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il_moro Blog

KUF:The Crusaders...Pheh!

Is it possible the KUF: The Crusaders has the very worst voice talent of any Xbox game out there? Thus far I haven't come across worse. And the names of the human characters don't exactly evoke acrusaders-era atmosphere: Ellen? Gerald?? Duane??? There's even a character referenced named "Rick Miner" — I went to school with a guy named Rick Miner. Plenty of unintended humour in the storylines. Problem is that you can't skip past the most icky parts. The painful parts of this game make it difficult to appreciate the strategy and gameplay aspects. I'm hoping the next version is more friendly and less glib.

Why I'm out of step with the industry: Gladius

Hopefully you've had a chance to check out Gladius, the LucasArts turn-based game that's sort of RPG, sort of strategy, sort of...something else. If you haven't, I think it's worth renting at least. You still may not like it after you've played it...and that's my point. I personally love it and that fact probably means that I'm out of step with the majority of gamers. Most of the folks I've talked to about this one either lover it or loathe it. I've even bought it for a few of my friends just to get them to try it. I also had another motive: getting revenue into LucasArts so they would crank out it's obvious sequel (it leaves you with a couple of cliffhangers and I hate that if the intention is anything other than a follow-up).

I'm such a Pollyanna. I actually believe that the 4 new copies of Gladius that I've purchased would be a signal to LucasArts that — hey! somebody out there's playing the game. I can hear it now in the LucasArts weekly meeting:

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Program Manager
You guys wouldn't believe it, but Gladius is apparently enjoying a revival.

CEO
Really?

Program Manager
Really!

VP of Sales
The sales numbers were way up since Christmas of 2004...I couldn't explain it before, but now we know what the mystery is...

CEO
We do?

Program Manager
Yeah, apparently there's a grassroots effort by some guy that's sweeping the nation and getting everyone to give it another try

CEO
Well...let's not disappoint him. Get Blackadder on the phone and let's ramp up for the sequel!

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In my dreams I also look like a lot like Brad Pitt without the worry lines and never have to check my bank account to see if there's enough money in it. So why shouldn't I be entitled to this ever-so-minor fantasy?

Seriously, I'd love it if these guys would actually consider picking up where they left us hanging off a cliff. This has remained one of my favourite games to play on Xbox or any other platform, but the replay value after a year and a half is starting to dwindle. But still I'm left wondering if I'm completely out of step with the industry here. Some of the more hardcore gamers I know turned up their noses at it. They wanted it to be one thing or another — either be a solid RPG, or a solid strategy game, or a solid fighting game...but pick one! Not having played a lot of any of those kinds of games up to the point when I started out with Gladius, I was thoroughly delighted (with a few notable UI exceptions on the HUD and other screens involving the gladiators' set up, weapons purchase, etc.). And having played many more such games since, I'm still delighted with Gladius. I'm wondering what gaming gene I'm missing that makes me like this game and Brute Force, but makes me lothe Halo and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

I think there's something wrong with me.