7.9/10
204
3 user 2 critic

Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame (1992)

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The Prince of Persia has been thrown out of the palace by the impostor Prince who orders his arrest, he escapes on a ship. Meanwhile Jaffer puts the Princess to sleep. Can the Prince defeat Jaffar and rescue the Princess once again?

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The Prince of Persia has been thrown out of the palace by the impostor Prince who orders his arrest, he escapes on a ship. Meanwhile Jaffer puts the Princess to sleep. Can the Prince defeat Jaffar and rescue the Princess once again?

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Narrator: One morning as the prince stands before the doors of the throne room, a coldness like a shadow passes over him.
[a screenshot shows the Prince standing from wearing his nice clothes being changed to ragged clothes before the doors which opened to the throne room]
Narrator: As he approaches the throne, he feels the eyes of the court upon him. The Princess and Sultan stare at him.
[...]
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Featured in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2003) See more »

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Just not as good as the first
23 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

I remember finding out about this game, and being excited to play the successor to one of my favorite gaming experiences. From the beginning, I could tell that this was different; the first pushed the limit for what could be done at that time in games, but maintained a genuine sense of realizing that the industry was still young. This seems to forget that fact, and pushes far too hard... resulting in a game that has shortcomings which are more obvious than the one it follows. The first runs a lot smoother; here, the animation is almost downright choppy, sluggish. Simply moving the prince takes more effort. I found myself playing with the traps in the first game, challenging them to get me, and generally having fun... with this game, too much of the time, I was just trying to finish the current level. The threshold for how much your hand-to-eye coordination has gone down some, and, I'm sorry to say, a lot of the fun factor went with it. The first game was challenging, but seldom to the point of frustration... in this sequel, it reaches that point within the first few levels. In fact, while it does give you a chance to get acquainted(or re-acquainted) with the interface and the controls, the game pretty much starts at a difficulty similar to the one the first reached by the end. I would advise anyone to play through the first game before trying their hand at this one, because this seems to go by the idea that anyone playing had played the first prior to this, and still remembers everything. The game throws you right into the action; from the moment you start playing, you're in an intense situation. In fact, unless you react instantly and act fast(and right), the Prince will meet his untimely demise within mere seconds of the game starting. This sets the standard for the more difficult game right away. Soon after, the pace slows some, and from then on, it varies, like the first, between intense situations where fast and exact actions are the difference between life and death of the fair Prince, and times where you simply have to find your way, and solve puzzles that require as much thought as good reflexes. Now, let it be known that the game still is fun... not as much as the first, but it certainly isn't a dull ride. There are a few new features... you can now crawl, both through tunnels and under one particular kind of trap, which I won't blow with a description. The rest is all environmental stuff, which, again, I won't put into words, because so much of the fun is trying out different stuff, figuring out what does what. In fact, that's one of the high points of this game; the first had you confined to a dungeon, with two different color schemes. This has you going all over the world(though, as one other reviewer points out, the time-limit does contradict that... maybe Mechner forgot why the limit and the singular setting went together so well). All the places you visit are nicely designed, and, while most of them retain the "ledges and traps" setup with gates to open and secret passages to discover(which was what every level was like in the first game), they're still well-done. Also, pretty much each of them has something unique, be it a certain kind of gate that acts differently than the others or special enemies, so each time you visit a new type of place, there are new things to explore. The traps are pretty much all redesigned, for better or for worse. It makes the game look sufficiently different, along with the more detailed sword and clothing of the Prince himself. Something very nice that this does is tell us the Prince's background... in the first, he was merely a stranger who was in love with the princess, and who was her only hope of survival. Here, we get to know pretty much everything about him during the course of the game. Apart from that, though, the story is mostly the same as the first... the Princess is again to be killed if the time limit is reached, and the Prince is the only one who can save her. Yet again, Jaffar is behind it... in spite of how the first ended. The final confrontation is more about puzzle-solving than that of the first, which, I guess, is pretty fitting. I preferred the fight in the first, though. I will admit that it's pretty darned satisfying. The sound is quite good, as in the first. The music seems a tad intrusive, and doesn't always fit the situation well. Like the first, this holds some pretty exciting sword-fights, though it seemed easier(if only a little) to win by chance in this. In general, this is harder than the first, so anyone who thought that the first was too easy should definitely play this. While not necessarily more exciting(I'd rate it about the same, when it's at its best) than the first, this has some cinematic and epic moments... too few, in my opinion, because that is one of the things that really added to what the first was. The game makes an effort to improve on the first, and that is one of the places where it succeeds. The levels are, for the most part, longer than in the first. The longest ones, however, feature save-points, so you won't have to start *all* over. The saving system is improved... you now have eight saving slots, which you can name. Something also interesting was the way the levels didn't necessarily end with you finding the door, opening it and passing through it. More often than not, the level would end with you finding other ways of advancing to the next area... I won't reveal here what they are. I recommend this to fans of the first, especially those looking for a more challenging game. 7/10


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