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|Rating:||2 out of 5|
The American Gladiators TV show was a guilty pleasure that translated into an equally ridiculous video game. This musclebound crew of game-show warriors would challenge contestants in a variety of events. It was a truly awful show, but I couldn't stop watching.
My favorite event involved a tennis ball gun that launched fuzzy yellow balls at high velocity. Each hit looked fairly painful. The "Gladiators" were comprised of male and female talent - all presumed to be body builders of some sort. The show didn't focus much on strength. It seemed to be more about luck and agility.
The video game parallels the TV show. You participate in 5 events with four levels and there is a final event at the end.
There are 5 events for either single player or 2-player modes. You bigin with 5 lives and the game continues until someone completes all the challenges or loses 5 lives. Like the TV show, 2 player games pitted both players against each other and the gladiators.
The 5 events are: Joust, Wall, Human Cannonball, Powerball, and Assault. If you complete them, you advance to the final challenge. The Eliminator is toughest challenge and comprised of four events - each one different from any of the prior challenges.
The A and B buttons perform different functions depending on which event you are playing. This holds true for the initial 5 events and those that make up the Eliminator round at the end.
One of my problems with this game is the erratic nature of some of the events. Some are kind of fun and reminiscent of the TV show while others suffer poor control and seem a bit forced. I'll admit I did like some of the events, but others were simply frustrating. I thought I'd like the Joust event, but there didn't seem to be much balance between the exchange of hits. The Wall was OK for a brief time, but continually pressing A & N buttons to climb gets irritating. You start to get close and suddenly a manic Gladiator runs up on you and you're back at the beginning.
Some people will find American Gladiators fun. I might too but I'm easily annoyed and simply wanted to relive the idiocy of the TV show. I think this is the sort of game that grows on you the more you play... as long as you really liked the TV show. Otherwise, it doesn't offer enough good game play elements for someone not vested in playing against the Gladiators. It will bring back memories of Blaze, Nitro, and Lace, but it won't offer compelling play for those seeking a good gaming experience.
Whereas the video game follows the play mechanics of the show, I wish the 2-player mode could pit the contestants against the Gladiators, played by one of the players. Playing as one of the Gladiators would have spiced it up a bit. That probably wouldn't have saved it, but I dig the idea.
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