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The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Universal Interactive
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Media: Cart/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer

Graphics & Sound:

What you see and hear in Scorpion King is what you get. This is essentially a graphical clone of just about any side-scroller seen on the SNES, which is not necessarily a bad thing - but I would have liked to have seen a little more. There is nothing here that will blow your mind, but it is nice. A few special effects pop up from time to time, but they are so minute that it is possible to overlook them. Where Scorpion King excels however, is in the area of animation and character design. The game runs incredibly smooth and the transition animations between weapon switches and attacks add one of those 'you didn't have to, but thanks' moments. The enemy designs, while not revolutionary, are still a lot of fun and do a good job at capturing the spirit of the movie. Sound is very basic, but blends well with the game.


Following the plot of the movie, Scorpion King places you in the role of Mathayus (AKA the Rock) in a mission to rescue his wife from the wizard Menthu. In order to do this, Mathayus must first find the mythical Sword of Osiris, and power up his magical gauntlet by defeating Menthu's minions. By the end of the game Mathayus is one badass warrior capable of laying the smack down on just about anyone.

Mathayus wields two other weapons during his quest. The first is the broadsword which is your general, all-purpose power weapon, while the twin-scimitars' attack lend a needed edge of quickness to battles as well as allowing Mathayus to climb walls and ceilings. As you defeat enemies, you can collect gems that will power up your weapons with five levels of fire magic.

Scorpion King is not a very original game, but it blends the best of classic games such as Castlevania. In fact, if you were to give Mathayus a whip this could easily be passed off as another Castlevania game (the older ones, not the Metroid-style ones). All the side-scrolling standards like collapsing floors and seemingly impossible jumps are here, making for a fun, if a bit standard, gaming experience.


Scorpion King is a nice challenge, although it does tend to stumble over itself from time to time. Like any good platformer, Mathayus can perform special moves. The problem is that the abilities are not used very often, and just take too long to use to be any good when dueling a boss. The henchmen you run across are easily defeated, but that does not stop them from having moments of cheapness - such as in the first level when they will run away from you. Sure, this doesn't sound like much of a problem until you see that they are all running to the end of the level - resulting in either a major battle, or a few cheap hits since they are all hiding behind the last pillar you must past to exit the level.

Game Mechanics:

The main problem with the game is, again, the special moves. Except for using the scimitars to climb and wall-jump, I rarely used any of the moves. They are just not that useful. Scorpion King also does something that is really becoming a bit of pet peeve of mine with GBA games. Instead of saving the game, instead Scorpion King uses a password feature to keep track of the game. While I am thankful the passwords are easier to memorize since they are color coded, I would rather not have to memorize them or have to keep track of a pen and paper every time I play. The simple password system also makes it extremely easy to correctly guess passwords. Despite this, Scorpion King is an excellent side-scroller, and the fact that it is a licensed game (which are usually bad) makes it even better. This is something platformer fans will want to check out, especially fans of the original Castlevania games.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Nintendo GameBoy Advance Salt Lake 2002 Nintendo GameBoy Advance Sonic Advance

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated