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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Retro reflections: Battles of Prince of Persia; the most underrated DS strategy game

Battles of Prince of Persia retro reflections

Retro reflections by Matt S.

Ubisoft is always at its best when it’s experimental. Back when the Nintendo DS was a shiny new console, wowing people with Super Mario 64 in portable form, Ubisoft did something remarkably creative with its then-hot Prince of Persia franchise: it released a tactics strategy game set in the franchise’s universe. This game was not overly well received; over on Metacritic its score sits at 64. But I can’t say I agree with that consensus. This was a brilliant little game with a genuinely deep tactical system, and I wish we could see more of it.

Battles of Prince of Persia, on the surface, looks rather similar to games like Advance Wars or Fire Emblem. In each level you’re looking down a map at two forces arrayed against one another, and they then take turns to manoeuvre around the battlefield and take swings at one another.

Unlike Advance Wars, however, Battles of Prince of Persia was complex. For one thing, orders were meted out through the use of cards. Players would build a deck of these cards, each with a range of different orders. Some were basic “move X number of units on your turn”, while others had additional beneficial effects on your units, or would place negative effects on the other side.
Retro reflections: Battles of Prince of Persia; the most underrated DS strategy game
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