== GOLDEN AXE (XBOX LIVE ARCADE) ==
Golden Axe probably needs no introduction because of its fame. Golden Axe is a side scrolling hack and slash which was most famous when released back in 1989. Golden Axe then came back to its loyal fans via Xbox Live Marketplace. Although there was an official Xbox 360 Golden Axe game which was released but it was pretty rubbish in my opinion and no way near as good as this old classic. I grew up playing Golden Axe, Streets Of Rage, Sonic, Zombies Ate My Neighbours and Splatterhouse. Those games are what got me into gaming and Golden Axe has to be one of the best classic games ever. Having heard it was going to come to the Xbox Live Marketplace I instantly knew I would end up buying it. The game is the same as the old version in every way but it doesn't disappoint.
=== STORY ===
There is a story to Golden Axe but that's not what made the game a classic or famous to all its fans. Golden Axe takes place in the land of Yuria which is like a medieval land. An evil existence that goes by the name of Death Adder has kidnapped the king and his daughter. Death Adder also has the Golden Axe which is the emblem of the land of Yuria. Death Adder threatens to destroy the Golden Axe and the king and his daughter unless the people of Yuria accept him as their new leader. Three noble warriors (you pick one to play as) set off on a quest through many places in the land of Yuria to help retrieve the Golden Axe and save the king and his daughter.
=== GAMEPLAY ===
Golden Axe is your typical arcade game in which you can play over and over again and for hours and hours. Its a brilliant old game for gameplay but probably cant compete with games that are out today but that's not taking anything away from the fun the game has to offer and the challenging levels. In Golden Axe you choose at the start of the game one of three characters. Which ever you choose is your character until you finish the game or until you die and have no remaining continues. The three characters are a dwarf that goes by the name of Gilius, a male barbarian known as Ax Battler and a female amazon who goes by the name of Tyris Flare. All of the characters have something in common which is Death Adder killed someone they loved.
Basically after you've choose your character out of the three then the game starts properly. All of the levels are produced as side scrolling in which your character comes from the left hand side of the screen and works their way to the right all the way to the end of the level. This is how old games came about and it worked really well back in the day and to be fair its still quite popular now and still works really well. As you go along working your way to the end you will come across many different types of enemies and to defeat them you have to use which ever weapon your character has. Each character has one weapon they start with but it cant be changed which is a bit of a shame. The only bad thing about the fighting in the game is that its quite repetitive and you can only basically do about four different attacks and that includes the one throw you can do. This doesn't disappoint too much though.
As you going through the different levels you encounter different kinds of enemies from barbarians, skeletons, orcs and other creatures. There are also enemies that ride cockatrices and dragons in which you can knock them off and jump on the creatures yourself and use them to fight and defeat your enemies. The fighting is repetitive but its still fun and its pretty much button bashing all the way through the game. There are bosses on almost every level and some of these bosses are fantastic. They are all about five times as big as your character and sometime you get two coming at you at once. I really like the bosses because there is a good mix of them and can be quite challenging.
Golden Axe has also been famous for the blue thieves that drop blue drops when you hit them. Collecting these blue magic drops gives your character magic spells which can be used. There are different levels of magic from collecting two for level one spells to collecting 6 or 7 for full power spells. The more blue drops you collect the more powerful the spell is. Also there are green thieves that drop chunks of meat such as a leg of chicken which increases your health if your low. Golden Axe is an arcade classic and will always be one of the best games ever. I still enjoy playing this on the odd occasion but what is even better is the Xbox Live arcade version can be played online as a co-op story. Play with friends or with someone from anywhere in the world. However its still as challenging as single player and how it was back in the day. There is one extra level available on the Xbox Live arcade version.
=== GRAPHICS ===
Now the graphics are as you would expect really dated but don't let this ever put you off because it still has excellent qualities throughout. The levels are nicely designed in 2D and most things in the levels really stand out nicely but as expected a few parts do look really dated. The enemies still look okay and the bosses still look quite ferocious and not to bad graphic wise. The characters also looks fairly decent for an old game. Overall the graphics to Golden Axe are as expected but the game doesn't at all disappoint.
=== SOUND EFFECTS ===
Golden Axe still sounds like it did back from the arcades and to be honest it still impresses me with the thumping sounds of the fights and the fantastic music that's involved in the game. The game does sound a little hollow at times but that's expected. The best sound effects to the game come out when your fighting a boss battle at the end of a level because the music gets more up tempo and all of the sound effects from the magic, scrapping and clanging come to life. Overall I would say the sound effects to the game are way off to what games are nowadays but it still does bring the game to life.
