The story in Prince of Persia is pretty straight forward. Aladdin's dad comes strolling into some palace to go ape and start conquering and stealing shit. So Aladdin goes on his own little quest to grab something totally cool. He finds this magical dagger and comes back to show his dad the cool bling that he got. It is at this point that Jafar is like "Yo Sultan, I need that dagger." The sultan is like "Piss off bro! Let the kid have the dagger." Well the Dagger ends up going into the magic hour glass and ruining everything. So you have to play as Aladdin and get back to the hour glass and fix your giant mess up. On the way you meet Jasmine and she helps you get through the castle. But you don't really trust her because you just crapped all over her kingdom so she has no reason to help you. The two of you jump, swing and wall walk your way to the top of the tower to kill Jafar and live happily ever after.
It is going to be hard to comment on the visuals since I can no longer remember if they were ground breaking for their time or not. There were a few decent cut scenes that seemed to have some visual appeal for the PS2. I think one of the breakthrough things for this day and age were the environments. They use a lot of curtains and drapes that Aladdin runs through. Fabric is always a challenge in computer graphics and Prince of Persia was making some decent strides in this department. The game also has some decent effects when it comes to slowing down time. The screen develops this dream-like haze that looked pretty impressive for this era of gaming.
Audio - 2 of 5
The soundtrack was pretty limited. You often go for long periods of time without any kind of music. There are a few scenes which have some hard rock style music to get you into the excitement but it doesn't really fit with the time period, so if feels a bit odd. The sound effects aren't terrible but they aren't good either. They use the same sound effect for every item that you destroy. A table with plates or a weapons rack with tons of swords and spears all sound like Aladdin is smashing a barrel.
Controls - 3 0f 5
The controls are decent. There are definitely some improvements from previous platformers. There are safeguards for walking on tiny ledges so that they don't become uncomfortably frustrating. Aladdin has the ability to move boxes in multiple directions from one side of the box. This is an improved update from other games where you have to continually move around a crate in order to move it on to a panel or under a ledge. It is somewhat difficult to determine where your character will jump when leaving a pillar. The camera angle often changes mid sequence, making it difficult to run or jump in the proper direction and the R1 button is over used. It has too many features which can become frustrating because an attempt to grab a lever will result in a wall walk.
Gameplay - 3 0f 5
The game is an Action/Platformer. You spend the majority of the time solving the series of jumps, swings and wall walks to get you through the castle. When you complete each section you fight a series of bad guys. The different types of bad guys are limited, so battles seem awfully redundant after awhile. The battles are also separate from the platforming portion (other than bird and bat attacks). I think this detracts from the game. The guards just don't seem to bother to patrol the hole castle. The jumps and puzzle portions of the game are pretty fun and gradually develop in difficulty. The battles get boring and repetitive. There are never any mini bosses in the game so each battle feels just like the last one.
Overall - 3 of 5
The game is decent. You can beat it in just over 10 hours Destructable and moving environments are cool and the game play isn't too bad. The lack of variation in levels and the weak soundtrack bring the game down a few notches. The games essentially a souped up version of Aladdin. If you wanna see Aladdin hang out with a hot Jasmine in a hot tub and slash Jafar in the face then play some Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. You can buy the HD version on PSN for $15 get on it!