January 12, 2006

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Gauntlet: Seven†Sorrows
Midway
(PS2/XBOX)

C-

Ahhh Gauntlet, how can anybody hate a game that delivered the immortal phrase ďRed Wizard Needs Food Badly!Ē into the lexicon of geekdom.

Iíll tell you how you could, as developer Midway has: refuse to let a good thing pass into the night.

Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows is a tricky encounter with nostalgic love. Itís a visiting old flame who is revealed to be increasingly shallow, unfunny and grating as the dinner drags on. More acurately Seven Sorrows is another 3D remake of the classic gauntlet formula. You and three friends are Elf, Mage, Warrior and Valkeryie, you shoot sharp pointy bits and swing heavy pointy things at a seemingly endless swarm of fantasy monsters. Every once and a while you trigger a screen-clearing burst of magic.

You fight ho hum boss monsters (pst: The trick here, and for every boss is to have one player lure while everybody else wails on it from behind). You level your character and unlock new abilities just like every other hack-and-slash game ever made.

Sweet Moses Malone, Midway, let it die. I know I love that booming voice that lets me know that my Elf is a mite bit peckish, and yes, three buddies add greatly to the enjoyability of this lackluster title. But, move on. I have, heck everybody has. Despite your numerous half-hearted, unimpressive attempts to recapture the joy of four-player hack-and-slashery, Midway, I still respect and adore the original Gauntlet. I will forever judge all dungeon-crawling, beat-em-up games by the high standard that you set. Unfortunately that means your schlock as well. Seven Sorrows is no better (granted itís no worse) than the dozens of next-gen Gauntlet clones. Is it an essential addition to your gaming library? Far from it. Is it fun with friends? Sure, but unless you desperately need to distract four kids for an afternoon this Gauntlet is one best avoided. (On a side note, the Midway Arcade Treasure series bundles many of their notable arcade titles for todayís consoles. You can get one disc with all the greats like Gauntlet, Defender 2 and Spyhunter for $20)

ó Glenn Given