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I feel like changing the subject a little here tonight.  Feel like talking about one of my favorite games of all time.

Gladius

Released by Lucasarts, BEFORE they became "All Star Wars, All The Time" , it was one of the most interesting western tactical RPGs.  

(Trailer and other Stuff about a fun game on the flip.)

The game plays very similar to a game like Final Fantasy Tactics or other Eastern Tactical game.  Pretty basic actually.  A bunch of warriors, fight another bunch of warriors, in a Romanesque gladiatorial contest.

It really had a great deal of potential.  There were some major flaws with the game however, and not discussing them would be doing the potential player a disservice.  I'll deal with the flaws first,and we can move on to the good afterwords.

First off, the game was never finished.  This is really quite obvious in the second half of the game, where it's pretty obvious that various locations were intended to be fully fleshed out, but were never completed.  When a guard standing in your way announces "This area is off-limits" that's pretty much beta-shorthand for "Finish this part".  There's some classes which were obviously intended to be playable which are left out, etc...

Another minor problem is that some of the battles are a little repetitive.  This is of course, the very nature of the game.  Various arena battles, etc.  Course, they do a great deal of variation in the first half in the game which minimizes the repetitiveness.  This unfortunately is not carried through to the last half of the game which feels VERY similar, everywhere.  Right down to the same enemies, over and over, with minor variations in loadout.

BUT, now on to the good.  Do you like movies about... gladiators?

NO, not that kind.  I mean the good kind.  Well, this captures a lot of the feel of the old sand and sandals movies from the sixties, and the 90's for that matter.  ;)  The plot's a little corny, involving a gladiator school traveling the land and fighting in the arenas, occasionally righting wrongs, but that's about it.  Still fun, and really captures the feel of being an "Underdog" especially in the early parts of the game.  I still remember groaning every time I lost a shield, and thinking how much I was going to have to fight in order to afford to replace it.

Characters are pretty good too.  With the exception of the principals (Sorry guys, sounds like you were phoning it in!), the voice cast is great.  Some of the folks doing the voices are industry standbys, but GOOD industry standbys.  Jason Marsden, in particular, is fantastic as the rather elitist Romanesque gladiator.

Downside is this game was never released for PC.  Yeah, unless you've got a last-gen system, you probably won't be able to get this unless you're running an emulator.  Doesn't mean it's not worth the time or the price.  So if you can find it, and you like your battles tactical, check it out.

Oh, and one last thing... one of the complaints made by one of the main villains is  "Nobody Dies In the Games, Anymore"  As I've always said... I love a game where you don't have to actually kill the enemies.  

Beating em fair and square is just as satisfying to me.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:00:40 PM PST

  •  I remember this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    detroitmechworks

    And it's nice to get a change of pace once in a while :)

    http://callatimeout.blogspot.com/

    by DAISHI on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:16:57 PM PST

    •  Sometimes I just like to talk about stuff I like. (0+ / 0-)

      What did you think of the game, if I can ask?

      I was so stoked when Lucasarts used to do original games other than Star Wars...

      Monkey Island, Sam and Max, etc...

      Now it just seems like they're trying to milk what they have succeeded with in the past.

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:19:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        detroitmechworks

        I like tactical games in general and was a huge Tactics fan (the PS original). At the time I was still a big Lucas Arts fan too, and American developers weren't doing too much of this sort of tactical RPG stuff. So it was different. Although I thought this was originally planned for the Gamecube or N64.

        http://callatimeout.blogspot.com/

        by DAISHI on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:51:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure. (0+ / 0-)

          I know it eventually was on XBOX, PS2, and Gamecube.

          I've played both PS2 and XBOX versions.  I think the PS2 version is best, but at some points the load time's a little annoying.

          I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

          by detroitmechworks on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 05:54:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It might be worth checking out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mythatsme, detroitmechworks

    I absolutely loved the original Final Fantasy Tactics.

    "There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but none that I am prepared to kill for." - Gandhi

    by billyleeblack16 on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 08:10:18 PM PST

  •  Wow... actually (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    detroitmechworks

    I did play Gladius, and it is still a game I put in every couple of years to run through.

    If I could make a change to the game it would have been to have the actual turn based combat the way it is, with an option to review a battle upon completion without all the waiting around while the combatants choose their position and action.   The flow of the turn based combat was just unnatural, with players standing next to wolves or other enemy combatants and like turning to look behind them and so forth... and then after 15 seconds of decision making the action takes place.  I think a battle review in real time moving naturally as the battle took place would have been fantastic.

    I also found myself a bit frustrated towards the end of the game when your school is limited to a certain number of combatants and cool options open up but you have to decide who to throw out in order to add a newby.  Knowing what I know when I go through I'll add a couple of fighters to the school (a bear is a must have for the healing/counterattack) as the stages progress to leave room for the late classes that open up.

    All in all though I am with you on this one.  It is a good, but not great game which can eat up hours of enjoyable gaming for those like us who are into that type of game.

    I am the neo-con nightmare, I am a liberal with the facts.

    by bhfrik on Sat Jan 19, 2013 at 10:17:19 PM PST

    •  It's definately one of those games that needed... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bhfrik

      some polish before release.

      The general vibe I got when it came out was "Nobody wants this game, so we're giving up on it."

      Perhaps that wasn't exactly what happened, but it sure felt like it.

      Seems to me that this is one of those games that, had a a sequel been made, could have been one of the great "Chapter ones" of video gaming.

      As it is, I see all the potential, and really regret that they left it there.

      Your ideas are great, and I totally would have enjoyed seeing that as well.  It's a shame that we won't see it again, considering Lucasart's death grip on properties and reluctance to use them properly.

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 07:18:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know I'm late to the party (0+ / 0-)

    but I literally gasped when I saw this diary title.  This is one of my favorite games of all time, I cherish it dearly.  It's not the greatest thing ever, but it's unique, someone took a chance to do something different.  That and Michael Rosenbaum voices Valens, and I adore him, so that was awesome.  I love turn based tactical RPGs like this too, like FFT and Fire Emblem.

    I just want to hug this game so hard.  I love the art style and the overall aesthetic.  I wish LucasArts would revive it for current gen consoles and PC.  It wouldn't even have to be a huge title, they could make it a budget title.

    I have the PS2 version and I was JUST about to start playing it again, as I'm backlogged on games but don't care because I love it that much.

    "I don't want a unicorn. I want a fucking pegasus. And I want it to carry a flaming sword." -mahakali overdrive

    by Silvia Nightshade on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:55:47 AM PST

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