Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith for the GBA is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up that gives players the chance to kick and slash their way through two different variations of the film's story. Just like other games of its ilk, this isn't one that takes a long time to finish. Also, the combat is often formulaic and repetitive. To the game's credit, however, the characters have a hefty arsenal of attacks and Force powers, and the concern regarding length is dealt with somewhat by the customizable upgrades that you can earn and build upon by replaying levels.
One path follows Obi-Wan Kenobi...
Right from the get-go, you have the option of playing as either Obi-Wan Kenobi or Anakin Skywalker. Each character has his own set of attacks and Force powers, as well as his own individual path through the game's 21 levels, which consist of five shared levels and eight levels that are unique to that particular character. Obviously, Anakin's path is the more interesting of the two, since it follows his transition from promising Jedi knight into the universally feared menace known as Darth Vader. Two players can also play through the story cooperatively, using two copies of the game, two GBA systems, and a link cable--which is a very nice bonus indeed.
The levels are set up much like the levels in any other beat-'em-up. Long corridors, made up to look like locations from the film, are filled with hundreds of droid and clone soldiers, which you have to dispatch using the lightsaber attacks and Force powers at your disposal. Enemy attacks take away from your health meter; once it's depleted, you lose a life. Healing items, in the form of bacta tanks, as well as Force power items and additional lives, are frequently dropped by enemies or obtained by hacking away at objects in the scenery. Individual enemies only have one or two different attacks in their repertoire, and they're generally not very good at defending themselves or getting out of the way. What they lack in individual strength, however, they make up for in numbers. Oftentimes, you'll find yourself flailing about in the middle of a pack of as many as six enemies at a time, along with whatever other hazards are around (land mines, security guns, and so on).
Wiping out the same generic enemies level after level becomes tedious after a while, but there's enough variety built into the combat to keep things interesting. Every three levels or so, you'll face-off against a boss character that has his (or its) own unique pattern of attacks and weaknesses. There are also a number of tanklike mini-bosses scattered here and there. Both characters have a hefty arsenal of attacks and combinations, as well as a half-dozen different Force powers. Different attacks and combos can be performed by tapping out various combinations of the B button and directional pad. The other buttons control actions such as Force powers, as well as jumping and blocking. In a decidedly Star Wars twist, the block button can be used to reflect enemy blaster shots back at them. Each character also has a unique fury attack that can be performed once you've destroyed enough enemies or deflected a certain number of blaster shots.