Golden Axe (Genesis) review
"Cool in concept; not so much to actually experience."
Eschewing fisticuffs in favor of swords, axes and magic, the Sega Genesis' Golden Axe had to have been considered a pretty cool alternative to games like Double Dragon when it was released back in 1989. Nowadays, I'd consider it to be an archaic fossil that definitely doesn't pass the prestigious Rob's Fun Test with flying colors. Or any colors, for that matter.
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against retro brawlers. I still receive all sorts of enjoyment when I pick up Final Fight or Streets of Rage. But Golden Axe is all sorts of clunky mixed with an unhealthy dose of boring repetition. Stretching over eight levels -- an increase of two over the arcade original -- the main saving grace is that those stages are short. Often frustrating as hell, at least if you're playing solo, but short.
If I have one regret about being an angry loner when it comes to my gaming, it's that I often must guess as to how the experience is changed if you're experiencing it with a friend. Golden Axe is no exception. While playing, I got the distinct impression that it was made for two players and by going solo, I was setting myself up for a more difficult time. Why? Because virtually every encounter gave me flashbacks to FROM Software and how that company LOVES setting you up against multiple tough foes at once, forcing you to play really cautiously while looking for anything resembling an opening where you can inflict wounds without being tag teamed into an early grave. With an ally, the odds could have been more even and combat might have been something more than repeated exercises in crowd control.
Community review by overdrive (November 05, 2021)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
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