PRINCE OF PERSIA: ARABIAN NIGHTS / Mattel / Dreamcast

Arabian Nights is a port of Prince of Persia 3D on the PC, widely seen as the worst of the Prince of Persia series by a long shot. To its credit, Arabian Nights does fix a few of the problems of the original version, but it really only updates the game from "complete train wreck" to "fairly disappointing." Still, I guess it's a step in the right direction.

The biggest plus is that the control is a lot more precise, and in mapping the approximately 10000 different buttons from the PC version to the limited confines of the Dreamcast, they've actually crafted a control scheme that makes the game feel manageable to play. It's still not exactly fluid or handling like a dream, but its sensible and the camera doesn't swing wildly behind the Prince now like it did before.


Unfortunately, the game also suffered heavy cuts in the porting process, most notably the graphical quality. POP3D wasn't a great looking game but at least had some decent-looking backgrounds and environments. The architecture hasn't really changed much but the textures and character models have taken a big step down in color and detail and the game now looks extremely rough.

The difficulty has also been somewhat toned down. You lose the ability to save anywhere, being limited to certain "save points" along the way, but guards have been removed and the landscape has been littered with bonus potions and weapons that weren't in the original game. For example, in the first encounter with guards, the guard who comes out of the bathroom who you had to sneak behind down the hall is completely gone, and there's a convenient invisibility potion lying around so you don't even have to bother rafter-jumping past the other one!

I think a couple of the levels may also have been outright cut, but honestly, I didn't get very far in POP3D due to its incredible suckitude and I didn't get much farther in this one either, so I'm not sure. It's really irrelevant anyway as I can't see anyone really enjoying either of these games. This port is still too clumsy, janky, annoying and ugly to bother with, even with the minor gameplay improvements.


Videos :

* Gameplay Video
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