The great thing about the Two Thrones is that it truly is the completion of the previous two games. The Sands of Time (SoT) introduced the noble and, slightly, arrogant Prince. He was fairly good natured and a nice guy. My favorite part is at one point you are sliding down a lot of ropes and he yells something like “Yippie!” (okay that may have been a spoiler, sorry to all you “I wanted to be surprised by the rope climbing joy scene” people) It looks like a lot of fun in the game, and it is just cool that the hero has a really fun time doing it. He is an innocent young man trapped in a complicated situation.
Then the Two Thrones (TT) comes along and really twists everything on its head. The prince is back, but there are now two souls trapped in one body. There is the kind noble prince form the first game and the dark violent prince form the second game. Suddenly the dark twist the second game took becomes a crucial part of the storyline. Far from celebrating the violent prince, it shows him in a complicated light. It does not dismiss his battle prowess offhandedly: the prince is forced to fight for his and other’s survival. Yet, the game does not excuse his lust for carnage. It is a very good look at violence and force. The game was masterfully done, and the ending… WOW! I don’t want to give it away because it is something so unique to games, but wow is it good. It is a poignant and wonderful commentary on the use of force to accomplish goals.
I read recently Will Wright’s (creator of
The Prince of Persia series really crystallizes that line of thinking for me. On the surface it is a fairly violent series. Casually it may appear to glorify violence and encourage it. But when you play the game you realize that most of the time violence accomplishes nothing for the prince, and, in many cases, only makes the situation far worse. Does that mean that I think every eight year old should play it? No, the last two games are rated M for a reason. Parents still need to be parents and do their job by truly examining what their children are consuming. The subtlety and skillful application of the anti-violence message contained in the games is probably way too difficult to grasp for younger kids, but this series (and others like it) should not be condemned out of hand. There is more too it than gruesome sword fights and blood: there is morality. Which is something studies rarely measure.Also, I have a new "entertainment" icon (shown here). I didn't like the old azumanga daioh icon so it has been DELETED.