Gauntlet Dark Legacy

Here's the Xbox box art for the Midway madhouse, Gautlet: Dark Legacy!

Gauntlet: Dark Legacy is a game that was released in 2002 for the Xbox, PS2, etc. (but earlier on by a year or two for the arcades), developed, and published by the famed Midway. The game follows the path of fantastical characters, like the Knight, Jester, Dwarf, Sorceress, Archer, etc., as they battle through enemies and bosses, finding secrets and crystals along the way, as well as the vital Runestones, all of which must be collected to advance through to the final levels. The game's basic plot is about the evil sorcerer Garm, who released the demon Skorne to do his bidding, but who was imprisoned by him, left for dead as Skorne unleashed his minions across the land. Garm's virtuous brother, Sumner, sends the player(s) forth to defeat Skorne and undo the evil cast upon the land.

My half-sister was the first to introduce me to this game, and we would often play it because we both had Xboxes. I would usually play as the Jester, and she would be all over the map with who she was. It wasn't until the most recent playthrough, quite a while ago, that I played as the Knight instead. You can take it from me that this is a pretty graphic game, the way that you were always smashing enemies with blunt weapons, with blood, of course, because it's Midway. I was about 11 years old.

Which leads me to my initial point: like basically all Gauntlet games, this title is not for little kids, more like 14 or 15+ in age. So, if you're a young person reading this review, determining whether or not you should play this game, you probably shouldn't.

BUT, that's not to say that the game isn't awesome! It is a really pretty great game. The biggest issue I could have is that there are some pretty creepy aspects. The majority of all bosses are really pretty unnerving, not to mention some of the enemies. Heck, the environments were creepy on occasion, like the one where you went into a person's body. YUCK! {shivers}

Anyway, the bulk of the game is great in the same way Zelda and Mario games are great; the gameplay, the uniqueness, the overworlds. Every environment, from Forest, to Dream, to Desert, even to Volcano, are stunning. They're a very real kind of experience, as if you're actually fighting through the place, or just watching it happen in a way that's really realistic. The point is that everything about the game really gets right through to you in its own ways, and that's something I like to see and strive for in my ideas.

The biggest thing I like about the game are the diversity of cheat codes. You can enter certain names for your character that will have certain effects in-game until you play using a name that has no effect. For example, one that I consistently use is the name INVULN, which makes you made of shiny metal and impossible to damage. There are others, like 100000 that gives you a ton of gold, but that one's my favorite, I'd say. The thing I like least about them is the fact that you have to live with that name to get the effects, and I also wish that you weren't completely made of metal when you were invulnerable (it was kinda weird...).

The biggest downturn about this game, aside from the creepish content from time to time, is the graphics. In fact, that's the big reason why major game reviewers, like IGN, Gamespot, and now me, say that this game can't compete with newer titles of the same genre. It's not like they're N64-type primitive, but you'd just expect more. Still, for the N64-type age they were released in (actually, the early 2000s was the N64 era), they're pretty good, and a step up from what had come before. So, the graphics are good if you find charm in those of that era.

The big thing you have to take into account is that there's only a particular crowd that will actually like this game. That is, you have to accept the look of the game, the creepy parts, the fantasy-gone-wild aspects of it (which are everywhere, if you haven't already guessed it), and the gameplay of hacking, slashing, and overall attacking that you get throughout the entire experience.

However, if you can accept these conditions and get your hands on the game, I encourage you to play to your heart's content, because you will enjoy it very much.