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   PlanetDreamcast | Games | Reviews | Gauntlet Legends
    Gauntlet Legends
Finally, a new reason to own four controllers - Review By Subskin

Gauntlet Legends Logo Updates of classic games rarely work. I spent a good portion of my youth on Centipede for the Atari 2600. After playing the "improved" Playstation version, I really miss my old 1-button joystick. Same goes for the root-canal-on-a-CD that is Rampage World Tour. You'd think that I would learn my lesson and stop letting cheap remakes try to ruin my love for the original game.

But then, you'd be forgetting Metal Gear Solid. Excitebike 64. Zelda 64. Sonic Adventure. Castlevania: Resurrection. Phantasy Star Online. Shinobi 3D. Virtua Fighter 4. (Okay, so now I'm just wishful thinking. But can't a man dream?)

Based on this mixed bag of good and bad updates, I was nervous about reviewing Gauntlet Legends. I shelled out enough quarters on the original Gauntlet to pay for the Aladdin's Castle owner's Corvette. I could only hope that Midway managed to include even half the fun of the original.

  • The Good

    This is the game's central hub. As you progress, the force fields will open, allowing access to new levels.
    Gameplay always was the key to Gauntlet's success. Here, Midway did an excellent job of staying true to the original while still updating it enough to challenge more modern arcade hits. The result is a trip down memory lane that is every bit as enjoyable as the first time around.

    Gauntlet Legends has a worthy story of the Gauntlet universe, so now you actually have a reason for fighting hell's minions. You've got an old magician friend named Sumner. Seems his jealous brother, Garm, rides the short bus. Garm hatches a plan to show up Sumner... by calling the demon lord, Skorne. Garm thinks he can contain Skorne using thirteen rune stones, but then again, Garm's a doofus. Skorne breaks free, destroys Garm and unleashes his undead army on the entire mortal realm. He also scatters the thirteen rune stones throughout the land, along with magic obelisks. (Seeing a prototypical video game plot yet?)

    With the undead terrorizing all mortals, Skorne sets up shop in a nearby Citadel. Sumner calls you, and asks you to find the thirteen rune stones, unlock the magic obelisks, and defeat Skorne. Regulators, mount up.

    Gauntlet Legends maintains the same basic action format as Gauntlet and Gauntlet II. Up to four human players can enter the labyrinth of monsters and traps. Working through each maze requires brute strength to take down the horde of monsters. It also demands some wits -- certain walls are breakable, and conceal important switches or artifacts. Simply fighting to the exit would be difficult enough, even if you didn't have to find the runes and obelisks.

    Although graphics are not among the game's strong points, some of the scenery is at least half-decent.

    Fortunately, the main controls are still the attack and magic buttons. Attack is your generic bash-their-head-in move using whatever weapon your character is equipped with. Magic, on the other hand, is a hail of death ala Golden Axe. You can find and carry up to nine magic potions. Although different-colored bottles have slightly different graphical effects, the end result is the same: massive undead destruction.

    The damage inflicted by magic is determined by your character's magic ability. Each character is rated in four categories: strength (amount of damage they can inflict), speed (how fast they can walk, duh), armor (amount of damage they can take), and magic (how powerful their potions are). In Legends, there are twelve playable characters -- the original four, four new selectable ones, and four hidden ones. Additionally, each character has four very different costumes. For example, the Red Sorceress looks like Dolly Parton in red leather, while the Green Sorceress appears more like Poison Ivy from Batman Forever. As another example, the Yellow Knight is an Arabian knight like something from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, but the Blue Knight is a Camelot-like figure. The different costumes make as much difference as they do in a fighting game, but they do add a bit of variety to the proceedings.

    Next: More Good, Some Bad, and The Final Word

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