Female heroines are all the rage these days, and the release of Lady Sia has been greatly anticipated for just that reason. But is the beauty of this platformer only skin deep?
With so many games coming out his Fall, money gets to be a little tight even for those of us with cash to spare. You tend to need to pick and choose which games you can get, and hope you made the right decisions. So when a game shows up in the mailbox for review, it gives a chance to see if that decision holds up. Lady Sia looked to be a game that could compete with Golden Sun for sales, but as it turns out they’re very different …
The first surprise was when what looked to be an action-adventure title ended up being a rather simple side-scrolling platformer. That’s something that really doesn’t come across well in screenshots. Yes, there is “magic” in the game, but it’s just alternate attacks that are still carried out in platform style. In any platform game, the controls end up being a deciding factor in the difficulty level of the game. While most of the controls are accurate, jumping tends to have a bit of a floaty feel. Plus, an errant sword swing can nudge you forward, spelling death of you’re on the edge of a platform. There are some nice graphic touches, with platforms that rotate by using the GBA sprite rotation feature, but the game comes away with a very generic and rushed look.
The second surprise was in the hand-drawn art style of the game. It gives the game a character than many cookie-cutter games lack, but this too is a double-edged sword. The backgrounds and interactive elements are all drawn in the same style, and it’s incredibly difficult to determine where platforms are, where you can walk, etc. Expect to fall off platforms to your death several times before you figure out what is what.
The third surprise, was in the complete lack of any sort of FUN in this game. The game plays much like a clone of Earthworm Jim with a few more gameplay elements, and this is not a good thing. There was a lot of potential to create something unique and entertaining with a new character, but somehow it fell apart in the execution. There are a lot of levels, and a good deal of gameplay, but it’s hard to see anyone wanting to finish this game with it’s tedious control and somewhat odd look.