Reviewed by Jimmy - 01.09.06
Introduction:Midway is once again trying to bring an old school franchise back up the ranks of popularity with Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows. Sticking close to its classic arcade roots we venture into a mystical world with our four heroes, the Elf, Wizard, Warrior, and Valkyrie.
The Game: Gauntlet Seven Sorrows would have to be classified as a Hack and Slash first, with RPG elements added in. Hacking up enemies is what you'll be doing and your finger will need a break after the Gauntlet workout of repeated tapping. Gauntlet really doesn't let up much and only at the levels end will you have time to rest your now blistered thumb. The RPG elements come to play in the form of stats building, upgrading equipment, and new leveled up attack combos and magic. Gauntlet Seven Sorrows isn't looking to reinvent the genre, but more of less giving you an enjoyable experience. You've played games like this before; Gauntlet is just wrapped in a different package with a familiar name.
I guess you have gathered that Seven Sorrows is fast paced with a lot of combat. This is true and you will have to be alert at all times because the enemies really like to ambush the player and they respawn. Each variation has their own strengths and weakness, so you will have to concentrate when a bunch of different enemies gang up on you. It's good to vary up your button combos and focus on the respawn dispatcher if you want to survive. There is a fair amount of combos put into Seven Sorrows which gets a little deep for a common hacker. Although I lost track of most of them, the few I used would be good enough to last the whole game. Gauntlet also offers ranged attacks and magic attacks along with the standard melee bashing. I found myself really using the ranged attacks the most, but it was nice to see that at times you are forced to use all of the characters talents. Each character also has advantages over the others that balances out on the typical scale like The Warrior has more brute strength, but less magical ability, and so on.
In a way Seven Sorrows is like the original 1985 classic dungeon crawler because of the endless amounts of enemies that bombarded your character. Seven Sorrows is relentless at times, although I found the experience a little less overwhelming then the original, it still conveyed the same feeling. It's all about the action, intensity and a mild feeling of panic. Seven Sorrows also keeps to tradition giving us a straight offering of the traditional four characters that can all be played at the same time. I'm actually surprised Midway didn't tool amount of characters, or classes like they did with Dark Legacy. It's back to basics and the original casts of The Warrior (Athalbrandr), Wizard (Madoc), Elf (Idain), and Valkyrie (Ragneithur). Although the rumor is that two additional characters where left out of the game when John Romero and Josh Sawyer left Midway.
Now, one aspect I didn't cover and that is the story behind Seven Sorrows. Not like it matters because it's just random violence, but if you need to know is about our four heroes in a mixed up plot about stopping a mad emperor from ruling the world. It's not original, but again, who cares. Gauntlet never needed a plot, and having one might just be a useless illusion. All we need is a bad guy, and set on the war path.
Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows isn't an overly long experience, and rightfully it shouldn't be. The major bonus to Seven Sorrows is its multiplayer aspect, on Xbox Live, or offline. Like the original you can up to four players running around hacking like madmen. This is the real fun of the game, just playing a few levels with friends. Otherwise you might grow tired of this recipe. Seven Sorrows is best playing in doses of a few hours at a time and depending on your schedule this could be the perfect thing.
Mojo: Gauntlet runs on medium juice for the mojo. The main reason is because I have been here before. This game is just something you need to be in the mood for. It could be timing, but its really hard to choose between playing Seven Sorrows, or the original on the PSP in Midways latest MAT: Extended Play, or on Xbox Live 360. I did have fun while reviewing this game, and for a few moments I really was sweating, then the sweat turned to ah, not again. One thing I did dig is how the Madoc, looked like Rob Zombie. More Gauntlet then Gauntlet.
Lowdown:Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows is decent hack and slash adventure that can keep you occupied for a while, although giving its nature this is only for fans of the hack and slash games, or if you're in need of a good co-op game. Otherwise you could get your fill on a rental. Seven Sorrows isn't trying anything new, rather providing an update reflection on this arcade classic.
Game: 7, Graphics/Sound: 6.5, Innovation: 5, Mojo: 6.5 Final: 6 / 10