Review by ChaoticGood

"Outlooked, outstanding"

The first thing I have to say is I haven't actually played Gladius for years, but I'm still reviewing it... Not that I have a choice, both my original XBOX and the disc I had broke down several years ago, and it seems extremely unlikely that this game will ever be released on anything I have. Very much unfortunately, since I think Gladius is better than anything released on the 360 so far, for example. It just did not sell, and well, that's what counts, which sucks.

Graphics - 8
Fine for the time and style. Ursula is a great looking character as well, too bad the damn series did not get on....

Sound - 7
Not very interesting, since I can't even remember anything about it. However, I can't remember anything BAD about the sound, either, so it couldn't have been horrible.

Gameplay - 9
TURN THE METERS OFF. Really, as soon as the game starts, turn off the swing meters. With them, it's crap, without, it is the best strategy RPG style game released for decades (definitely including this decade).

I hope it was the original designers' idea to put this stuff in the game, though, so at least someone else didn't ruin their vision. Impossible to know whether that is true, though, and knowing Lucasarts of the time, it's entirely possible some dirtbag forced that on them...

...especially as speaking of 'vision', it is perfectly clear that this game was meant to be a lot bigger than it is in the released form; the plot is almost non-existent, and happens mostly in the beginning and end, the areas where you start are far more detailed and have about 20 times more things to do than the ones you go to later, and everything generally seems to be making way for a sequel or even a series that never happened.

Still, even as it is, Gladius is a very fine game (with the meters off, remember that), turn based strategy gaming just does not sell. It didn't in this case either, even after the marketing department got their hands on the game, and someone decided it to be released half done. Even what there is, though, is by far and away the best game of its kind on the Microsoft systems, and simply, just a very good game.

Seriously, this might not be the best review you have ever read, and it is partly because as I said, I don't even have the game or the system anymore. If you, however, do, get this game and play it immediately. With the meters off.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/16/09

Game Release: Gladius (EU, 11/28/03)

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