The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian on the DS isn’t about the Narnia that you read about in C.S. Lewis’s books when you were a kid – and that’s the real problem. Even though Prince Caspian features a few fun elements, this RPG feels less like an adventure and more like an interactive advertisement for the recently released film on which it’s based. But really, did you expect anything else?
Prince Caspian follows the film’s plot to a tee, and begins with the Pevensie’s return to a troubled Narnia and the prince’s escape from the Telmar tyrant, Miraz. As the story progresses, you’ll turn your DS sideways like a book to read selected passages that have been slightly rewritten. But even with these picture book chapters to slow things down to a crawl, the pacing still feels like a rushed Cliff’s Notes version of the original. All the major plot points are covered, but many important details have been cut or left undeveloped.
You never really get a feel for Caspian’s curiosity with the old Narnia or a sense of how much the world has change since the Pevensie’s last visit from the rushed story or the crude recreations of famous landmarks from the film. Without details like these to keep you interested and motivated to move on, the game feels more like an outline of something that could be great if only it were fleshed out a little more.
This problem is further compounded by the game’s ridiculously short length. Prince Caspian only lasts about eight hours and the way it forces you to backtrack through its tiny and bland environments adds insult to injury for those expecting to get a full RPG adventure for their money.