Saturday, June 06, 2009

Review - Prince of Persia

Prince of PersiaI picked Prince of Persia up as a fan of the games and of the general adventure genre of the Arabian Nights style.

The story was intriguing and thoughtful. It's presented as two stories set ~400 years apart with the first story creating and influencing the legend/action of the second story. The stories are presented side-by-side allowing the plot points to expose themselves gradually which leads to a feeling of mystery and intrigue. The female characters felt stronger to me than the male characters both in terms of their strength of mind and their initiative and drive to get things done.

The art was clean and simple while still detailed enough to really draw me in. The tone created by the art changed based on plot points but was generally fairly light (after having recently read Watchmen, the art here felt almost airy). Some of the depictions of violence were fairly wasn't spewing blood, but the violent imagery was pushing PG-13 at times.

The art and the plot were fast paced and kept me scanning from panel to panel and page to page quickly. I think I flew through the book in about 40 minutes. Which was my main complaint. I wanted more. The depth there was good and the story flowed well. I just felt like it was over too quickly. There was a little deus ex machina that sped things up a little bit, but the story itself flowed well. I think mostly I would have loved to have seen the book double in size, stretch a few segments out, and add more scenes before ending.

The book also came with a very cool afterward by the developer/designer responsible for the first Prince of Persia game and involved in creation of the subsequent titles. Having worked in video games, I was really interested by his description of the creation of the initial games and of how the process changed for the later titles. I also really liked his insight into the adventure stories and histories that helped inspire the games and the book. I'd been looking to read Arabian Nights and he recommends the translation I'll likely use.

****3.5 stars (out of 5)


Adam Morgan said...

Have you heard about the movie? Mike Newell directs (Goblet of Fire), and Jake Gyllenhaal stars. Sounds decent to me.

Okie said...

Yeah. I'm hopeful. I was a little nervous to hear Jake got the lead, but the images that have come out thus far look pretty good. It should be promising.