Genre: Scrolling Fighter
Format reviewed: Arcade
Submitted by: Darran Jones
I’ve always loved scrolling fighters, as they’re the perfect games to play with mates. I’ve also loved fantasy, you know, things like Conan The Barbarian, Dungeons & Dragons. Basically anything with wizards, warriors and monsters in it.
It should come as no surprise then to learn that I absolutely adore Sega’s Golden Axe. It’s an early scrolling fighter from 1989 that had all sorts of amazing stuff in it. Firstly, you got to control one of three distinct fighters, Tyris Flare, an Amazon warrior, Ax-Battler, a strapping barbarian, and Gillius Thunderhead, a boistrous dwarf.
All three have been slighted by Death Adder and you must team up with a friend and travel across a beautiful fantasy world kicking as much medieval ass as possible. Pixies? Kick ’em in the face and steal the food and potions? Mounted warriors? Boot them off their bizarre looking mounts and turn vicious pets against their masters.
Everything fell to your deadly sword or axe and access to powerful magic ensured that ever Golden Axe’s mighty bosses couldn’t withstand your vicious onslaught. It’s a terrifically fun game to play, and while the combat is rather basic now, I still get a huge kick out of it whenever I play it.
Starting off as an arcade release, Golden Axe was soon ported to numerous consoles and computers, with the Mega Drive port being my favourite. It not only features all the stages and bosses from the original game, but also looks fantastic, with great graphics and a brand new stage, that allows you to face off against Death Adder’s boss!
Perhaps the best aspect of Golden Axe though is its timeless appeal. I’ve recently gone through the game with my 13-year old daughter and it remains as fun now as when I first encountered it 25 years ago. Little wonder then that I still absolutely love it.
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