Nick's Gaming Blog

Youtube Video of the Day 12-25-09 (PoP)

First off, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  And…if you don’t celebrate Christmas, please allow me to extend holiday greetings of the generic variety.  If you celebrated Hanukkah, I missed you, (damn you moving holidays!) I’m sorry, and if you celebrate any of the lesser-known “let’s acknowledge this in addition to Christmas so we’re culturally sensitive” holidays, I hope/d those were/are enjoyable as well.  If you celebrate nothing, be glad you aren’t visiting in-laws, worrying about buying the perfect gift, and being out on the roads in general.

With that out of that way, what better way to celebrate Jesus than by viewing a Youtube video of a game that takes place in the Middle East?  Nice transition there, huh?  You know you’re impressed.  Second thought: would Jesus want to be celebrated with a materialistic need that glorifies violence?  I’ll get back to you on that one.

Regardless, some of you might have already seen this trailer, though I admit that until a few days ago it manged to evade my ever-penetrating gaze of omniscient gaming knowledge.  The only thing slightly more frustrating is trying to figure out whether we’ve just been given our “two front teeth” or simply coal (I am pushing this a bit too far, aren’t I?).

What is it?  Well, it’s the trailer to the next Prince of Persia game.  For those of you who have just headed out to find the closest lane of oncoming motor traffic to lay cheek-to-pavement on, or are just about to drop the toaster into the tub, WAIT…and not just because I want to know if there’s room for two…or if you happen to be Zooey Deschanel and you vehemently believe we are soulmates (we are).  This not the sequel to the “not much more than a pretty face” QTE romp that was 2008′s Prince of Persia. Instead, it’s an installment in the Sands of Time series…BUT…(and unlike Sir Mix-A-Lot, we hardcore gamers do not appreciate big butts) it’s going to be based on the 2010 movie.

Are we soulmates? You ask that as if it's even a question.

Let’s review; we’re talking about a game, based on a movie, which is based on a specific series of last-gen games, which are based on an original series of side-scrolling games.  And I’m torn (and, sadly, not in an underwear-clad Natalie Imbruglia understanding of the word).  I’ve seen the trailer for the movie, and while I think it won’t redefine cinema or visual art in general, it stands to be bankable, enjoyable, and possibly the most successful film based on a video game series.

Yet, movies based on video games tend to suck, as do their video game tie-in counterparts, unless leniency is exhibited (re: The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay) in how the story is presented, or if the developers are allowed to constructed a prequel/sequel to the content seen in the film (though the Avatar tie-in proves this has an equal opportunity for failure).  We have to keep in mind that all we have to work with right now is a scattering of press junkets and this TEASER (re: “You will glean nothing from this”) trailer.

And, yes, I know, I’ve already written…519 words without actually showing the trailer.  But I have managed to bring up “Baby Got Back,” that new movie starring tall Smurfs, and the beautiful Zooey Deschanel.  So, on that note, I should probably roll the clip, and join you after…well…after you scroll down the page a bit more.

Thoughts on the trailer:  Well people, it’s a teaser, only a minute, and half of that is spent on the intro screens.  Besides that, we’ve got a prince that appears to be wearing the armor from Warrior Within (that’s the second game in the Sands of Time trilogy, for those unacquainted with Jordan Mechener’s masterpiece) and, like in most Prince of Persia trailers, the structural integrity of large and excessively ornate buildings is thrown into question in a way that endangers the Prince’s general well-being (re: they blow up).

We’re also shown a prince that seems largely inexpressive compared with the whiny one (Sands of Time), the Death Metal one (Warrior Within) and the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde one (Two Thrones) we’ve encountered in past titles. Oddly enough, he manages to faintly resemble his actor counterpart, Jake Gyllenhaal, as well as the Sands of Time prince, yet ultimately looks like he could only pass as Gyllenhaal’s stunt double with a gaze that vacant of emotion.

You'd probably be pretty pissed too if almost every time you got into a battle Godsmack's "I Stand Alone" played. (the Prince in Warrior Within)

“I’m going to jump out of the way of this boulder,” he sighed.  And then, indeed, he did jump out of the way of the boulder, only to discover that ANOTHER BOULDER was headed straight for him.  “I might have to jump again,” he thought (That’s my inner monologue for the Prince during the trailer).

Aside from the boulder hopping, we also view a fair share of buildings en fuego, and are told that  “Sultans die, kingdoms fall, but war…war never changes…but the sand remains.”  Nice job attempting to paraphrase Fallout 3, guys.  There’s also a glimpse of what appears to be the sand warriors from the first game, and at the end, we view Donnie Darko, Jake Gyllenhaal going head to head with what looks like the sucked-up contents of my vacuum cleaner, which it looks like he dispels.

Thankfully, Kotaku was kind enough to clear some of this up with their investigative prowess, and discover that we’re getting an “interquel” or “midquel,” depending upon which of the two terms you find less humiliating to use in day-to-day conversation, that takes place in between Sands of Time and Warrior Within.  Removing the “spin-fest” that is the Ubisoft Marketing team (can’t single them out, all marketing teams do this stuff), the Prince is on a vay-cay to his brother’s kingdom, looking for some R&R (or, based on what would come in Warrior Within perhaps some T&A) only to discover that his bro’s domain has also been invaded.

Surprising, right?  The Prince also obtains nature-controlling powers, which might explain his banishing of the Balrog made of dust bunnies.  BUT…if this truly happens before Warrior Within, he’s going to have to lose ALL memories of the events in the game (why else would there be no reference to such events in the two games that follow?) as well as the powers he picks up along the way.  So, basically it’s a semi-sequel that lacks any trappings of just what constitutes a sequel.  So, for a mind blowing contradiction, it’s a “stand alone sequel.”

What do you guys think?  For a movie-tie in, does it seem alright?  Or do you feel that if they’re going to try to cash in on Sands of Time’s success, that they shouldn’t go about it in this manner?

1 Comment

    When you said that the new Prince of Persia game was being considered as a “stand alone sequel”, I immediately thought of your Godsmack reference… then decided that this new game was going to be bad.

    If it happens before Warrior Within, could it be in an alternate “timeline”, so to speak, of the first game. Even with the added aspects of Warrior Within (the prince’s look), Two Thrones, and even Prince of Persia (the latest 360 one), i think it could be a viable guess. Though that means that Prince of Persia might do what the new Star Trek movie did (though in Star Trek’s case it worked). Hope they can pull it off.

    (o by the dubbs, pings from Cali for the epic wolf)

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