Review by AtomicSpatula
"The Ultimate Gladiator Experience"
I have found very few games revolving around the world of the gladiators, a sad but true fact. However, in terms of capturing the raw epicness of a Gladiator, RPG, Strategy game, Lucas Arts knows what it's doing. I got the game after owning the GameCube for a bit, and immediately got immersed into it. The fact that I'm a history geek may have played a small role in that, but many people agree with me that this game is The Ultimate Gladiator Experience. You can skip past this part of the intro if you want, just attempting to build my ethos. My very first system was the N64, and damn, I loved it. After that it was the XBOX (not the 360, the original) and the GameCube (obviously), then the Wii, and now I have a PS3. I must also mention that I play a number of computer games, including Civilization IV and Knights of the Old Republic I and II. So, I am relatively experienced in the video game field. Now for some ratings.
Gameplay-9/10: Now for those of you who would get angry about this not being ten out of ten, the only reason this rating is a nine is because, at the beginning, it's a little rough. Being limited to only two or three different attack types can be incredibly repetitive, annoying, and most of all, boring. However, the number of skills at your disposal increase fairly quick, making your boredom a distant memory. For those who truely appreciate the strategy genre, this is the game for you. With the Heavy, Medium, and Light melee triangle, Ranged units, Magic users, Animals, the Undead, and many other different gladiator types, it can become an incredibly strategic experience to not only set up a scenario that gives you a greater likelyhood of winning, but to lead your gladiators to victory over increasingly difficult odds.
Story-7/10: The story is original and enticing. The characters are believable to fit in the world Lucas Arts presents with their Classical Era style setting. However, the one thing that damaged the story was some of the annoying or cheesy lines or characters, especially the lines of Valens and Ursula. The characters themselves were cool and believable, however, some of their lines were incredibly and sometimes, unbelievably, obnoxious. Besides that, the story is enticing, with a few plot twists, and a few predictable moves that come with every story.
Graphics 9/10: Overall, the graphics were great. No pixilation in any of the screens...sort of. The cutscenes ruined the games chances of getting a ten out of ten in this section. They were heavily pixilated, as if they were supposed to be done for the N64. Don't know what kind of bogus move Lucas Arts was trying to pull there, but they did a great job everywhere else.
Sound 9/10: The music, although incredibly repetitive, is so good and fits the game so well you don't mind listening to the same tune seven hours straight! No joke. The quality of the sound is great thanks to Dolby. The soundeffects are excellent as well. However, to earn a ten out of ten, you really got to have something special in terms of sound, and Lucas Arts, in this case, does not show that extra "TAADAA!" in terms of sound that they need to top the score on sound.
Replay-Ability 10/10: Even if you complete the story line, there is always the other main characters point of view, depending on who you picked. Since I'm a guy, I obviously picked Valens first. However, Ursula's storyline is just as entertaining and interesting as well. Even though the characters intertwine in both, there is always a small difference in both sides. Not to mention, with a twenty gladiator limit after reaching the Pro Tier, there are always different classes to choose from another time around. Not to mention, the sidequests, though far and few, are still incredibly entertaining a second, third, or etc. time around.
Issues 10/10: I had ZERO issues with this game. Not much else to say, huh?
Conclusion: The final score is a solid 9, and is actually exactly 9.0, which is ironically a higher rating than that of Skyrim. Of course with my Skyrim review, I may have been a little harsh and demanding. However, see for yourself: go under Skyrim for the PS3 (I know, I know, no expansions yet. :P) and find my review in the reviews section.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/10/13
Game Release: Gladius (US, 11/03/03)
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