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Rage of the Gladiator is a new swipe based fighting game from Gamelion, of Monster Shooter and League of Heroes fame. This latest attempt to create an Infinity Blade style game for Android is pretty solid. Rather than have you fight generic enemies, you fight a series of colorful bosses that each boast their own powers and tactics. It's far more linear than it wants you to think it is, and the freemium elements are frustrating, but the responsive combat controls and great visuals make up for it.
You play as Gracius, a gladiator in the arena. Instead of fighting other gladiators, or heck, even lions and tigers, you'll fight orcs, demons, ninjas, gorgons, minotaurs, and even a Cthuloid void creature. Each enemy is voice acted, though some have such filtered voices that you can barely understand them, and there are no subtitles. A minor annoyance. Each enemy can be fought three times, getting more difficult each time. Also, all three fights will task you with a different objective, such as avoiding getting hit by a certain attack, or performing a counter, in order to pass that level and get the star.
Combat is simple. Swipe based slashes and kicks, two dodge buttons, a block, and a jump make up your arsenal. You'll also build up mana as you play, and be able to unleash devastating special attacks mid combo. The jump ability is something you don't usually see in these games, and adds that extra dimension to your dodging. After you deplete your enemies health bar three times, you'll get the gold and occasionally some skill points.
Skill points can be used to upgrade base stats like damage or defense, give you special healing abilities, or unlock new special attacks. Money is used to buy new weapons and armor, which is necessary to fight certain enemies. Everything is based on your equipment, and this is where the freemium elements leave a bad taste in your mouth. Unless you spend real money on special items, you'll probably end up grinding a little to beat certain enemies. Either way, you're pretty much guaranteed to fight everything in a particular order, no matter your choices. Aside from this, it's a solid game with great production values, and it's worth checking out as a free title.