Chronurgy, but for Video Games!
At some point in your life we’re sure you’ve found your way into a Gauntlet campaign. Reaching back as far as 1985 but more broadly known for its 1999 adventure, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, cranking out quarters as a child and hours on your 6th generation console. It’s been a long time since the Gauntlet theme has been heard in gamers’ ears, so lets use some Wizard Magic and travel 8 years in the past to the franchise’s last entry, Gauntlet: Slayer Edition.
Following the same aesthetic palette of Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows but staying in slumber for almost a decade, Gauntlet was re-launched as a pseudo-reboot of the couch co-op ARPG. Slayer Edition brought together the classes of Warrior, Valkyrie, Wizard, and Elf (with the Necromancer coming in later as DLC) for another romp through dungeons in a quest to cooperatively make it through each stage while also hoarding the most gold from your friends. Does Gauntlet still hold up to the current video game palette in 2022? Well, we brought some friends to help us out:
I had the honor of playing the team mascot: the Wizard. Turns out the devs of NuGauntlet basically looked at Magicka, asked “what if this didn’t crash every 5 seconds?”, and that was the end of the design considerations for the character. Mixing elements on the fly to fire the right spell at the right time while skeletons are trying to eat your face off is a little tense! Would have liked to see a few more interesting attack options, but Gauntlet has never been a cerebral affair. It also lets you spend 30K gold on an orb so you know it’s an authentic wizarding experience.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed playing the Valkyrie. Her fast paced attacks and options for range were aligned with my play style. I don’t usually pick up games like this, the top down perspective usually confuses me when it’s the same view shared with all other players; I end up dying… a lot. Overall, I wouldn’t say this is a game I would pick up and play by myself or even suggest to my friends to play with me but when asked to join, I’d happily do so. I know Kyle said to rate these from 1-5 orbs but I base my gaming knowledge on my favorite; The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, so I’ll rate this…
Playing the Necromancer kind of felt like Gauntlet’s Wizard Lite, but that Gauntlet goodness is still around. Like Kendrah said, the screen can get a little chaotic and runs into a common problem with 4-player couch co-op: you lose yourself really easily. Thankfully dying to this isn’t a huge deal but can sour the experience a little. That said, for releasing in 2014: it holds up rather well and is still a blast to play with a full house. Single player though? Iunno.