Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 03/31/02 | Genre: Action
Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? In his latest adventure, he isn't battling the NWO, Hogan, or even Chris Jericho. This time, he is once again taking on the persona of The Scorpion King. Fresh off his great performance in The Mummy Returns, The Rock stars in a prequel to the Mummy series, The Scorpion King. While we won't be going into detail about the movie (this is a game review, remember?), I should mention that there have been only a handful of good movies that have been transformed into good videogames. There have been even fewer good videogames that have been transformed into good movies. With that in mind, I was not looking forward to playing The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris on the GBA. Lets face it, a movie tie-in on the GBA? I thought it was going to be a bore and a cheap way for Universal to make a "quick buck" by releasing the game near the opening of The Scorpion King movie. However, like my mom always told me, don't judge a book by its cover. While this is a videogame and not a book, I soon found that principle to be true after playing The Scorpion King Sword of Osiris.
After the disaster that was The Mummy and The Mummy Returns on the Playstation and Playstation 2, I was quite surprised to see that Scorpion King was actually playable. In this side-scrolling action title, you have a few weapons to choose from--a sword, a scimitar, and the Scorpion King's "rock-hard" punches and kicks. The enemies are very easy to see and I found very few times that someone snuck up on me that didn't give me a chance to react to.
Controlling The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris is simple. The control pad moves our heron around on the screen, A jumps, B attacks, holding R will make you walk, down will make your character crouch, L switches weaspons and pressing up next to ropes/vines/chains/etc will make you climb. There are even a few other advanced moves players can use. These include wall jumps, ceiling jumps, sword plunges, forward thrust, upward thrust, and defensive Scimitar throw.
The story in The Scorpion King is that Menthu has kidnapped Cassandra, your new bride. Along with evil sorceress Isis, Menthu hopes to use Cassandra's magical powers to awake an evil desert oasis that will cast a terrible, thousand year storm that will desolate all of the lands. However, all hope is not lost. By recovering the powerful Sword of Osiris, the evil can be stopped and Cassandra can be saved. Unfortunately, in order to gain this sword, our hero must recover all four of the knuckle slots in a gauntlet.
Graphically, The Scorpion King isn't bad for a Game Boy Advance title. Each character has pretty good animation and the game plays at a fairly high frame right. The environments are mostly very bright--with easy to view colors. However, like other GBA games, at times you may have a hard time seeing the game because of the dark screen. If you are using a light attachment like the worm light or Afterburner, you shouldn't encounter these problems. One of my favorite uses of graphics in this title come during the dialogue sequences. Using an RPG like interface, the characters speaking have a picture of themselves next to their dialogue box. While this doesn't add a lot to the gameplay, I found it to be a small detail that the developers took the time to add in.
Before I proclaim that this game is a must buy, I must warn you of a problem I found while playing. There is no battery backup. What does this mean? Instead of clicking "Save" after each level, the player will be forced to enter a password to continue. I found this to be very annoying. How many of you keep a pen and paper next to your GBA so you can write down passwords? If you are anything like me, you will probably have to dig for a pen/paper in order to save. If you are in a hurry to leave or don't have time to write down the password, then you will be forced to begin again from the beginning.
Despite this problem, I enjoyed this title. While the action is a little shallow and monotonous at times, overall this will make a great addition to your GBA library.