Prince of Persia
|Number of scenarios:
1. Prince in Exile
Prince Farroh was not alien to politics and court intrigues. His rivals, however, got the upper hand. Farroh had to flee from Tabaristan (a small independent Iranian realm to the south of the Caspian Sea) to save his life. The game starts when he appears in the east of Asia Minor, a political refugee with no connections, almost no money, his only possessions are his battle axe and a half-broken coach.
Farroh expects to make use of his administrative abilities, to become employed by some local emir or governor. The situation looks favourable: local rulers are constantly at war with each other. The problem is to make a name among them, to be noticed, which is not easy - most of them are hostile to strangers, their courtiers are extremely envious. Unexpected rivals are not welcome.
The land is inhabited by Saracens and Greeks. The Greeks, the former rulers of the land, by that time became one of the oppressed minorities - it is much easier to come to terms with them then with the Muslims (Farroh is a free-thinker, almost a Zoroastrian, so he does not mind).
At the very beginning of his new career Farroh meets a Greek girl, who is destined to … But we are running ahead. Just watch and listen.
Farroh is summoned back to Tabaristan by his partisans to take part in the civil war and to win back the throne of his ancestors.
Before Farroh can march on Amol, the capital of Tabaristan, he must secure his position in the eastern province of Gurgan.
This mission is unusual. Farroh arrived from Gurgan only with a small band of cataphracts, his personal bodyguards, and a number of civilian settlers. He can not recruit new soldiers and his right to interfere into the affairs of allied commanders is limited. But he must capture Amol to be crowned and to become the King of Tabaristan.
The story continues in Prince of Persia II
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This campaign is sensational indeed! Finally, something good and unique finally revealed itself after so long. I must say I am quite impressed.
The playability was good, though not excellent. I didn't like how I had to restart several times because of lack of instructions warning me of potential enemies (I died twice in the first scenario alone). But that was it.
The balance, due to lack in instructions, is a tad weak. The events themselves were perfectly ok, but if you have no foreshadowing that they will happen, apparently you will have a problem on your hands. But overall, the campaign was challenging to a managable extent. As advice to the author(s), please add more instructions tab instructions and not rely on in-game instructions.
The creativity was excellent. The use of allied towers, towncenters, and castles as hiding places is well utilized and serves alot of adventurous emotions. Well done indeed.
The map design was phenominal. Although not cluttered with eyecandy, it had a well use of elevations, varying terrain types, and lots of other elements not considered conventional eyecandy but adds alot to the realism of the terrain.
The story and instructions were weak. The story is good, as it described the story as well as an AOK campaign can describe. However, the instructions were too heavily reliant on in-game instructions, and not enough use of the instructions tab. Too often do I find myself lost and don't what to do. A suggestion will be to use the instructions tab more, and have repeatable in-game instructions.
- Well use of creativity
- Excellent map design
- Poor instructions
Final Thoughts: Overal, this is an excellent campaign and you should definitely try it for yourself. Well done!
I think I have to disagree with The_Conquistador at some points.
This campaign is not sensational one (No offence ENOTH) and it needs some fixes and so on. I would rate this as a "not good, not bad"-campaign.
The playability was good, just as The_Conquistador said and I can only totally agree with him on that point.
I was most dissepointed about the Balance, sometimes it was too hard and you didn't knew what to do and the second after you have a bunch of angry soldiers eating your corpse. The poor instructions had a lot to do with this, and I think that the author shouid think on this.
The creativity was not "excellent" as The_Conquistador described it. I liked the hiding in the ram though, otherwise hiding in castles, towers and town centers is nothing special. And also, the campaign was based on a SNES game, and I'm sorry but I think the game is better in creativity.
The mapdesign was good, it didn't failed. Some eye-candy but nothing special. To The_Conquistador: use of elevations, mixed terrain is what we call in swedish "vardagsmat" or standard for the most of the AOK-scenarios. But the design was good, better than a RM.
The story/instructions was below all critism, you didn't knew what to do sometimes and the messages didn't say that much about what to do. The story is good however, based on the SNES game and I think that it's a good representive for "SNES Prince of Persia" in AoK format.
- A good mapdesign
- The ram trip
- The poor instructions
- The balance, some tasks was hard and some not.
I shall compose myself now, and go beyond that outburst of mine in the comment section. Here is my player review for the 'Prince of Persia' campaign.
I enjoyed playing this campaign, and was drawn into the role of Farroh the Prince throughout the four chapters. The pace was perfect for me. I had to restart at points throughout the game, by chapter three my method was to save game. Each time I lost a battle or something lacked in my strategy I was killed. Each time I was compelled to restart and try a new tactic or strategy. I was never frustrated though, and I had fun with the aspects of loss and victory. I took each loss as an instruction in of itself. When I achieved victory, I felt accomplishment, not luck. This is a great RPS Campaign for beginners and veterans alike, and I give it a 5 for playability.
