Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Prince of Pandia

First of all - Prince of Pandia? Maybe "Queen" would be a more appropriate title. This is the most effeminate looking prince I've ever seen - and I've watched Bollywood. But hey, it's cool; there aren't enough gay characters in computer games, anyway, so it's nice to see someone make an effort. Plus, I've always preferred my homosexuals like Ohio prefers its rivers - flaming.

Anyway, Prince of Pandia is a platform/puzzle game that sees you guide the Prince through each level rescuing his half-naked, toned, personal "soldiers" who have all been taken prisoner by... someone for... some reason. That particular plot point wasn't made very clear in the instructions. Let me just-

Oh. My. God.

No way! Please tell me I am not looking at that! Someone tell me a decade of staring at computer screens for hours on end has finally ruined my sight altogether! I assumed that the programmer's first language wasn't English, but how in the Sam Hell do you make a mistake like that? If that is how the creator of this game imagines female genitalia, no wonder the Prince looks like he got lost on the way to the pride parade!

I laughed my ass off when I saw that for the first time. Unfortunately, it was the last thing I found funny about Prince of Pandia.

The Prince needs to free all of his soldiers, but he can only do that through the use of "the magical power." I guess the Prince was never a boy scout or considered something a little less complicated than magical powers like, I don't know, a knife?

The Prince requires crystals for the magical power to work, so your first job is to find one of the gemstones.

Once you acquire a gem, the Prince will begin to float and burn, so it's then time to go find some soldiers to rescue.

Here's the Prince freeing one of his men. I don't know, it looks to me like the Prince is leaning over and giving his boy there a hand job, and the force of the soldier's orgasm causes the rock to disintegrate. But then, that's just me. Still, as far as magical powers go, that'd be pretty original, right?

Unfortunately, when the Prince doesn't have the magical powers, he's as threatening as a two year old with a Nerf gun. If the ogre-like bad guys get their hands on the Prince, they lock him in a cage and transport him down to the dungeons, where I'm sure they do all sorts of things that he doesn't enjoy in the slightest (ahem.) It's important that you clear a path to the next gem before the last one's power is totally diminished, but there's no on screen indicator to tell you how much time you have.

This is a real pain, because there are only so many gems on each level, so as the game progresses there's an ever greater chance that you'll find yourself short and will have to restart. This wouldn't be so bad if it didn't cost a life every time you did so, and if you lose all of your lives you have to start all the way from the beginning.

Some levels seem designed to make you fail. Take the image above, for instance: the prince needs to get past that volcano... vagina, but there's an ogre standing right next to it. Since I don't have any power, either one can cost me a life. So maybe I could try jumping over them?

Nope, that didn't work. And now I'm another life down, so I need to finish this level and hopefully pick up an extra life later on.

Unfortunately, because you can't take two steps on this level without walking into a friggin' volcano, I lose all the magic and gems, and I had only one guy left to free. I have no choice but to restart, but I'm already on two lives and I know I'm going to get caught in that same place by the ogre again. The result?

Bingo. And now I have to start all over again.

Well, to hell with that. I'm going to leave the super camp Prince, his trussed up toy boys and his foul-mouthed instructions right where they are. I'm going to spend my time with another gay computer game character, like Duke Nukem (oh, you know he is.)

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