STAFF REVIEW of Gauntlet Dark Legacy (Xbox)

Tuesday, May 28, 2002.
by maneatingcow

Gauntlet Dark Legacy Box art Midway seems to have perfected the idea of a mindless hack-and-slash game wit this title, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy. The game is an adaptation of the Arcade/PS2/Gamecube title of the same name, and a continuation of the Gauntlet series. In Gauntlet, you play as one of the chosen warriors that have been given the task to kill the demon Skorne and send him back to the Underworld. Gauntlet has poor graphics, repetitive sound, but somewhat decent game play, but in the end it just does not make the grade. Gauntlet is a fun game, more so in Co-Op mode compared to single player mode. Both modes become very boring and repetitive over time.

Gauntlet features a simple control scheme to help mold it?s image as a hack-and-slash title. The A and X buttons are used for attacks, while the B is used for defending. The Y button is used for magic, but not the normal kind you would think of. The magic in Gauntlet appears in bottles you can pick up to use on an enemy. The joy pad is used to control you character?s movements. The directional pad allows you to scroll through your available items, as well as equip/use them. The actual game play is quite shallow. To defeat a group of enemies, you simply have to rapidly press the attack buttons. It?s that simple. If you do not destroy the enemies ?Generator? they will continue to respawn for eternity. Most of the game involves you running around killing the same bad guys over and over again, and a few puzzles mixed in to add a little bit of variation. The lack of more complex controls is one of the main downfalls of Gauntlet. Since the game was incarnated from an arcade machine, the controls could not be too complex, as the average gamer would not want to go and play.

The graphics on Gauntlet are some of the most horrid I have ever seen. The graphics seem to resemble a high quality Nintendo 64 game. Gauntlet takes little advantage of all of the Xbox?s built in functions, and relies purely on the Arcade graphics to pull the game through. Items and surroundings often can be seen with jagged edges all over them. The main characters themselves are not too bad, but the enemies look terrible. Graphics such as this could have been abandoned with the Psone. I would rather see a game 5 months late with good graphics than to never see it at all.

The music in Gauntlet fits the mood of the game well. Certain tracks fade into others as your character changes location, which is a nice touch. The sound effects in the game seem to be overused quite a bit. Being a hack-and-slash style title, the sounds emitted by your weapon of choice should vary a bit, but not in Gauntlet, as you are forced to hear the same sound dozens of times in a row. The announcer?s voice is one of the coolest voices I have heard in a while, but the individual character voices are terrible. The voices never change for your character from Level 1 to Level 999. These voices are as repetitive as the sound effects, and also drag the audio down.

Please take full advantage of the XBox?s capabilities! Taking an extra 6 months of game time to increase the quality of the graphics would have helped. Adding some more depth to the story mode, in the form of a plot or more challenging puzzles would have made this game go a lot farther.

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 5.0 / 10
Sound: 8.0 / 10


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