Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Prince of Persia Trilogy - a caution

Finally found some time to play the Prince of Persia Trilogy, the HD update of the PS2 versions and wow is it buggy. I've yet to play a game of the first game, Sands of Time, without something glitching and that's not to mention the elephant in the room (which I will get to)

So in game sequence order:

The game locked up the console between the Prince of Persia opening and the menu.
At the first sand tank collection I couldn't run down the open and empty corridor. It turns out it hadn't drawn in the rubble supposedly blocking my path.
In the Mess Hall fighting on the staircase my player model disappeared.  I could still attack and take damage and the camera still followed me, I just couldn't see anything.
At the same point and time, stepping off the stairs corrupted the model. Ooh gangly arms and legs.
Just after that my companion, Farah, refused to climb down the wall and join me at the bridge. However when I continued she seemed happy to state that she'd "wait here" despite not being in the same room.

After that it's just the usual fun with the camera moving just as you're about to jump, which is not good when the controls are view centric; the inability to load a game without quitting; the non HD opening sequence and pre-rendered movies; and the elephant.

What's the elephant - the sound. The audio has been butchered so badly I actually deleted the installation and tried again just in case it was that; it wasn't. It's the same problem from Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen on the PS2. The audio is generated from the position of the camera, move the camera and the sound alters; happen to have it close to the seething save spot and it drowns out everything else, but that's not all.

The voice volume alters even if you are close to the characters as a result half the dialogue is inaudible; better yet the dialogue you do hear has been given a reverb effect or an echo that makes them sound as if they're in a cathedral even when they're standing on an outdoor balcony.

To make things even better certain sound effects seem to be set at a permanent maximum - the enemy footsteps, the scarabs clattering and the birds clicking can be heard as soon as you enter a room with them in and overpower every other sound. Amusingly altering the music and effects volume has no affect on these.

Oh and there are no subtitles for the first game so you don't even get that.

Shoddy Ubisoft, so shoddy.

On an historical note though it's clear to see where Assassin's Creed came from while playing these.