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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: Ubisoft
Developed by: Ubisoft Montreal
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: April 3, 2007
Written By: Matthew Prunty
Screenshots: Link
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Itís clear that the Nintendo Wii is not without an abundance of third party titles for gamers to enjoy while filling a void until titles like Metriod Prime 3: Corruption, Super Mario Galaxy and other titles are released for the console. The only problem with a lot of these titles is that they were previously released on other consoles and are just being ported over. But unlike other consoles and handhelds, the Wii provides a unique gameplay and control perspective that changes the experience of the overall title. So with this, I have Prince of Persia Rival Swords. With more than a year and a half after the release of the original, how much is donít to justify its price pointÖ

Rival Swords (Two Thrones) is the conclusion to the intense Sands of Time trilogy, which finds out beloved prince heading home. Instead of coming home to his one love, Empress of Time, the prince finds Babylon burning to the ground. Trying to come to terms with whatís going on, the princeís ship is attacked and the lovely Laileena is kidnapped. You will also find out that because of the Princeís actions, the fates of the first two titles (Sands of Time and Warrior Within) have been reverse, thus bringing back the princeís mortal enemy, Vizier.

Just like previous installments, the story is told through a little monologue by the Prince himself, which fits the mood just fine. I like the idea of in-game monologue because we learn more about whatís going on and the individual characters as we progress through the game. For those who havenít played any of the games, you can be jumping from ledge to ledge, or even fighting various enemies while the Princeís voice plays in the background.

From a visual standpoint, Rival Swords falls along the likes of its Xbox predecessor. We all know that the Nintendo Wii can provide a gaming experience far better than one the Xbox console of last generation could muster up, but I guess Ubisoft didnít want to spend too much time porting the title over. But just like then, the artistic style and representation is still beautiful, which flows smoothly on the Wii architecture. The game also boasts a 480p resolution and can be played in 16:9 widescreen, but that does little to compensate for the dated graphics and the low-res graphics used to depict the characters and the landscaping.

You will also notice that there is no blood showcased in the Wii build, which allowed the title to acquire a T rating. This will appeal to the younger gamers who own the console, but seeing how the fanbase of the console is predominately 17 and older, it seems like a very odd move by Ubisoft. This move honestly makes me wonder will the developers change the rating for Manhunt2 and No More Heroes by the time they are ready for release later on this year.

The sound effects and musical score from Two Thrones makes the perfect transition from last generation to next generation. Thereís a dramatic musical score that complements the intense action and helps sets the mood for upcoming battles and levels. The voice acting is also top-notch, which is saying a lot when compared to the Gamecube version of old. There arenít that many sound anomalies within the Wii build, but after awhile, you will get annoyed with the demon in your head crying out for you to kill someone when there is no one around, but then again, thatís what an insane person does best.

The control scheme was the hardest part about this game for me to deal with. With playing the Playstation 2 build, we have the ability to use two analog sticks to help control the action, whereas the Wii version only has one. Just like with Gamecube games, developers had to compromise the control scheme to work best for its controllers. The nunchuk will control all of the princeís movement, while the wii-mote will control how the camera will move. To turn the camera to the left, you would have to twist the Wii-mote in a doorknob-turning motion to the left, and vise versa. The camera is one part of the control scheme that you have to work at quite a bit in order to get the timing correct.

For those who think thatís too much to deal with, Ubisoft also incorporates the option of using the D-pad to control the camera as well. Though much easier to control, gamers should stick with the turning motion. The reason why is because it would be harder for gamers to control the camera with the D-pad, while trying to perform the jumping motion via the A button. Another hassle to deal with within the control scheme is pulling back for wider camera angles. This is performed by pressing the 1 button on the wii-mote, which will require you to adjust your holding of the mote. Not a real big deal, but it can get very frustrating in tough situations where thereís a lot of action going on.

Overall Thoughts
For those gamers who already own Two Thrones on any other console, there really is no reason for you to purchase this title. Letís face the facts, the Wii controls are the only difference within the game, which at times can enhance the gaming experience, but also frustrate you to death. For those who donít own Two Thrones, I suggest you go buy the Gamecube version, which goes for around $20 brand new and play it on your Wii console. But for those die-hard fans, itís definitely worth owning, but not something you need to rush out and buy right now.

Ubisoft could of done a lot more with this title to make it truly worthy of the Wii console. The graphics could have been given a nice upgrade to put it on par with titles like Twilight Princess, or even Sonic and the Secret Rings. With more than a year to develop the Wii build, the controls could have been worked better to produce an experience that is more fun than a nusense.


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