For no apparent reason, the Wii version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands wasn't playable at Nintendo Media Summit in San Francisco. I take that back -- it was playable, just not by anyone whose paycheck doesn't have an Ubisoft logo on it. Still, I watched and learned as a live demo was given. And hey, it looks solid so far. (Well, except for ... well, I'll get to that in a moment.)

The game looks like a mash-up of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and the most recent (and more simply titled 2008 reboot) Prince of Persia, featuring the environments of the former and the saturated color palette of the latter. It also runs really well; it's locked at 60 frames per second. What doesn't look so hot: The stiffly animated Prince himself. Given the fluidity of the action, I expected his movements to be, well, more fluid.

Said to have been in development for two years now, The Forgotten Sands seems to make good use of the Wiimote for performing fantastic feats with the Sands of Time. Much like in Super Mario Galaxy, players will be able to aim the Prince's magic independently of his movement -- using the cursor to place "sand rings" anywhere on walls for handholds, "sand columns" to reach new heights and a "sand sphere" that lets the Prince hover in-between leaps, planning his next move. The result looks to provide a lot more freedom in the ways that levels can be navigated. I just hope the Prince ends up looking cooler while sand-magic-ing his way through the world in the final release.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Hands-on: Super Mario Galaxy 2