I can still finish video games!

Lately things have been quite hectic here. I had a surgery to remove a cyst from my back a little less than two weeks ago and recovery is very annoying. 10 stitches on my upper back that were removed last Friday made me not sleep very well and get home at the end of the day not feeling so great.

Adding to that, there is a lot of planning going on for a house remodel here, starting only with the basement, but pretty much redoing 90% of it, so it’s expensive and requires quite a few decisions.

Finally, I’ve been focusing lately at work to document all the things that I have worked on in the last 6 years. Well, actually only the last 3 years, as pretty much all my work in the first 3 years was reorged into a different team. I’ve decided to change teams, and it’s kind of important that my current team has in writing (and with recorded presentations) as many design decisions as possible. Writing documentation is not bad, but it’s hard. Sometimes it feels harder than writing the actual code.

But, in the middle of all of this, today I finally finished “Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands“. It’s not a very hard game at all, but it’s quite frustrating. The person that decided that 3D platform games are a good idea is certainly misguided. There are way too many times that I want to jump to the right, but end up jumping slightly forward and miss the platform. Sometimes it’s even worse than that: sometimes due to some oddities of the location and the fact that a controller only has a 2D direction control, I can’t seem to be able to even jump in the right direction.

And there were bugs! I’ve found two main ones during my gameplay. One of them was so puzzling that I even had to open a walkthrough to confirm that I wasn’t missing anything. When you enter a room and there are enemies, most of the time the exits from the room get blocked until you kill the enemies. Storyline-wise it’s strange, but that makes for ok gameplay.

Onto the bug: at one point in the game I get into this large room with traps everywhere and all the exits close. However,  no enemies show up. I find it strange, but decide that maybe it’s closed because I have to do something else in the game. Well, I go through all the traps and arrive at the exit of the room, but… it’s closed! I go back, try to hit everything that I think I can hit, die multiple times and nothing. Then I go to the walkthrough and… It doesn’t mention anything odd about the room! So I give up that day and go do something else. A few days later (probably over a week later, actually), I find time to play again and start the game. This time the enemies appear and everything works fine. Go figure!

The other bug was less strange. I was in this room with levers to rotate and I jump over one of them and… I die! But worse than this, I respawn in the same place and now it looks like I’m falling without moving and I die again… This happened until I was done with my lives and respawned in the last save spot. Very strange.

Bugs and 3D platforms apart, the worst thing in the game was actually the ending. If you like to be surprised by game story lines and plan on playing this game, stop reading here. If you don’t care (as most people), then I’ll add a quick spoiler to vent my frustration:

The story of the game is that you are a prince that wants to prove to your father that you can have your own kingdom. So you find a genie and this genie takes you to this lost kingdom that is enchanted by an evil witch that has kidnapped the princess. The whole story is for you to forge a sword that you broke at the beginning of the game and kill the evil witch to get the princess back. So far so good.

Well, now fast-forward to the end of it: you forge the sword, kill the witch, save the princess and… the princess is still taken away and the kingdom is destroyed so you are left back where you started with nothing. Give me a break! 10+ hours of gameplay for nothing? Well, at least it’s a rental.

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