REVIEW: Gauntlet (Xbox Live Arcade)

The Midway classic gets a reprise on Microsoft’s blockbuster console, but does it still manage to entertain against the next generation of games?

I was only 2 when Gauntlet first came out, but that doesn’t stop me remembering playing it in the late 80’s in seaside arcades with a pocketful of 10p’s nicked from my mum. God was it boring. As a game known for its fantastic multiplayer experience I never got to play it against anybody. Which rather neatly brings me to the Xbox 360, simply because I completely forgot the game ever since.

400 Microsoft points (about £3.40) gets you a high-def, low-poly (well, no-poly) version of Gauntlet. With the added incentive of Gamer points (200 total) to pick up, I felt it was time to play it again. God it was boring.

Relentless, monotonous shooting of ne’er ending reams of bad guys, picking up keys and getting to the exits was just as much (or as little) fun as it was 15 years ago. Then I was invited to play it with a friend over Xbox Live. God, it actually wasn’t boring. I finally found out what I had been missing. Multiplayer was always the key to the heart of this game, and Xbox Live is the closest you’ll ever get to that arcade experience of playing 4-player Gauntlet. Sure, the graphics aren’t up to much, but they have been updated only to make them work on a high-def screen. Sure, its not as engaging as some of the other Live Arcade games, but as a classic Midway title (Midway never successfully making a good sequel for it) it’s a perfect addition to the Arcade roster.

Conclusion: Although never entertaining as a one player game, online co-op makes it a good budget marketplace buy.
Price: 400 Microsoft Points
Score: 3 out of 5.


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