I remember when I was about 14 or 15, my mates and I went into the local video arcade to play some games and fritter away some 20 cent pieces and we saw it... A beast of a machine that had enough sticks for four players and gameplay to die for. That game was called Gauntlet.
Years have passed and after a number of incarnations, the XBox now sees Gauntlet: Dark Legacy gracing it's title lists.
The story premise is simple enough and you can get into the action without paying too much attention to the hokey booming voice telling you what's up in this swords 'n sorcery arcade update.
Basically there's this evil sorceror Garm that unleashes a demon upon the land. In order to get rid of the demon and battle Garm, your quest is to collect 13 Rune stones that will enable passage between worlds. Great huh?
I think one of the beauties of Gauntlet is that it never promises to be more than what it is: a simple hack and slash with very little single player substance but an awesome fun time with three other friends helping you out with opening cans of kick butt.
Graphically it appears that the fact that this is a next generation console with amazing processing power has been overlooked by the development team that has resulted in some quite ordinary graphics throughout. Don't get me wrong, this is a polished version compared to the PS2 release, but it doesn't grab you.
The 60 odd levels that you will hack your way through are huge in design and covered with baddies to kill and treasure to find. The menu and magic system has been updated for the better from the arcade version and there are some nice effects from magical attacks.
For the diligent, there are actually 50 character classes to play as with the Dwarf, Jester, Knight, Sorceress, Archer and Valkyrie being immediately accessible. If you persevere, the others are hidden and unlockable.
One cool point is that unlike Baldurs Gate: Dark Alliance (currently on PS2), more than one player can take advantage of the same character class. The game simply changes the gaudy colour of your costume and you are on your way!
Sound quality in the game is lacking a bit as well, it sounds as though the sound files have been recorded at a lower quality and are a bit flat. The actual music playing has been taken care of nicely however and segues in and out of the action. Another cool point is the deep voice guy is back telling us we need food and are about to die! That's some old skool enjoyment.