Beat ’em ups, the pinnacle of the late 80’s and 90’s, you would clench your fists on that joystick and punch the buttons whilst your character would obliterate the face of your enemy, we’ve had classics like Renegade, Double Dragon and Streets of Rage, but there is no other classic like Golden Axe.
Now I’m not into the whole fantasy theme dragon’s and stuff, wizards and spells, but it tickles the fancy of a lot of geeks who would rather enter a fantasy world where they can slay dragons, using nothing more than cardboard and some 12-sided dice, yes, there’s nothing more exhilarating than Vin Diesel slaying a giant goblin with a magical wooden car doing 360°…ok I’m going to stop now this is getting boring, I’m here to talk about Golden Axe not make fan fiction.
Yuria is taken over by Death-Adder. He uses his soldiers to invade all the villages, and Death-Adder massacred nearly everyone. Death-Adder has kidnapped the King and his daughter (let’s call her Zelda) and stole the Golden Axe.
So it’s up to three warriors to save them. Some guy, some gal and a dwarf with one of the greatest beards ever grown. The funny thing is (it’s not funny) is that some of their family members were killed by Death-Adder, strange that, one of my family members died of laughter by Black-Adder. So this is not only a rescue mission but a revenge attack. Good old Sega, WHERE’S MY YAKUZA 5??? Oh well, I’ll just have common sense and import it.
So the game play is in the style of a beat ’em up, but instead of using your fists, you’re using swords to decapitate the minions of Death-Adder (no blood, how unrealistic, how boring (said the 12 year old who I’m about to find and use magic to destroy him)).
You have three main attacks like a normal attack to attack the minion with your sword multiple times until he cannot get up; you see one does not simply slice a man with a sword once. The other attack is the dash attack, tap left or right twice to run and the attack button to tackle the enemy which works with most enemies. And the last attack is very deadly, jump, press down, the sword will descend on top of an enemy and is killed instantly, it works well but most of the time the enemies run away from the attack anyway. Nothing more barbaric than obliterating someone’s brain.
If the enemies are too much for you, you have magic, collect enough magic and you have weird and wonderful magic attacks, even ones that look like nukes, really, NUKES? To collect magic, tiny elves will run around you, they’ll have magic and they’re annoying you, so you kick the living crap out them until they run away wounded and probably died from a cracked skull or broken ribs that possibly destroyed their organs, you know I really feel sorry for them, but that’s what happens when they run around and steal magic from me when I’m resting, the same goes to the meat elf to refill my health.
The arcade and the Mega Drive version are pretty much the same, graphical differences are to be expected, some voices never made it to the Mega Drive version, but the Mega Drive version does have more features than the arcade version, but the thing is, the Mega Drive version will always be the most popular port due to the fact that everyone could play the game at home rather than having to go to an arcade store or any other shop who had it.
You’ll journey across many lands, slaughtering your way through hundreds of enemies, feeling like Conan in the process, you attack an enemy on the right, but the enemies aren’t that stupid as another enemy can easily and mercilessly attack you from the left, but you can’t defend yourself because you can’t counter attack and IT’S NOT FAIR. But not all is lost as a friend can join in and you can successfully complete the damn adventure that way, your friend can slice enemies to death with you, kicking elves to death to collect magic and use nuketastic magic to obliterate your enemies, all in the name of saving royalty and dignity and vengeance and the hatred of elves and possibly hunger.
Overall, the journey for victory was more meaningful than some damn ring, the combat is 16 bit realism, one does not simply say the combat was fun, and even though the arcade version was better in terms of graphics and colour, the Mega Drive version will always be memorable just because of the longevity of the console.
Sega enjoyed this experience too as they made a sequel, I will share this journey soon and the third one, which was only released in Japan, then Sega years later SPAT AT THE EXPERIENCE AND MADE GOLDEN AXE: BEAST RIDER AND IT WAS TERRIBLE. You have officially lost the respect of your loyal fans, you shall be punished, and all employees of Sega will walk to mordor without any weapons, food or water.
If you want to experience the original experience, you can get it on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Master System, DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad, C64, Sega Saturn, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP, PCE-CD, VC, WonderSwan, XBLA, ZX Spectrum, PSN and Cloud (OnLive).
Now go forth my warriors and battle for GOLDEN AXE!!!