For balance I will have to refer to the guidelines here: Most perfectly balanced scenarios should not be able to be completed without the player losing a few times. The ideal scenario balance happens when a player gets stuck, but he knows that it's possible to complete the objective if only he did something a little differently. A player should not win by luck, the scenario should be constructed so that a player can learn from mistakes and use his skill to complete the objective. In every aspect this is an ideally balanced scenario. I realize though, just because I didn't mind the lack of foreshadowing before my instructional slaughter, that could be an issue with other players. Still 'Prince of Persia' is a 5 here.
Creativity is the soul of this Campaign, and I too enjoyed the ride in the ram. I also enjoyed the choices I was given. One in particular was to take control of an allied army or leave the fighting to the allies AI. Taunt based signals are not new, but they were used effortlessly here, and each taunt to trigger choice remained central to the story that was unfolding within the game play. Without creating a walkthrough here, I'll just say that this campaign is saturated with creativity from the original AI's to the original fiction, that for me made this one of the best campaigns I ever played. Here I give a well deserved 5.
The four maps in one word were "alive!" Moving scenery with a mood of it's own. I can still see the deer running through the trees. Five.
The written story for me was more than just descriptive. It was extremely well written, and in a prose that is not often seen in scenario messages (e.g.), The very soil of Gurgan is soaked with blood of kings and princes, of mighty warriors, whose names we hardly recollect. I am also convinced of the originality of this fictional story as the author(s) did describe it's origin and concept; The events take place approximately in the second half of the eighth century in the east of Asia Minor or in Northern Iran (to the south of the Caspian Sea). Most names, place-names, animal-names, personages, heroes, etc. are invented and have little to do with reality. Prince Farroh has several real prototypes - Iranian princes and nobles, who had to leave their native land after the fall of Tabaristan to the Arabs (c. 757 A.D.). Able generals and administrators, they served other rulers, among them the Emperors of Tibet and China. Their gravestones inscribed in Pahlavi and Chinese can still be seen in Western China and Central Asia. I think that this story concept did exist as role play and in the dialogue during the game until the end. Instructions as they existed were well written too, subtle and vague in style. I would have enjoyed having more of them though. So here again I must acknowledge the facts of the game and follow the guidelines for review, and in doing so give it a 5.
All that I mentioned and more.
Wanted more of your in game instructional prose and foreshadowing of critical events.
After a careful study the guidelines I have updated my original review, as I failed in my first attempt to understand them completely in relation to the campaign and author(s) In two cases I lowered a score for reasons that were not appropriate, and I also failed to create my own precedent as outlined. I apologize for any confusion.
One of a kind scenario!
Playability - Really, at the start I was dozed off by how the creator write the instructions. Like The Conquistador said, I died horribly alot of times playing this scenario.
But that's good to me, it show it's a bit challenging and fun too.
Balance - All is right. Everything is perfect timing! Can't say more.
Creativity - Really, this scenario deserves a "5" for Creativity because it's really forced me in to doing stragedy. Gotta hide my units into towers to keep them in safe place.
Map Design - The map design is well planned out. Not much eye candy. But variety of terrain style. He does alot of mixing rocks and plants and stuff. It's well thought out.
Story/Instructions - Not much in instructions and hints. Again, I dozed off in the middle of the scenario when I played this scenario. Need more describable instructions. Story was OK, not excellent.
Overall - A magnificent piece! But can do more than just this.
I loved this campaign. It was great.
Playability: Aside from the instructions that sometimes came out of the blue and sometimes... well... didn't come(!) the rest was very well done.
Balance: If you can fgiure out the instructions, the timing for every thing else is good.
Creativity: This has been the only scenario so far that has really forced me to be creative and use strategy. You can't win this campaign by destroying and killing alone. It really forced me to use every possible option. Bravo!
Map Design: Knowing the northern region of Persia I must say that this is a job well done. Everything is perfect.
Story/insturctions: This is the only area that could use a bit of improvement. Sometimes during the game you are left alone trying to figure out just what is it that you are suppose to do. A bit more hints here and there could really help.
The campaign consists of four scenarios, it is a mix of all game styles. The story is historical fiction and is loosely based on events that took place after the fall of Tabaristan to the Arabs (ca. 757 A.D.). The events take place in the east of Asia Minor and in Northern Iran, south of the Caspian Sea. You play Farroh, a Persian Prince, who had to flee from Tabaristan and is desperately looking for a job as administrator or military commander for a local emir or governor. Put yourself in the shoes of an exiled Persian prince trying to recover the throne of his ancestors.
