Warrior Princess


 Though the prerelease hype made it out to be a more action-oriented sort of Tomb Raider-style adventure game, Electronic Arts' Xena: Warrior Princess has much more in common with a 3D version of hack-and-slash titles like Golden Axe. Or, still more accurately, it's essentially like Eidos' Fighting Force with a sword.

Playing as the television series' title character, you must rescue your companion, Gabrielle, from a fate worse than death and fight the forces responsible for her capture in the first place. The game is played from a third-person perspective and revolves around slashing, jumping, and kicking your way through a series of 3D environments. Various button combinations produce special combo moves like those seen on the show, but since mashing the buttons alone appears to work well, you won't be inclined to learn the combinations. Xena can also use power-ups, which she'll find along the way, as well as her trademark chakram (that bladed Frisbee she's always chucking around). Once you throw the chakram, the perspective switches to that of the whirling circle, which you're able to aim, after a fashion. Once it hits something, it's propelled back. The downside to using it is that Xena is defenseless while the weapon is in the air, so you've got to use it wisely when you're under fire from archers perched up above or from multiple opponents on the ground. You use the chakram to flip switches, cut chains, and pick off opponents from a distance. These opponents sometimes become tougher targets because of the hostages they keep so near to them.


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