> Let me start by saying I love medieval fantasy. I love the idea of armored
knights fighting back the night. That's why I played a paladin in World
of Warcraft even though it was a forever broken class.
> Now let's go back in time for a moment. Golden Axe was
originally an arcade game that was later converted to the Genesis/Mega
Drive and is remembered fondly as a game that helped define the
console. Golden Axe is basically a side scrolling hack and
slash game much like the side scrolling beat 'em ups from the same era
like Double Dragon and Streets of Rage where
you can move up and down 2D locations that create the illusion of depth,
but set in a medieval fantasy world. Guardian
Heroes for the Saturn
is the pinnacle of this genre.
> Golden Axe II is the Genesis sequel to the
original Golden Axe that was made for the arcades and Genesis.
Of course it is. That's why it's called Golden Axe II I hear
you say. What people might not know is that this isn't the true sequel
to Golden Axe. The true sequel to Golden Axe
was called The Revenge of Death Adder and it was only made
for the arcades. Why you ask? It's simple: the Genesis couldn't
handle a perfect conversion, so Sega decided to make a Genesis
exclusive sequel instead.
> Golden Axe II is basically more of the same gameplay as
the original. You choose one out of three characters just like the first
game and hack and slash your way through armies of evil. You can choose
either Ax Battler who is a male barbarian with huge muscles who makes you
feel like less of a man, Tyris Flare who is a beautiful barely dressed
curvacious female warrior who is obviously meant to draw male attention,
and Gilius Thunderhead who is a stereotypical angry dwarf with a huge axe.
> The graphics are less colorful than the first game. Don't ask me why.
It was probably done to free up more memory for enemies and animations.
The graphics almost seem diluted compared to the original game. Nevertheless,
the art is great. Maybe it's nostalgia talking but I think the original
game was perfect, and it's impossible to beat perfection. Overall, the
original game is simply better. Be that as it may, you will see many enemies
on screen at the same time. Swords leave trails when swung which makes
the game more aesthetically and artistically pleasing.
> The enemies are like the first game but now there are even more evil
looking enemies. My personal favorite enemies are the headless knights;
they really do look evil. The art looks serious and medieval despite being
old. Like the original game and other games in this genre, you will fight
lots of clones of varying colors, but the last boss is unique. The last
boss is a giant evil armor plated knight who needs to be in more games.
The AOE spells look good too while being different from the first game
which already had impressive spells.
> The controls are more or less the same as the first game. You can perform
combination attacks, ram enemies (Gilius uses his horned helmet like a
true dwarf), throw enemies, use AOE spells and ride beasts of burden that
breathe fire or can kick and tail lash enemies. It's fast and fun, assuming
you enjoy side scrolling beat 'em ups.
> There are both positives and negatives in the sound department. On one
hand, the sound effects sound softer and weaker than the original game.
Again, I don't know why, but it is what it is. This isn't the game's strongest
area. Death cries sound scrambled which grates on your nerves. On the other
hand, the music is much more epic than the first game. The positives outweigh
the negatives. The gameplay and music compensate for the game's shortcomings.
Like before, you will hear sword slashes and death cries and other attack
sounds including magical attacks.
> Golden Axe II is more of the same as the first game. This
can also be played with a friend. There's lots of hack 'n' slash fun to
be found here while you feel like you are on an epic adventure thanks to
some good atmospheric music. There's also a duel mode where you can fight
enemies 1v1 who become increasingly harder.
> Golden Axe is an intellectual property that I wish Sega
had taken more seriously. Medieval fantasy has always been insanely popular,
as other franchises have proven (such as Lord of the Rings).
That was wasted potential.
> Golden Axe II is better than the original game in some
ways and worse in others. The lack of color compared to the first game
and softer sound effects drive me mad because I expected the series to
improve, not decay, but if you can live with that then this is a good game.
Unfortunately Golden Axe II hasn't aged well.
that The Revenge of Death Adder had been released on the
It still looks great even today thanks to a large color pallet and large
detailed sprites. It deserves a home release. Oh well. There's nothing
we can do about that now. In any case, I'm glad these games exist. Golden
Axe I and II and especially The Revenge of Death Adder
deserve to be remembered. If you like the side scrolling beat 'em ups and
hack 'n' slash games of yesteryear then you might enjoy Golden Axe
G. Duke ~
8.1/10 | Graphics: 8 | Control: 9 | Sound: 7.5 | Fun: 8