With Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands on Wii, Ubisoft managed to resist the temptation to port over the Xbox 360/PS3 game and develop the game uniquely for the Nintendo console instead. This isn't a cut down port of the game that's available on Xbox 360 and PS3, but a version made to make the most of the platform. With ideas all of its own and some impressive production values, this Wii exclusive might well be the best version of Forgotten Sands you can buy.
The Forgotten Sands hardly has the most inventive storyline ever to grace a video game, but it sets up a platforming adventure that will span the course of at least 12 hours, with plenty of combat and puzzles thrown in for good measure. After buying a genie at a market, the prince is granted three things: power over death, a magnificent kingdom, and the love of a beautiful princess. Disappointingly for the prince, the kingdom is in ruin, and an ancient blade, plunged into a monster which then escapes, holds the key to returning it to its former glory.
Whereas the Xbox 360 and PS3 game featured some pretty complicated water-freezing puzzles and the ability to bring back fallen pieces of the palace, this Wii game has three abilities all of its own. First up are magical plates which can be activated by pointing at them with your Wii Remote and then used as grapple points. Later on these can be placed wherever you please, allowing the prince to create his own paths along the walls of the dilapidated palace. Second up are whirlwinds of sand which raise the prince into the air, letting him reach areas that were seemingly out of reach or skip past traps by jumping straight over them.
Towards the end of the game you gain the ability to encase the prince in a floating sphere, and in combination with the other two abilities you get the sense that you can approach getting from A to B however you like. In reality the end areas have been created in a way that force you to use these abilities, so there's not as much freedom as you might think, but the illusion is still there and works extremely well. There's not quite the same degree of finger gymnastics required as in the next-gen console version, but the challenge is still one that casual gamers might baulk at.
Sadly, just as is the case with Forgotten Sands on Xbox 360 and PS3, combat plays a major part in the campaign, and is poor, but for different reasons. You don't have the large-scale fights that you get in those games, with encounters usually limited to a handful of foes, and your range of attacks seems more varied, but you have to perform them all using gestures with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck.