Golden Axe (Second Review)

Title           Golden Axe (Second Review)
Game Type	General Action
Players		1 or 2
Compatibility	All (?)
HD Installable  No
Submission	Joachim Froholt Profiled Reviewer

Golden Axe is a sideways scrolling fighting game where one or two human
players can set out to save the world from the horrible Death Adder and
his evil minions. The players character(s) can be choosen from three
bold heroes: A dwarf, a barbarian and an amazon. Each of these three
characters have their own way of fighting, so the player can choose
the one that best suits his/her style. I don't know about the style thing,
though. I usually find that the first character I learn to control becomes
"my" character, regardless of my style (whatever that is).

The game works simple enough. You see the action from the side of the
players, sort of like in "The Strangers" from Vulcan, only that the sprites
in Golden Axe are larger and fewer. As the players move towards the east,
they encounter different bands of enemies. These enemies include
barbarians, amazons, giants and skeletons. The players will also encounter
stone versions of the same enemies. In the very last part of the game, they
will have to destroy the Death Adder himself.

The players have three lives each consisting of three "parts". These
"parts" can be replenished by eating chicken legs dropped by some small,
green gnomes. Lives can't be replenished, though.
There are also some blue gnomes which drop some magic containers.
If a player has got some of these, he or she can cast a magic spell
which will help them destroy the enemies. The more magic containers they
have picked up, the more powerful is the spell.

Some enemies will ride on different dinosaurs, which will give them
added capabillities. But when a player manages to throw this enemy off
the dinosaur, the dino sits still for a while and can be mounted by anyone.
There are several kinds of dinosaurs and they all give the mounted warrior
a nice advantage in combat. This part of Golden Axe is very innovative and
works very well.

The controls are easy to pick up. There are no option to play with the
keyboard but this often seems to be missing in Amiga games, so it isn't
fair to kick Golden Axe because of this.

The graphics are colourful and well drawn. While the animation isn't as
fluid as in some other good games, it isn't jerky or slow. One thing which
is very annoying is the sideways scrolling: It doesn't always scroll unless
the players are very close to the border. Not only does that make the
players more vunerable to attack, but at one point in the game they have
to jump across a broken bridge. If the screen hasn't scrolled "enough",
they will fall down and loose one of their three lives.

The music is good, but the tunes are very short. The in-game sound
effects are ok, but not great. They work well enough, though.

Golden Axe is probably more fun in two player mode than in one player,
and a lot easier because enemies have a tendency of teaming up on you.
But remember that the players can hurt each other, so you have to be
careful not to get in each others way.

This game is rather easy compared to most other fighting games, especially
if you have a mate to play with. While it won't be much of a challenge for a
seasoned gamer, it's a nice introduction to this genre.

All in all, Golden Axe is a nice little game. It has some small flaws, but
it is fun to play and I have plenty of pleasant memories from when me and
a good friend of mine used to play it. If someone stocks it, they probably
won't charge you very much for it, so I think you should buy it if you can
find it.

Category list.

Alphabetical list.