"People who have played through Golden Axe 2 on the Genesis were probably pretty happy to find that it followed reasonably close to the original. It wasnít as fun as the last game but it was fun enough to sit and play through with a friend once or twice before it died on you. The truth is though most knowledgeable fans had a craving for the arcade only Golden Axe 2:The revenge of Death Adder which didnít make it into the homes of anyone and was left to be forgotten about in arcades and leisure ce..."
People who have played through Golden Axe 2 on the Genesis were probably pretty happy to find that it followed reasonably close to the original. It wasnít as fun as the last game but it was fun enough to sit and play through with a friend once or twice before it died on you. The truth is though most knowledgeable fans had a craving for the arcade only Golden Axe 2:The revenge of Death Adder which didnít make it into the homes of anyone and was left to be forgotten about in arcades and leisure centres, therefore a classic game had slipped through time unnoticed by most and has yet to resurface.
It seems to differ from the others in a few ways, a few good ways though. There are four characters, like in Golden Axe 3 but the three classic fighters of the past, Ax Battler, Gilius Thunderhead and Tyrus Flare are no longer important and Sega have given us four almost fresh fighters to choose from. We have Stern, a barbarian who was probably separated at birth from Ax Battler, armed with a battle sword and with bulging muscles he has features similar to Ax and even attacks like him. The other three are a little more original, we have the imp, Trix armed with a pitchfork, Goan, the slow yet powerful giant with a dwarf, that looks like Gilius on his back. Finally we have Dora, a centaur and the female representative in the group.
Of course, the basic Golden Axe gameplay of fight after fight remains almost exactly the same but the difficulty has been increased. Like any beat em up game you fight through hoards of enemies and here it seems that the quantity of cretins has tripled making the game very challenging. If you thought that you got swamped in other GA games (meh!) then you havenít seen anything yet. As groups of nine enemies attack all at once youíll find yourself in a troubling predicament, especially if youíre alone. Of course most enemies donít take overly long to kill and one button smashing combo should finish an enemy off but when they use their damn superior numbers strategy, as the bastards tend to do, it can be insanely severe.
This trend is also continued when a boss confronts you, and as expected these bosses are big, bad and brutal and believe you me they take one hell of a beating and dish out one too. Giant barbarians, ogres and of course Death Adder himself await you with awesome force and superior fighting skills. Only grizzled veterans will accomplish them with well, the rest of us will probably fall or win really cheaply.
As per usual, each character will be able to use magic when they collect it. Fans will be happy to see the return of those playful, annoying thieves that appear in certain area in levels but they are less frequent than before. This time they have an annoying laugh that really encourages you to give them a boot in the face. When you hit the elf he will drop a bottle and when you pick the bottle up youíll be able to use magic, the more bottles you have the stronger the magic attack will be, etc. As per usual every character has a different style of magic to use against foes, Goan releases a fog of death, which destroy everyone in sight, a great attack. The others follow your past Golden Axe style magic except Trix who grows apples to recover her health, one new and interesting, not to mention helpful technique. Aside from this everything else in the magic dept. remains the same as before
Golden Axe 2 has some outstanding graphics with rich and colourful backgrounds along with lusciously animated sprites. First of all youíll notice the fact that everything is enlarged , unlike previous GA games where everything is small. Then youíll see the extremely lush forests, shown aesthetically in the day or dead of night. Youíll also notice the amount of lavishly detailed and animated enemies that laugh, wave their swords and torture innocent villagers. The animation of bad guys building huge Death Adder statues looks sweet, if I donít say so myself along with other similar animations. The final boss, the tyrant Death Adder looks absolutely fantastic, a huge sprite with immaculate detail that is easily the best one in the game. The work on the graphics is just amazing and no bad word can be said against them.
Golden Axe 2 has a mix of good point and bad points: firstly its gameplay is challenging and fun, especially with a small group of friends. The action is intense, the gameplay is raw with challenge and is also remotely chaotic. It keeps the same classic Golden Axe style with some new additions. The four-player mode makes the game a lot more fun to play and also decrease the immense challenge that game offers. The graphics are fantastic, with great animations and detail to die for. On the other hand that game may be a little too hard but itís so great to play through that youíll be asking for more. Sega should stop farting around and re-release this along with their other forgotten about classics so modern gamers can experience it.
Community review by goldenvortex (July 04, 2004)
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