Lady Sia Hands-On

Lady Sia is a Game Boy Advance side scroller with an obvious Xena connection. We played the game to get an impression of what we'll see when the game releases.

Lady Sia is TDK Mediactive's first Game Boy Advance game. The simple side scroller casts you in the role of an obvious Xena knockoff and has you fighting and jumping your way through four different realms in a quest to save your empire from an evil race of animal creatures. We sat down with the game to see what TDK has in store for side scroller fans.

Lady Sia is a young female warrior princess who's attempting to save her homeland from the cruel beastmen, the T'soas. The game starts with Sia in a dark jail cell and follows her exploits as she makes her way through several dungeons while fighting plenty of tigermen, pelicanmen, and waspmen and keeping an eye out for the ferocious weaselwomen and the shifty chameleonmen. At this point, the gameplay is pretty basic. Sia comes equipped with a sword that she can slash at enemies and will occasionally pick up a magical bracelet that will let her shoot balls of energy at monsters. Unfortunately, Sia's sword is pretty short, and you have to get right on top of enemies to damage them with it. Additionally, the jumping physics is a bit off, and it's difficult to negotiate certain platforms. Also, the game doesn't seem to have any save points in the middle of levels, so you're forced to start the level over again if you die.

The graphics in Lady Sia aren't the most impressive we've seen. The game is larger than most--the characters take up a considerable amount of room on the screen. The environments are fairly plain, and the enemies don't look too monstrous. The backgrounds are drab and don't use a whole lot of color, and Sia herself isn't exactly that much to look at. The music was mediocre, and the sound effects were average at best.

At this point, Lady Sia seems to be aimed at a younger audience. With fairly simple gameplay mechanics and an uninspired premise, Sia might not be the first choice for gamers looking for the best that the GBA has to offer. Still, TDK does have time to tweak the game before it ships alongside the US launch of the GBA.

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