Prince of Persia

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: While Elika is scantily clad, the overall narrative and combat portions can often be intense, and there are a couple lines of suggestive dialog, there's absolutely no blood; language is more than neglible; the combat isn't at all overly violent; and your sole enemy are the "Corrupted"; inhuman creatures made of a black, inky goo. So, I recommend this game for ages 13+.

Alcohol reference: After he witnesses dark god Ahriman's release, and is then told by Elika of their objective to seal him back, the Prince frustratingly states, "AHHH! I was on my way home! I had more gold than you could...I'd've had wine! Women!

Mild language: There are two uses of a** (second use follows the first, and refers to an actual donkey) and many uses of god, referring to gods Ormazd and Ahriman.

Mild suggestive themes:

  • Elika's outfit is scant and form-fitting—roll-over for example—but, while it flows around in the wind, nothing else will; there are no discernible breast physics.
  • One of Ahriman's Corrupted is called the Concubine; she's in mildly scant attire. But, it's offset by the fact that her body is made of a gooey black substance.
  • As they are about to climb a tower, the Prince states, "I'll go first, but, hey, no staring at my a**. I've felt you looking." Elika replies, "I thought you'd lost your a** (referring to his donkey, Farah)" in a sarcastic tone. He then goes to climb the wall, as she quickly looks, prompting him to say, "I can feel you looking."
  • The Prince jokingly suggests that a tower he saved should be given to him, and goes on to say, "Oh and a few priestesses dedicated to its upkeep...and mine."
  • After having a call too close for comfort, the Prince states, "I don't want to get squished under a rock. People like me this shape. Girls like me this shape!"
  • While they try to complete a complicated puzzle, Elika tells the Prince, "Just be patient. Patience brings rewards"; to encourage him. The Prince then sillily and nonsensically replies with, "So does walking into a harem covered in chocolate."
  • After Elika defames his character, the Prince defends himself, saying, "Hey, I've helped old ladies from the market." She immediately retorts with, "If they had attractive daughters." He then quickly states, "Yea, then I'd help them too."
  • The Prince and Elika flirt in an obvious but light manner throughout the game.

Violence: After losing his donkey, Farah—and more importantly, the heaps of gold on said donkey—in a sand storm, the Prince literally stumbles upon a strange land, as a young woman then abruptly falls onto him. She leaves no time for an introduction and flies off, armed men close behind. The Prince soon catches up and defeats these men, as her father—their leader, king of the land—appears and implores Elika to join him. Elika refuses, escaping with the Prince, and while they race her father to a temple set in the middle of the vast land, he's informed that dark god Ahriman, imprisoned at its heart, will be freed if they don't stop the king in time. They arrive, but too late, as the king destroys the seal, spreading Ahriman's Corruption and freeing his minions. Elika then explains to the Prince that in order to reseal the evil, they'll have to travel to the Fertile Grounds, cleanse them with Ormazd's power (Ahriman's opposite, god of light), which reside within her, and defeat the Corrupted guarding each of the four temples to ultimately heal the land and contain Ahriman once more...

The base gameplay consists of traveling to a Corrupt sector (Elika's orb of light points the way), defeating the Corrupted guarding Fertile ground, using Elika's magic to heal that area, and then collecting Light Seeds to restore her strength, which will allow you to gain a new power; you'll then use them to travel into each of the four temples and defeat their guardians to fully heal that sector—repeat. To navigate the (often timed) platform portions, you'll use the Prince's acrobatic moves to run on walls; jump gaps or from wall to wall; wall-embedded wood fishers to scale and shimmy on a set path; your clawed gauntlet to scale vined walls or slide down them as you steer; you'll slide down rocky slopes; balance on thin beams; jump from posts; swing from poles; grab onto wall-rings to extend your wall-run; and use Elika's magic to jump over the larger gaps, all the while avoiding the black, gooey, wall-laced Corruption, that tries to grab at and absorb you as you pass. You'll also complete light puzzles by turning cranks to rotate platforms, take lifts or unblock objects, and pull the ring-levers or slide across ring-tracks to gain distance, open doors and activate platforms.

After the intro—where a few humans are fought—you'll solely be fighting the Soldiers of Ahriman and the Corrupted, Ahriman's four servants, which guard each temple; the Hunter, the Alchemist, the Concubine, and the Warrior, along with Elika's father, who gradually turns into the Mourning King. The combat system is tense, but little beyond that, and other than black, gooey Corruption that trails from the enemy as they move (as all are made of this substance), there is no blood. The one-on-one battles consist of using the Prince's sword in conjunction with his clawed gauntlet, acrobatics attacks and Elika's offensive magic to fling enemies into the air and continue the combos from mid-air. If the enemy is cornered up against the edge of the platform, the Prince will perform a vareity of melee attacks (if a pillar is near, he will roll enemies into it, as it crumbles and damages them) on the Corrupted (who will lightly grunt and/or scream out as you fight) and then throw them back in or off the platform.

The Soldiers of Ahriman attack with a vareity of melee moves, and if you're cornered, they'll violently fling you back onto platforms. And the Corrupted each have their own unique skills; the Hunter is a humped-back creature, who howls in gutteral tones and attacks with a large scissor weapon, spitting Corruption at your face, which will block your view for a short time. The Concubine (devoid her tail) is in the form of a shapely woman, and uses her power of illusion to teleport about and temporarily confuse your movements. The—wizard-like—Alchemist attacks with tendrils of Corruption, and can regenerate his health. And the Warrior is a hulking creature, who can only be harmed by being knocked off the platform or into environmental objects. Every enemy will try to pin you down and finish you off, at which point, you'll either have to press a certain button in time, or rapidly mash it to win the lock; if you fail, Elika will save you with her magic, but the enemy will also regain health. Elika can be thrown down if you try to use her during an enemy's "Charged State" (in which they can only be attacked by him), and you'll lose her support until you can reach and revive her.

Even the environments are against you; in certain sectors, the air is filled with spores of Corruption—if you're at too low an elevation, the screen will start to tremor and go black as your ears ring; you're often ambushed and have to work your way out of the Corruption-filled traps; when temple guardians are defeated, the temples will start to crumble as you try to escape with timed platforming; and the last battle with Ahriman is tense, as his huge fists land inches from your face and waves of Corruption rise to drown you. When you're damaged in combat, the screen will redden at the edges, but since you can't actually die in these portions or otherwise—Elika will always save you with her magic—you never feel, or let alone are, in mortal peril. As for age, although Elika is scantily clad, the overall narrative and combat portions can often be intense, and there are a few lines of moderately suggestive dialog, there's absolutely no blood; language is more than neglible; the combat system isn't at all overly violent or brutal; and your sole enemy are the "Corrupted"; inhuman creatures made wholly of a black, gooey substance—it's quite appropriate for younger teens.

Content review posted: 07/31/09

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