Seven Sorrows is best played with 4 players which helps retain some semblance of the intended Gauntlet experience. by Vaughn Smith

January 5 , 2005 - I can't trash a classic like Gauntlet. It's the original four-player co-op, dungeon crawling, hack-and-slash game that all others are compared to - including Seven Sorrows. When you trace the origins of the Gauntlet series back to the arcades it's easy to see why gamers fell in love with it. Up until Gauntlet arrived on the scene, multiplayer games were virtually non-existent. With a depth never before seen in a coin op, gamers flocked to arcades and pool halls to work their way through the dungeons in search of secrets, treasure and adventure.

Seven Sorrows takes the heart of the original Gauntlet and runs with it which might confuse gamers expecting something along the lines of Dark Legacy. Originally Seven Sorrows was to be a far deeper experience (note: arcade depth and home console depth are not even on the same scale) but due to a troubled development, many of the grandiose plans for Seven Sorrows were left by the side of the cobblestone road. What we are left with is an entertaining 4 player game that is more twitch gaming than RPG, but it's fun while it lasts.

The backstory of Seven Sorrows is actually deeper than the gameplay, but if you're one of those who needs an excuse to hack and slash, it will definitely help. The Four immortal heroes aptly named the Valkyrie, the Elf, the Wizard and the Warrior were betrayed by the Emperor of the Uricointi Empire who secretly coveted their immortality. Thanks to some mis-information spread by one of his 6 magical advisors he became convinced that the four heroes were responsible for his misfortune. In a classic double cross, the Emperor's six trusted and powerful advisors turned on the Emperor after the heroes had been stripped of their immortality and confined to the Great Tree Rit'i Malki. Realizing his error and using the last of his magic power, the Emperor freed the heroes and now requires their help to rid the world of the 6 sorrows he has spread to the world. Conveniently this task is thrust upon you as it's now your responsibility because you bought the game. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!

Aside from the boss battles, the focus of Seven Sorrows is to hack, slash and combo countless waves of monsters while attempting to make your way to the generator that keeps pumping out these abuses of nature. Keep repeating this process and you'll find yourself at the end of the game, most likely sooner than you'd expect. There is no arguing that Seven Sorrows is a short game although you can increase the longevity by playing alone, but what fun is that? The role playing elements involve increasing your individual characters attributes by spending the cash you find on new moves. Admittedly some of the moves you begin the game are good enough to carry you through most of the adventure, but there are some fancy shmancy moves that curious players will want to purchase, if only to change things up a bit.

Seven Sorrows manages to improve upon the feeling of individuality which hasn't been evident in previous Gauntlet games. For example playing as Elf is distinctly different than playing as Valkyrie or the Warrior and I believe that to be Seven Sorrows greatest strength. Control of each character is responsive and tight and I suggest wringing every ounce of playability out of GSS by completing the game with each character.

System: X, PS2
Dev: Midway
Pub: Midway
Release: Nov 2005
Players: 1 - 4
Review By Vaughn