High Voltage Software has some really nice people working for them. Really talented folks. The engine they’ve created for the Wii is nicer than most third party fare, and it’s versatile enough to bring us The Conduit 1 & 2, The Grinder, even a fighting game. “Tournament of Legends”, formerly “Gladiator A.D.”, is a 3D fighter focused more on when to strike and when to block than it is about complex combos. So it’s kind of cool, until the theme and a few mismatched ideas rip it apart before your eyes.
The game used to be about Gladiators in the ancient world so I chose a Roman looking fellow with a sword and shield to do battle against Garret, who chose a person that looked like Medusa but was not Medusa. She could spit green goo and wielded two swords. I was some gladiator dude. The battle would have appeared hilariously unbalanced, but my gladiator, Marcus (maybe it was Marcus Aurelius?), could somehow conjure up a bear trap out of nowhere to gnaw on fake Medusa’s legs every now and then.
It’s a decent game only in so much as it approached the kind of fighter I’ve wanted for a long time, where you didn’t memorize combos and were worried more about how to strike. But they wrap all that in crap. I hate to be harsh on a game before it releases, but it’s pretty much finished as it releases next month.
To top it all off, the controls left a bit to be desired. Dodging was so inconsistent. I couldn’t get a hang of how the round system worked, or even if I was winning, and they make me wave my arms around to build up my armor and health in between rounds. It was strange. Every cool thing, like armor flying off your character, is overwhelmed by a giant crab interrupting your fight to attack you. I am really disappointed in this title.
Garret: I play as a snake lady, but the best part was the crab monster.