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Last Gladiators Digital Pinball (Saturn) artwork

Last Gladiators Digital Pinball (Saturn) review

"Man, I love playing with balls. Especially silver balls I get to smack around with flippers. And when I play with one long enough, a whole bunch of silver balls come out wanting to get smacked as well. "

Man, I love playing with balls. Especially silver balls I get to smack around with flippers. And when I play with one long enough, a whole bunch of silver balls come out wanting to get smacked as well.

If you think I'm talking about pinball, then... yeah, let's go with that.

In Last Gladiators, you'll get plenty of opportunities to abuse balls across four different tables. Of course, each table has its individual theme, like knights and samurai, but the themes are mostly limited to background art and LED screen animations. The closest that a table comes to taking advantage of its theme on the field is the Gladiators table, where you can shoot a ball inside a coliseum. Now, when you start playing for the first time, you really get the impression that you're playing a real-life pinball machine. Each table is littered with bumpers, ramps, impressive LED animations, targets, and a whole bunch of... blinking lights, making it look pretty close to the real deal. Add in the rockin' soundtrack that plays a different tune every time something happens, and you have one slick pinball title here. Hell, despite being released over 10 years ago, LG hasn't aged at all, it still looks real good.

But none of that won't mean squat if you can't enjoy yourself in its environments. Thankfully, LG delivers as you go on your usual quest for the highest score ever. With almost every turn you make, every ramp you go on, or every hole you go down in, you'll activate a challenge. Ranging from hitting bumpers a specific number of times to getting all the letters of a word, there's plenty of obstacles that'll keep you occupied throughout. Though, out of all of those, we all know what you'll be anticipating the most: multiball. Now, the developers could have given you the usual two-ball challenge, but they give you more than that, letting you have the chance of getting up to six balls at once on a table. The multiball segments are no doubt the best moments in the game, especially since you not only have to keep all those balls on the table at once, but you have to try and rake up a whole bunch of points in the process. I tell ya, you haven't really experienced multiball if you haven't had the opportunity to smack around six balls at once. It's chaotic.

LG really is a fun pinball title, but there's this one little issue that may just turn off a few players. As you may or may not have known, nudging plays a big factor in trying to keep the ball on the table for as long as you can. But in LG, nudging has almost no effect at all. No matter how hard you try, nudging barely moves the ball to the sides as it goes down the middle. Actually, nudging in this game can be dangerous at times. As you see the ball supposedly fall to its doom, you start nudging away, only to see the ball slow down and actually move closer to the middle... In the end, it's better not to shake the table at all, since you'll have a better chance of surviving that way. However, even with that one nasty flaw, you'll get a lot out of the four tables in this title. In comparison to something like Hyper 3-D Pinball (another fun Saturn game), Last Gladiators may be a bit simple and have a low table count, but the amount of challenges and intense sessions of multiball will be enough to suck you into its little, ballsy world.

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (February 28, 2007)

Alternative tagline: Hit the Road, Jack.

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