Back in the mid 80's, I frequently went to an arcade with some friends and we would play Gauntlet. Of course, not having the game available on any console means that you have no choice but to go to an arcade to play. This game was not out on any home console at the time. The game was fairly simple, you had I think a joystick and a "fire" button for each of the maximum of 4 players. Each player would hopefully work cooperatively with the other players. The goal of this game appeared to be "kill anything that moves". Basically, shoot everything and move together in a group. Graphics were not super complex and the view was strictly an overhead view. We would then see how long we could get a set of quarters to last. Levels were completed, but never once did we see anything like "bosses".
Not having followed the Gauntlet series closely, I purchased this Gauntlet title for the GameCube. What I was looking for was a good cooperative multi-player game since I knew I would be playing frequently with a group that enjoys such games. The core of the original game is there, with an up to four-player team working hopefully together, but unlike the TV commercial, nobody has to be the chick unless they want to. Also, the original core of characters is there as well. The game of Gauntlet has definately undergone some major changes.
In the original Gauntlet, each player was unable to hurt the other players. This is a good concept because when the action would get fast and furious, we would bunch our characters together and just rapid fire, often over or through the other players. Dark Legacy still allows such tactics by allowing your weapons to either have no effect on other members, stunning them, or causing them to take damage. Now you can adjust your "realism". I prefer the "classic method".
Gauntlet in the arcade was really not very enjoyable unless you played as a group of four players. In my personaal opinion, this is still true. This game is most enjoyable when you have a full team of players. When playing Dark Legacy with a team of 4, you get a higher level of difficulty with more enemies coming at your group and bosses taking longer to kill. While Dark Legacy can be enjoyed in single player mode, I feel this was really intended to be a group experience.
This game combines elements of an RPG(Role Playing Game) and strategy. RPG aspects include your character gaining levels and being able to grow your character within limitations. Experience through playing results in the characters gaining strength, speed, armor and magic. If you want to increase character attributes, you can use treasure collected to buy attributes, or use it to buy other useful items. You do have to manage your character, which is part of the overall strategy, and also adds to the RPG factors. Gameplay in general can be strategized. A well balanced team of diverse characters can turn a team into a nearly unstoppable force. By combining players who have distance attacks with those with medium range and short range attacks, a team can move throughout the entire game with very little damage. Sometimes that isn't fun, and video games are all about fun, so sometimes you just have to rush your entire team into an area and just blast your way through it. Stronger team members can protect weaker members through positioning. With more weapons to choose from, this gives so many more options for players to play with. Hidden bonus levels allow the unlocking of secret characters, which in turn become playable.
Graphics are vastly superior now. I just can not compare, but the latest graphics are just incredible. Fully 3D characters, a genuinely useful point of view, great sound and a complicated soundtrack. Back to the graphics, your character is somewhat customizable. Of course, you get to choose your character, but also your color as well. This is useful so you can easily tell your player apart from the others, or at the same time, mix and match as one sees fit. The monsters coming at you are fully rendered and look fantastic. Bosses can be scary looking too. While a few items here and there seem to be less inspired than others, Midway has done a good job of trying to provide an immersive environment.