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March 3 2007
Prince of Persia: Rival Swords - PSP Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
5/4/2007UbisoftUbisoftPipeworks Software1-2$79.95

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Classic Prince of Persia platforming.
When the PSP launched last year there were some highly anticipated games - none more so then Prince of Persia: Revelations. It should have been a highlight; a showcase; for the PSP, but it ended up being one of the most disappointing titles on the system. It was a shocker and needed another six months development prior to release. Twelve months later and the same development team is back with an all new game - Prince of Persia: Rival Blades. Can the developer, and publishers Ubisoft, redeem what is a terrible blot on an otherwise stunning series?

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The chariots could be fantastic.
In Prince of Persia Rival Swords (which is a remake of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones with additional levels and multi-player - more on that later), the Prince makes his way home to Babylon, bearing with him Kaileena, the enigmatic Empress of Time, and unspeakable scars from the Island of Time. But instead of the peace he longs for, he finds his kingdom ravaged by war and Kaileena the target of a brutal plot. When she is kidnapped, the Prince tracks her to the Palace only to see her murdered by a powerful enemy. Her death unleashes the Sands of Time, which strike the Prince and threaten to destroy everything he holds dear. Cast to the streets, hunted as a fugitive, the Prince soon discovers that the Sands have tainted him, too. They have given rise to a deadly Dark Prince, whose spirit gradually possesses him...

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Graphics appear much improved.
As with previous Prince of Persia title the main game is a platform based adventure with a fair dose of action and puzzle solving. During the game you can wield the powers of two master warriors - the Prince, and the Dark Prince. Each has different styles, attitudes, and histories. Yet again there are two different ways to approach killing enemies. You can master the expanded Free-Form Fighting system to destroy enemies in your own style; strangle enemies from afar with the deadly Daggertail; or use the new Speed Kill system to inflict surprise decapitations and other attacks the choice is yours. Of course the game also allows you to slow down and rewind time by using the "Sands of Time" powers uncovered in the original PS2 titles.

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Going for the quick kill.
As you have probably seen in the surrounding screenshots one of the big focuses for the developer has been the inclusion of chariot styled gameplay. Players will be able to hop onto a chariot, tear through locations like cities and sewers and tear through the opposition. Interestingly Ubisoft's press release states that the chariot levels "are immediately available in the Main Menu for a quick adrenaline rush". Does this mean they won't also be included in the main story mode? It seems that way.

Another of the new additions to this series is the versus play. This mode will allow timed races as either the Prince or Dark Prince. Along the races you will be able to impede your opponents progress by hitting switches and activating traps and obstacles.

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Racing through the city streets.
Graphics in this game look pretty good, although not quite up to the PSP's best but better then Prince of Persia: Revelations. The characters are fairly detailed - although still not up to the standards on the PS2. Where this game must be fixed is the loading. In the previous game it was absolutely horrendous - gameplay destroying. Time will tell how much better this second game proves to be.

Given the crap that was Prince of Persia: Revelations I'm a bit concerned about this game's quality, but I'll wait until I manage to get my hands on the game before passing judgment. At the very least it looks like the company is about to try innovating features for the game. The game was due out in November 2006, but was delayed until it's current date of April 5 2007. Hopefully this time is put to good use.