The controls do a great job of making you look good while not having to memorize pages of combos and moves. Getting into the swing of combat is very easy and shouldn't prove too much of a hassle, thanks to the context sensitive action buttons. Pressing X or R1 in different areas will produce different results. For example, pressing R1 when running towards a wall will make the prince run up it. When the same button is pressed while in combat, it causes him to block. The system does come with a hang up or two, such as when the prince may accidentally run up a wall in combat when you want him to block the guy to the left of you. This doesn't happen too often though. The X button also produces the same effects and allows to you jump and roll depending on what you're trying to do at that moment.
Getting back the combat system (all the way from two sections ago), taking care of multiple enemies is stylish, but can also be one of the more frustrating aspects of the game. Overall, the combat system is built to take on multiple enemies, but the timing can feel a little off at times. For example, after being knocked on the ground, it's not uncommon for enemies to kick you while you're down. This isn't too much of a problem since you can block while lying on the ground, but I ran into a few instances where the enemy would knock me to the ground and another would hit me right after that -- giving me no chance to block. Considering how much damage enemies do, this will lead to some deaths that even the Dagger of Time can't prevent. Pressing X in combat allows the prince to run over and flip behind enemies -- granting him a considerable edge. Other edges can be gained depending on where you're standing. Pressing some simple button combos (never said there weren't any) allow the prince to pull off moves such as counter-attacks and launching himself off walls into attackers.
Manipulating time is easy, but can get confusing if you don't pull things off just right. Holding down the L1 button will reverse time while tapping it will slow time. There were times where I would reverse time when I meant to slow it, so you have to keep you head in things. When enemies are trapped in a stasis (which is performed by pressing the triangle button), pressing square twice allows you to unleash a combo that instantly kills them. Entering the fast-forward mode is a little more complicated, and requires you to hit both shoulder buttons, as well as targeting enemies with the analog stick and hitting square twice. This sounds more complicated than it actually is and can be pulled off rather easily once you get the hang of it.
By all accounts, I should not like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Although I love platformers to death, I despise overly complicated jumping puzzles and bottomless pits. Hell, I don't think I've even met anyone who likes those things. Yet, these are the core gameplay elements that make up PoP and I could really care less. Odd how things work out, huh? Highly recommended.