Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 11/25/02 | Genre: Action
After a few disappointing re-releases of Gauntlet Dark Legacy on the GameCube and Xbox, Midway finally releases the GBA port of the title. While it only offers a single player experience, fans of the series and those who are looking for a great Action game will be surprised at how good this one turned out.
You mission is two save the world by collecting 13 different rune stones and defeating the evil wizard Garm through 27 different levels using variety of characters with different abilities: Archer, Valkyrie, Warrior, and a Wizard. As the player progresses through the 27 different levels and defeats the enemies they face, experience points will be given. Once a player gains a certain amount of experience, they will gain a level. By increasing your level, you will gain more hit points--which means you can last longer as you try to defeat Garm.
Visually, you don't get a lot with Gauntlet Dark Legacy. When the Arcade and PS2 versions of the new Gauntlet games came out, the graphics were very nice and much different looking than the original titles in the series. However, the GBA version of Dark Legacy takes the series back to its roots. While the game has certainly improved visually since the classic Gauntlet days, this version of Dark Legacy reminded me of the original. This is a plus for players who felt a little bit out of touch with the newer console incarnations of the series.
Your character is a very small sprite and fights small sprite enemies. Each character you control has different strengths and weaknesses. However, the goal is the same. Defeat enemies and destroy the "building like structure" that is spawning new enemies. Along the way, you will need to hunt for power-ups to aid in your quest and locate keys that can unlock doors and chests so you can continue on and get through the specific level you are in.
The old school feel is one of the best parts of the title. The controls are also very simple. A Attacks, B uses Magic, holding R will allow you to strafe left or right combined with the D Pad, L blocks in the direction you are facing, and the D pad will move your character around the screen.
One of the best aspects of using the Game Boy Advance is to link up systems and play with friends. Gauntlet has always been a game you can play with multiple people. In fact, in the "rebirth" of the series on both the home consoles and in the arcade, the game just wasn't nearly as fun unless you were playing with at least one buddy. By teaming up and combining different characters, you could strategically get through any situation. For some unknown reason, Midway chose to not include multiplayer functionality into Gauntlet Dark Legacy for the Game Boy Advance. This is one of the biggest disappointments with the game. However, because the title has other redeeming qualities, it can be forgotten...
Now you may be asking yourself--"besides the old school feel, what is another "redeeming qualities" of Gauntlet Dark Legacy?" This is an original GBA action game that combines the best of the new series with the original. Sure, it isn't perfect. However, if you are looking for a new GBA game to keep you busy over the holidays, this one will keep you busy for many hours. Definitely worth a look.