normal difficulty seems perfect for me, the bonus achievements for each mission are well thought out and I’m already tempted to go back to try and improve my scores.

Little things do keep niggling away at me, though. I imagine they must be driving proper RTS nuts mad. Things like not being able to group together your units into squads. As I’ve said several times, I don’t usually play this type of game, but even I realise that it’s hard to get really strategic when it’s so difficult to position your guys where you want them.

Thinking about it, I’ve been playing a platforming game for people who aren’t good at platforming games and a strategy title for those that aren’t really that good at strategy. How hardcore am I?

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