Xena: Warrior Princess

a game by Electronic Arts, and Universal Digital Arts
Genres: Action, Adventure/RPG
Platforms: GameBoy Color Playstation
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 3 reviews
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See also: Princess Games
Xena: Warrior Princess
Xena: Warrior Princess
Xena: Warrior Princess
Xena: Warrior Princess

How do you control a six-foot amazon who packs a sword and a deadly frisbee? Why, with a Dual Shock, of course. Xena is coming to the PlayStation, and her namesake game not only captures the spirit of the TV show, but also packs plenty of butt-kickin' action.

Players guide Xena through 22 levels in a quest to rescue her kidnapped compatriot, Gabrielle. You'll batde all manner of mythological beasts along the way, from gorgons to cyclops to Dyzan, the fire-breathing gatekeeper of Hades. Some characters from the show will appear, and others will be new, specially created for the game.

Familiar elements from the show are being incorporated into the gameplay, such as Xena's trademark weapon, the chakram (the aforementioned deadly frisbee), and her over-the-top bicycle kicks. The game is improving daily--but can Xena out-muscle Lara Croft in the final battle for the tide of single-player adventure goddess?

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Game Reviews

While the debate on whether or not Tomb Raider Lara Croft is a strong woman rages on, even in circles far beyond the videogame industry, it's clear that no one in his/her right mind would question the power of TV's Xena: Warrior Princess. And if a character's strength is any sort of measure of a game's worth, Xena's about to give ol' Lara a run for her money--because she'll soon be joining her in the 3O action-adventure playing field in Universal Interactive's Xena: Warrior Princess (with the working title appendage "Horrungus Among Us") for the Sony PlayStation.

The story behind the title puts Xena and her long-time "companion" Gabrielle in the way of a devious plot concocted by Xena's old nemeses Calisto and Ares, the god of war. The evil duo has raised a titan from infancy--the three-headed monster Horrungus--intending to control the incredible power it will have when it grows up, unleash it upon the world, and rule what's left--isn't that always the way? To test out the nearly full-grown beast, Calisto and Ares have captured Gabrielle and intend to either force Xena to help them or make the creature destroy both Xena and Gabrielle. Along the way, Xena wanders to places like Sisyphus' fortress, Pinnacles' temple, the home of the Amazon Birdwomen, and Hades Castle, and she faces such enemies as ogres, evil druids, dragons and Hades' minions, before confronting Horrungus itself. And then Calisto and Ares will, of course, still be waiting in the wings.

Xena fans can expect the game to show more than just characters and places from the series, because Lucy Lawless (Xena) and Rene O'Conner (Gabrielle) voice their characters' parts and had their faces texture-mapped for the roles--although the animation is done by hand instead of through motion capture. Theme music and sound effects are used as well. The gameplay is said to be like a more action-oriented version of Tomb Raider, with Xena acting out her adventures in a 3D world, followed by an intelligent camera that always puts her in the center of the screen. Her moves include punching, kicking, jump kicks, sword and staff fighting, and Chakram throwing (her metallic bladed "Frisbee"), as well as the special Hong Kong action-movie moves seen in the series, such as hanging in the air to kick an opponent in the face repeatedly. Look for 106+ animations in the final version. More than 20 levels are currently planned for the game, requiring you to visit some of the scenarios more than once. Secret levels and characters are also present, found through means unknown at this point.

Gameplay will be similar to Activision's Tenchu, since some scenarios require more stealth-type movement rather than out-and-out fighting. For instance, in one level, Xena has to break into a fortress guarded by platoons of archers and swordsmen. If she marches in directly, she might find herself full of arrows. But if Xena sneaks up and ambushes the warriors one by one and then uses the Chakram to take out the archers at post in their towers, she should be able to get in unscathed.

  • MANUFACTURER - Universal Interactive

Welcome to ancient Greece, when the gods were petty and cruel--and a woman could really bust heads. Evil warlord-turned-wandering good girl, Xena: Warrior Princess has been kickin' butt in the syndicated TV ratings, and 989 Studios hopes she'll do the same on the PlayStation. As Xena, you must rescue Gabrielle, your sidekick and best friend, from being offered as a sacrifice by the Minotaur King and Amazon Queen. Xena fights the 3D monsters of Greek mythology with sword, staff, and, of course, her trusty Chakram (picture a deadly Frisbee). Surrounded by characters and locations taken direcdy from the series, you travel through eight realms, including castles, temples, and Hades itself; each of the environments has multiple missions you must complete in order to save Gabrielle. 989 is promising dynamic gameplay and a polygonal Princess that does combat at 30 frames per second. Battle on, Xena!

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