Xena: Warrior Princess: The Talisman of Fate
Graphics 5
Sound 6
Gameplay 6

Xena fans will probably enjoy seeing all their favourite characters in action but this just feels to simplistic for my taste. The characters all look a little dodgy too.

Gameplay: There is fun to be had, especially in the multiplayer mode.

Graphics: Some of the characters look a little strange.

Sound: Passable

Summary 5.7 Above Average
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Gameplay 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Xena: Warrior Princess: The Talisman of Fate

Developer: Saffire | Publisher: Titus Software | Release Date: 1999 | Genre: Beat ‘Em Up | Website: n/a | Purchase: Amazon

During an epic battle between Xena and Despair for the Talisman of Fate, both lay their hands on it at the same time. Since the person who controls the Talisman controls the fate of the world, the Fates intervene and decide that the winner will be decided through a contest. Now Earth’s greatest heroes and villains (plus Joxer) has to battle each other.

It’s as unlikely a story I’ve ever heard but then again I’m not a big fan of the TV show so I can’t really comment on how this contest ties in with the plot. Fans of the series will lap up any excuse for a fight however especially if it features all their favorite stars.

The full roster includes Xena, Caesar, Ares, Gabrielle, Ephiny, Valesca, Callisto, Joxer, Lao Ma, Autolycus and of course main baddie Despair. Most of the characters I recognized from the few episodes I did watch so I guess everyone that matters have been included. Since Beat ‘Em Ups aren’t exactly the N64’s strongpoint don’t go expecting a Tekken or Virtua Fighter beater when you buy this game. The graphics are strictly functional and while the characters resemble their small screen counterparts some of them look a little dodgy. They all suffer from a lack of polygons and some of the animation’s are on the wrong side of bad. Just look at Gabrielle’s victory dance to see what I mean. All of the arenas are a little sparse on details as well and some more color wouldn’t have gone amiss either. Still At least there are some attempts at special effects with fires blazing in the background and weapons leaving light trails in their wake.

Yes you read right, all the characters have wisely decided to bring some weapons to the fight and so you get to see Gabrielle with her trademark staff and Lao Ma with her fan. You can still kick an opponent and each character also has a couple of long range attacks like Xena chucking her chakra around or Gabrielle throwing you with her staff.. Some characters take things a bit too far with Caesar ordering his men to shoot you with arrows or even a giant boulder! To be honest the weapons doesn’t really make that much of a difference to the gameplay and this is about as far removed from classics like Soul Blade that you can get. Everything is in full 3D however (well almost everything) so you can run circles around your foe and even do a wall jump and surprise them with a boot to the head.

The game has a practice mode where you can get to grips with the controls and hone the rather limited set of moves each character has. No move list like in Tekken either sorry. Vs mode allows you to square off against a friend or the computer while Quest mode is where you fight opponents in sequence until challenging the might Despair. With a name like “Quest” mode I was expecting some dialogue before fights or anything to flesh out the basic fighting but no such luck. You simply beat your foe to a pulp before moving on to the next. Don’t hold your breath for any cool endings either (ah Tekken you’ve forever spoiled endings for other games). The audio is a mixed bag with reasonably good tunes but nothing good on the sound effects side. Somehow I don’t think that halfhearted self conscious scream Xena utters when she wins was done by Lucy Lawless. Others like Callisto sounds like she’s in labor whether she won or lost but then again I’m not a fan of the show so maybe she always sounds like that.

On a system like the PSone with its vast catalogue of good Beat ‘Em Ups this would have been laughable but on the N64 it’s a different story. If you’re still left playing Killer Instinct waiting for something good to come along you might as well give this a try. It won’t win any awards but at least it’s reasonably entertaining especial against a friend.

*Review originally published 1999.

Related posts

Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond: Two Souls definitely improve on Heavy Rain in a few areas, but the story just didn't have the same impact for me. The cleaner interface and tighter controls make the experience a lot more streamlined, but the way that the story jumps around makes it a bit less immersive in my opinion. The visuals, animations and voice acting are all top-notch and Beyond: Two Souls is without a doubt one of the best looking games on the system. There is plenty of variety, but sadly also lots of padding that ultimately drags the experience down a notch or two. Gameplay: A streamlined interface and better controls, but the story is not as gripping as Heavy Rain. Graphics: Some of the best visuals you will ever see on PS3. Sound: Using professional actors to provide the voices made all the difference in the world.

Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin's Creed III

While the lead character, Conner, is not quite as charismatic or interesting as his predecessor, Ezio, the game is definitely not lacking in ambition. While it is the largest entry in the series to date, it can get bogged down in all kinds of menial tasks. The story is interesting and Desmond finally has his chance to shine but the story feels overly scripted with little of the freedom that the series was based on. Gameplay: Large and varied but less focussed than previous installments. Graphics: Beautiful in places but the setting is rather drab. Sound: Quality audio and effects.

The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us

The Last of Us is definitely one of those games that is almost reason enough to justify the purchase of a PS3 if you don't already own one. The storyline is gripping, the action scenes incredible and even just exploring the many outstanding locations you travel through is a thrill. The combat in particular is a highlight with tense battles against enemies that will do their best to take you down. There can be no doubt that The Last of Us is one of the best, if not the best game available on PS3. Gameplay: Tense battles against bandits and infected ensures that this game keeps you on the edge of your seat. Graphics: Naughty Dog once again demonstrates that they know how to harness the power of the PS3. Sound: Excellent voice acting, great music and solid sound effects.

Leave a comment

five × four =