Disney Interactive The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

The pain of mediocrity

Disney Interactive The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • Disney Interactive The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • Disney Interactive The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • Disney Interactive The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Unique battle system, plenty of characters to recruit

Cons

  • Repetitive and bland graphics, bad storytelling

Bottom Line

A missed opportunity.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 59.95 (AUD)

Prince Caspian for the Nintendo DS is a painful game to play. Not necessarily because it's terrible or because it pulls out your fingernails, but because during the whole journey you can't help but keep mental count of the game's missed opportunities for something above mediocrity.

Night flight

Prince Caspian's story follows a split plot, much like the movie. The game begins with Prince Caspian fleeing the castle of his evil uncle, Miraz the Usurper. During his flight, he meets with old Narnians who have been forced into hiding by the Telmarine race. Caspian uses the magical Horn of Queen Susan to call the four Pevensie children back into Narnia to help save the country from its invaders. However, the meet-up isn't a clean one: The children find themselves in a remote part of Narnia with no clue how they got there. They must meet up with the Prince and push onwards to fight Miraz.

While the Pevensies look for Caspian, Caspian builds and leads a secret army of old Narnians. Both parties are forced to tame bad guys often. Battles are fought by tracing actions on the touch screen according to the character's weapon; the player must trace over steel "lines" precisely before Caspian can swing his sword, Susan fires her bow according to how accurately the player can shoot a target on the touch screen, and Lucy casts spells by repeating a light-up pattern, a la the game Simon. There is some depth beyond the usual menu-based battle system, as players can stop enemy charges and counter-attack when they recognise certain cues.

Treachery, intrigue, boredom

What's most disappointing about Prince Caspian is that it has the potential to be a memorable (if somewhat light) role-playing game with its unique battle system, but the game's presentation screams of a rush job. C.S. Lewis' classic novel is one of the most beloved children's stories of all time, but the game feeds it to the player through boring walls of ill-timed text instead of cut scenes. There's no attempt to get the players interested in Caspian's plight or the state of Narnia; it's distressingly obvious that the game is meant to be an impulse buy for movie-goers who are still riding their popcorn high.

It's a shame, because playing as Narnia's old heroes is admittedly awesome. RPGs have featured an impressive variety of heroes over the years, but few are as lovably spastic as Reepicheep the warrior mouse.

A dull, grey Narnia

Though the righteous warriors of Narnia are varied, those they battle against are not. There's little variation to speak of among the enemies, and you'll fight the same waves of Telmarine soldiers, ogres, werewolves and minotaurs over and over. The monotony is made worse by the fact the enemies re-spawn after the player leaves the screen.

There are no random battles, but avoiding enemy encounters can be difficult because of Narnia's uneven terrain. Rocks, logs and puddles will impede progress whenever possible. This wouldn't be a bad thing, except the dull greens-and-browns of the forests and mountains are hard to see and navigate on the small touch screen. There is a map on the upper screen, but it's useless for indicating what's blocking the player. The character models and animations look good, but the aforementioned repetitive enemies make for unexciting viewing.

Narnia is a cherished children's property that deserves a fully fleshed-out game, not a hasty cash-in. It's sad to see Prince Caspian's potential go to waste.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?