As for those who like a bit of serious combat with their running and jumping - forget Forgotten Sands. Swishing the remote performs sword slashes and shaking the nunchuk performs punches, Theoretically, combining these moves in different ways with different button presses pulls off special attacks. Realistically, the most effective way to deal with all enemies is to shake both controllers furiously, waggling your arms so hard it's like you're trying to make them fall off.
The enemies are almost all painfully slow and entirely thick so it's easy to get away with this sort of thing. In short, combat in Forgotten Sands is dull, shallow and repetitive. The novelty of being able to despatch waves of baddies by pretending you're playing some sort of Frenzy bonus level in Samba de Amigo wears off fast. At least the combat scenarios are over quickly, leaving you to get back to the much more enjoyable exploration and puzzle-solving.
The other good news is that Ubisoft has done a much better job of implementing Wii remote functionality when it comes to these areas. You can use the remote to move the camera around, which comes in useful for the occasional moments where it's hard to see what you're supposed to do next. The remote is also used to activate the prince's new powers, such as his ability to generate whirlwinds. These are handy for reaching high-up places, avoiding long drops to your death and even trapping enemies in mid-air. (Waggling's still more effective, though.)
Then there are Spirit Hooks, handles for the Prince to hang on to while scaling walls. At first these are fixed but later on you have the freedom to place them where you like, again using the Wii remote. You also get the ability to surround the Prince with a Magical Sphere. This provides protection while enabling the Prince to float around. Once these powers are unlocked, working out how to get through levels becomes more challenging. The paths are still pretty linear, however - they're just not as obvious. Still, it's good to see remote-based game mechanics which have been designed thoughtfully rather than shoehorned in.
And it's good to see a Wii game which isn't just an uglier, wagglier version of its PS3 and Xbox 360 counterparts. Real care and attention has gone into this one, as you can tell by the polished presentation and healthy amount of content. Although it's easy to romp through the first few hours, things do get tougher later on and this isn't a game you'll finish off in a single evening. Throw some neat extras on the disc, such as 2D versions of some levels and the original 16-bit POP, and with an RRP of £29.99 you've got a game which is pretty good value for money.
True, the combat is rubbish. True, aside from those Spirit Hooks and Magical Spheres, there aren't many new ideas here. And true, serious platformer fans won't find themselves challenged or surprised by anything they find in the Forgotten Sands.
However, the gameplay is solid, the visuals are pretty and there's just something brilliantly enjoyable about making the Prince skip gracefully around well-designed levels, just like in the old days. This isn't the best Prince of Persia game ever, and we'd bet the number on the bottom of Ubisoft's 2011 financial forecast that it won't be the last. All the same, it's more entertaining, rewarding and polished than an awful lot of Wii games out there, and it's worth just a little bit more than 6/10.