PLAYABILITY: Great campaign and a lot of fun to follow Farroh on his quest. The story kept me interested throughout the campaign; I liked the challenging parts as well as the easier ones. It is not only a struggle to survive in a foreign country, but also a love story. The taunt trigger to answer the Greek girl is a nice idea, but quite instable from saved games. After answering “60” I was curious about “59” and was stuck from two different saved games. Finally it worked after some restarts and I will refer to this under observations, no deduction made. The other scenarios were bug free; I encountered no lag and loved every second except the long minutes at the end of the last scenario. After completing the game objectives I got no victory signal, searched the map to hunt down the last villager, which was annoying and confusing to say the least. Testing a victory condition is really basic and should work for a perfect rating. 4+
BALANCE: Perfectly balanced campaign with challenging and easier parts, which kept the wonderful story going and I had the requested reloads to think my tactic over and do things a little different to win. 5
CREATIVITY: Excellent, the “taxi trips” using rams, the story, map, balance and great entertainment. Every aspect factors into creativity and this deserves nothing less than a perfect rating. 5
MAP DESIGN: Apart from terrain mix, elevations, blending, good planning as you never have long walks or boring parts, the maps represent very realistic the Middle East and give the right feel for the country without an overuse of Gaia. 5+
STORY/INSTRUCTIONS: Absolutely perfect. The campaign comes with an informative history section, giving time, region and events on which the main character Prince Farroh is based. Clear objectives, many general and scenario related hints, so that I always knew were to go and what to do. To my surprise the objectives and hints were reason for critiques. Apart from the last scenarios’ victory condition, which is a playability issue, there was no reason for complaints; whenever you had no precise objective it was sufficient to view the mini map. From the general hints: “The map is important. Study it to know, where to go...” Once you only had to continue the path and the story continued, another time you lost your job and there was no objective or hint what to do in front of the gates of your ex employer. That’s real life; there won’t be somebody in front of your office door to tell you what to do if you loose your job. The player had to head towards the only unexplored path on the mini map, a messenger will appear and the story continues once the path reached. The well written story connected the scenarios; never lost the thread and had nice humorous parts. Last not least a different BMP for each scenario. 5+
OVERALL: A masterpiece!
OBSERVATIONS: We all know about the taunt-trigger bug from a reloaded saved game. Common opinion is that the trigger is not working when the game was saved after a choice was offered or a question asked, meaning after the taunt was activated, because a saved game can not save an AI signal already sent in the past. This is correct, but only half of the facts. In general all taunt-triggers are more or less unstable from saved games. It can happen that a trigger does not work from a saved game, but does from the same the next day after restarting and then does not, does etc… Another fact is that the longer before the activating of a taunt a game was saved the more stable is the trigger, which indicates that the more often you save the higher the probability of trigger failure. This is not meant to propose to design without taunts, but you should give an alternative to the player in case he plays from a saved game, which you expect, hoping your scenario is not too easy for him.
SUGGESTIONS: Fix the trigger for the victory condition of Amol. For the instable taunt trigger you have to provide an alternative in case the player gets stuck. Set a trigger which works to click the Greek girl for “60” and a watch tower for “59” for example. Your explanation on the comment site was knowledge at that time, but what I reproach you with is: “It has been tested many times… it works”. No taunt trigger works 100% from saved games when properly tested. Statements like that confuse the player, make him doubt his computer, his CD being defective or having a patched or a not patched version.
IN CLOSING: I recommend all of Enoth’ work; just enter his name in the search section and Prince of Persia is among his best.
'Prince of Persia' is a good campaign about a prince who tries to retake his kingdom. I had a lot of fun playing this campaign, serving under different emirs was nice and it really sustained my interest, especially in the first scenario, because one never knew when an ally could turn enemy or vice versa. However instructions are a bit vague, leading to confusion, and I initially could not complete the first scenario because after defeating omar my prince was dismissed and the way back was blocked by a castle. I went back to a saved game and destroyed the castle with seige rams earlier.
The campaign was well balanced, I had to reload many times but not that many that it got frustrating. The second scenario was a bit difficult because the siege workshop got burnt up and the rams had been fragile etc. The last scenario is entertaining because my allies and enemies have the same technology but I only help to better the technology, swinging the balance in favor of may allies. In many places the enemy targeted Sophia who got killed
This campaign literally crawls with creativity. A most unusual setting in the persian lands, the beginning with the music and the hawks flying away instantly caught my attention. Iron boars attacking,driving rams, etc were amusing to watch. The power struggles among the various emirs was brought out vividly.
Map Design: 5
The map design is excellent. It really suits the atmosphere and the setting.
A very good story, but rather vague instructions. One has to pay a good deal of attention to onscreen insructions and even then one is confused as to what to do.In the first scenario one is not told anything... as in real life when you are dismissed you must look around for another task. However people would like to see something on that nice clean objectives screen. I give this 4.
This campaign is a MUST PLAY!! For the unusual setting in Persia if not anything else.
[Edited on 01/19/07 @ 11:52 AM]