Battles of Prince of Persia (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 22.12.2005

Have you ever sat back and looked at a game on the latest release lists and thought to yourself it just sounds like a really bad idea? Crazy Frog racing certainly springs to mind...yet a strategy title featuring the dark Prince of Persia actually sounds quite promising. Thinking of Advance Wars with an Arabian-style twist is certainly appealing. But does Ubisoft live up to expectations or churn out a cheap cash-in?

The game is set somewhere in the midst of the intriguing tales surrounding Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and sequel, Warrior Within, aiming to answer any burning questions that people have had after playing those titles. However, how on Earth this all relates to the format of the game is really quite 'loose' and it wreaks of a cheap cash-in. Another thing that must be highlighted straight away is that the turn-around on Battles of Prince of Persia development was surprisingly fast from when it was first announced. When it was announced it was set to release as early as December it came as somewhat of a shock. However, considering the presentation levels found on the DS, which is more powerful than a Nintendo 64, it becomes quite obvious how it made it out in such sharp time.

Screenshot for Battles of Prince of Persia on Nintendo DS

The graphics are woeful and the soundtrack is somehow even worse. Barely any detail worthy of note is visible in the various map locations, with bland battlefields strewn throughout and when it comes to the battle animations it is hard to believe this is not something from the days of the NES! Ropey-looking characters run randomly at each other in a way that would make those who have played the sheer brilliance of Advance Wars: Dual Strike either laugh out loud or cry from the pain suffered viewing BoPoP (catchy acronym, no?). And as for the music, it is merely a loop of the same repetitive 'noise' pouring forth out of the DS speakers. Not pretty, not pretty at all...

Screenshot for Battles of Prince of Persia on Nintendo DS

If you want a general summary of what to expect from this game, then just imagine the seminal Advance Wars series, with all the fun sucked out and card collecting inserted in for 'good' measure. In fact, the reason why good measure is in inverted commas is purely because there is hardly anything good to be found in this poor attempt at cheating people out of their money by crafting a sub-par strategy title and sticking a well-known licence onto it in the hope that the Christmas period will spur on quick sales.
Perhaps if Intelligent Systems had been given the chance to work its magic then this would have been one of the finest DS games to date, since its work on the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars strategy RPGs has been so exemplary that the competition simply cannot get within touching distance of them. However, that is not the case here and what we are left with is a tile-based game that for some reason mixes in a Yu-Gi-Oh! card collecting to such a pointless degree that you kind of wonder why the time was not spent elsewhere.

Screenshot for Battles of Prince of Persia on Nintendo DS

Nothing really gels too well either, with even the introductory level not exactly leaving players with a feeling of satisfaction. In fact, even after completing this first part of the story it was only after playing around the next few sections that the controls began to become slightly clearer. Seven cards are chosen at random for your hand in order to use during the first turn of each battle, broken up into 'hours'. There are a wide range of uses for each one, some giving one of your troops a two-in-one move, others boosting key statistics, and so on. Once your initial selection has outlived its purpose, you can choose which ones to discard before receiving another random batch, using the stylus to control all of the action along the way.

Unfortunately, the results of battle are not conveyed in the fight-scenes on the top of the DS, again highly disappointing and a negative comparison to Advance Wars. Then there are the generals who have far more power than the average troops, yet when they die you can still claim victory via the frustrating points system whereby fulfilling the main objective becomes a moot point as gaining enough points gives you a win. This means any hard work goes out of the window automatically...although the AI is hardly taxing, so the challenge is not exactly high in the clouds! Be it through the main Campaign mode, working as the crazed Prince who believes demons are following him, or the Skirmish mode where you can choose to play as one of nine Generals, you will find it hard to have too much fun with the poor excuse for a DS title.

And with the lack of real tactics required due to the luck-of-the-draw approach and points system, Battles will not exactly last you through the Winter period. Even if you ignore its low difficulty setting due to terrible computer opponents who cannot forward-plan, sheer boredom and / or frustration will mean you leave early on in the 'adventure'. Even the two-player mode cannot redeem this in the slightest...

Screenshot for Battles of Prince of Persia on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


This honestly has to be one of the weakest games I have has the displeasure of having to sit through in a long, LONG time. Why on Earth the Prince of Persia licence was thrown toward such a rushed title when leaving it another six months to create a proper outing in the series is anyone's guess. But, as seems to have already happened thankfully, steer clear of this at all costs...






Table Games



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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