Review by boredofyou
"Seven Sorrows, my thoughts."
My only review rule:
I will never give a game a perfect ten score. No game is perfect, if there was one I would be playing that not writing this.
PREFACE: Here again, just beat the last master and so its time for another game review. I'd like to point out that I'm not a hack-n-slash game fan so please keep that in mind while reading this. This review assumes your not a hermit and have a rough understanding of what a Gauntlet game is.
~ STORYLINE: I'm not gonna ruin the story for you by telling it to you in this review. I will say this is actually a surprisingly good story! Especially when you realize its coming from a Gauntlet game!
Told through a narrator while picture boards are displayed, it doesn't seem like much but the effect is enough that I was actually paying attention to the intro scenes for the levels...Meaning, I was interested. Please remember, this is a hack-n-slash and I'm not a fan of them! Sadly, the narration stops at the beginning of the level...
~ SOUND: The narrator's voice was appropriate and all the general clangs and clashes you'd expect from a hack-n-slash game are present and seemingly on cue. One thing I found a bit odd given that this series has a few games under its belt and the fact that it wants to be considered "RPG-ish" is that your characters have no lines! They grunt and let loose with the occasional battle cry (during special moves) but other than that...nothing.
During the game the BGM is acceptable. Orchestra is the order of the day and while some tunes take themselves a bit too serious, for the most part the BGM brings an adventurous feel to the game. Truth be told, the background music helped this game and could well have (if it sucked) been the thing that sapped my intention to finish.
Of course, as with any Gauntlet game there has to be an announcer...I did get a bit tired of hearing "Red wizard needs food, badly." So much so that after around level two I was creatively adding to the statement out loud. I think on some level thats what Gauntlet is supposed to be like so I can't fault the game for that.
~ GRAPHICS: So for the most part Gauntlet games that I've seen (N64, Dreamcast, arcade) haven't been much to look at. In fact, even for its time Gauntlet graphics have been crap. This game worked very hard to make that up to Gauntlet fans. The Menu system is stylishly bordered and the layout is well done. More importantly, the game itself looks really clean.
The characters manage to be big enough to not get confused with one another. You can tell what kind of weapon your enemies are holding and you can make out differences in the attacks that the game offers. Lighting effects aren't over the top new age but they get the job done and all the magic blasts and special attacks look well polished and smoothly animated.
I did notice something strange on the draw distance though. I was able to use a projectile attack on many generators throughout the game, before they appeared on the screen! Using the impact sounds as my guide, I was able to destroy quite a few generators before having to face the hordes within. On that same note, there was also a slight bit of pop-up present during the game but I'm willing to forgive this based on the fact that there can be so much going on during normal gameplay without any slowdown..
~ GAMEPLAY: *sighs* I hate to say it but this is where this review will turn a bit...ugly.
In Seven Sorrows you have several methods of attack. You are given a projectile button, a basic forward slash, a round slash (covering more of your left and right side) and an uppercut slash. The D-pad gets used for variations of magic attacks and the black button is the ground exploding magic from Gauntlet's past that wipes everything out. Using gold you pick up during the game you can buy combos and special attacks both magic and physical. This makes your character a bit upgradeable and can serve to keep things fresh...well, it could have served...The problem is I didn't need more than the normal button attacks and one special to kill this game.
Due to the game style, even if each of the computer controlled baddies were being smart there are so many of them you wouldn't enjoy battling. In fact, I think thats Seven Sorrow's problem! If there were less enemies littered throughout the land this game could have been something great. However, this is a Gauntlet game. So rushing forward to get slapped around by a three button combo of the player's choosing is apparently what the programmers were shooting for.
While everything looked clean in the game, especially the backgrounds, the game itself is on rails. There is nowhere to go other than forward. Yes, there is a touch of backtracking in a couple levels but overall there is no "world" to be explored. Not even the bending mazes of Gauntlet's past. It is completely linear.
~ REPLAY VALUE: This is a Gauntlet game. Saving your character and loading him/her into another quest is possible and seemingly encouraged as I was not able to max out my characters stats from a single playthrough. However, I won't be back again. The story was good enough for me to burn through this title but now that I know it...I can't say I'll play this ever again.
FINAL THOUGHTS: *shakes head* There were a lot of things done right in this title. Its too bad the gameplay had to cling so tightly to the assumed definition of a "Gauntlet game". If your in the mood for a short (5-6 hours tops) hack-n-slash title and your someone who loves a story with your games then you might try this out...but know that more than likely, after you beat it, this game will sit on your shelf collecting dust!
In the end I'm not mad about this title and I regard it as an ok game. Its not one I'll play again but its not one I have to hide the fact that I beat it.
All in all this game is a poster-child for "style over substance". If there was more substance..I could have really enjoyed this game's style.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 11/07/07
Game Release: Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows (US, 12/12/05)
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