If classic video space-related video games are any indication, the world of the future will be a deadly place to live. Veigues Tactical Gladiator is another example of our industry's pessimism. Instead of dreaming of a future full of peace and love, most video games seem to only be interested in war-torn games, a future where normal people have to seek out shelter from giant mechs and unstable technology. Hopefully this isn't the future, but if it is at least we won't be around to see it.
As Veigues, you have been given the formidable, but familiar task -- save all of mankind. In 2321 AD, in this futuristic world, the Earth was invaded by mysterious aliens who appeared from the depths of the cosmos. Entire populations were wiped out, and the Federation's army was incinerated. It is now 2324, and scientists have gained a glimpse into the alien's technology thanks to a weapon that has been captured. They have managed to outfit you with the Veigues fighting machine, with which you must launch a counterattack in an effort to defeat the aliens.
Veigues is represented by a large robotic character of sorts, not unlike the Transformer type you may be familiar with. Although your robot doesn't turn into a toaster or some other such nifty device, he is equipped with a few powerful weapons. On one hand (your left one), you have a "field punch," a punch in the direction that you are facing that does moderate damage if you manage to connect. There are six different levels for this weapon, and each increase improves the range of your attach. The second weapon is basically a "beam gun" that allows you to shoot to the right or left, again depending upon your direction.
There are six different types of guns, varying from laser to plasma and differing in their destructive strengths. They are given automatically between rounds and can't be dropped or lost. An "energy Vulcan gun" is also strapped to your chest, which may be aimed in any direction. This weapon is particularly useful for wiping out enemies that move along at ground level. There are only three power levels for this weapon.
Your mission is simple -- make it through ten different areas in order to reach the enemy's headquarters and defeat them. Your battles will take place in many different locals. Be prepared to dodge flying fireballs, wade through lakes and jump over blistering lava pools, all the while trying to blast the aliens and dodge their returning fire. Your enemies will come from the sky, land, water and from any direction. The "3D Searching Radar Window" will indicate the direction your next attack will be from, as long as your head is intact. The "Alarm Message Window" is helpful in indicating injury status and other enemy's energy sources, as well as displaying the area that Veigues is currently traveling through. Two bar graphs display your remaining shield and vernier energy, both of which recharge at different speeds.
While this game is based on a familiar theme, it does it justice. The graphics are nice and the backgrounds are varied and interesting to look at. The sound effects are also good, although they are a bit dated by today's standard. While a two-player option would have been nice, as well as a continue feature, the game play makes Veigues Tactical Gladiator a solid, fun experience. The first couple of rounds are fairly easy, but don't worry; later levels will keep you bouncing on your robotic toes.