=== DIFFICULTY ===
Back when I first played this game I would of said its almost impossible to beat on normal setting with just the three continues allowed but did find it to be quite easy with seven continues. However being a more experienced gamer I can finally do it with just the three so yay! It can still be tricky in places though especially the bosses or the annoying enemies on the dragons. They are a right pest and wont leave you alone even after you've knocked them off it. If you get surrounded on the game then its always best to run where there is space or you could end up butchered within seconds. The controls are absolutely simple to the game because you only use a few buttons. Overall the difficulty depends on how good you are at the game and if you can stick it out because it can get increasingly frustrating and very annoying at times.
=== LONGEVITY ===
The game isn't the biggest game ever but that's not forgetting its an arcade style game and can be completed in about an hour but depends on if you know what your doing. There are 8 stages on the game but they're not massive stages. Some will take little as 5-10 minutes to finish and you could spend more time trying to kill a boss than do a level. The good thing is that yes the game is small but the game has lasted over 20+ years now and its still playable. So you cant go wrong right? Fantastic game worthy of what you pay.
=== ACHIEVEMENTS ===
Yes the Xbox Live Arcade version does have achievements available which is fantastic. Nearly every Xbox Live arcade game has 12 achievements to get and most of them are usually a challenge. Golden Axe also has 12 achievements and also all of the achievements accumulate a total of 200 gamerscore which isn't too bad in my eyes. The achievements on Golden Axe can also be challenging because some acquire you to get so far without losing a life or completing the game in co-op and I don't think many people play the game online now. Other than that the achievements are fairly simple and can be acquired within one playthrough.
=== PROS ===
*Choose from three different characters and go through the game with each of them.
*A lot of action with different enemy types.
*Cast different types of magic with each character by collecting as many magic drops as you can.
*Ride cockatrices and dragons to defeat your enemies or to get to places quicker.
*8 different stages with a decent amount of variety in them and the bosses!
*Can be played in co-op and over Xbox Live.
=== CONS ===
*The game is very repetitive and can become increasingly frustrating.
*The graphics look a little dated now considering what games are like today.
*Doesn't take long to complete the game overall but it can be played again and again.
*Its a little old now and might put some people off.
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
Golden Axe is a great game and many will enjoy it. I love it for many reason. The story sounds interesting but to be honest for an arcade game it doesn't really interest most gamers because its a hack and slash game full with action. The game has its flaws like most games and the most probable one would be the age of the game and possibly the length to some gamers.
I would recommend the game to anyone mainly because it can be quite addictive until you've finished the game but better yet its great online if you can find people to play with. Its also great to play with a friend in co-op. If your a fan of the old hack and slash games you will love this but the chances are you all know what the game is.
The game can be found on Xbox Live Arcade via the Xbox 360. You need your Xbox connected to Xbox Live to purchase the game but you don't need it to play it. The game costs around 400 Microsoft points to download which is about £4. I would say its worth it and still has a lot to offer.
I would give Golden Axe a solid 8/10! Classic oldie for everyone!
Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!
Golden axe beast rider is the follow up of the classis side scrolling game years ago. This time its been beefed up to next generation graphics with the player taking on the role of Tyris. The graphics are on par with most games in this generation as well as some shrt cinematics.
The gameplay is seen to be a mixture of god of war and heavenly sword but nothing as great. The gore is present but there is only a handful of sword animations and block attacks. Magic has been added into the game but is pretty much useless as is the long distance attack component by means of a shard of golden axe. There is unlockables in terms of costumes and swords but take too long to actually come in use.
Possibly the main attraction is the use of beasts. Tyris can mount a variety of beasts which offer a better gameplay experience than foot. The beast vs beast fights are particularly great to look at though these instances are few.
The levels have some decent details but most of them are similar in nature. Enemies have been reused again as have the bosses which will quickly bore you with the similar attacks and animations
This is a game which is definetely in need of more development time as it doesnt come close to the god of war series and heavenly sword from which it derives most of its gameplay from
Remember Golden Axe? That side-scrolling beat-em-up from the Mega Drive days? Sure you do. Everyone does. Remember how much fun it was as a child, battling hordes of the same enemy over and over again, with only the colour of their armour to seperate one bad guy from the last? It was amazing, right?
Right. Of course it was, we were young, the industry was young, and we hadn't been spoiled by the Oblivions and the Mass Effects we have today. Now imagine if that very same Golden Axe was released today, but with a graphical overhaul. Would it be as fun as it was then? Well, no. It's not. It's just Golden Axe, again. The game is reasonably long, but throughout it all there just isn't that much variety. All the enemies are more or less the same. You have fighters and mages, and as you progress they maybe get bigger and more armoured, but they are all more or less the same. It gets old a little fast. There are about 4 beasts that you can ride, which breaks up the action a bit, and are quite fun to ride, but in the end it's still just about mashing A a lot.
Having said that, it does have some redeeming features. Combat isn't entirely limited to mashing A all the time. It's broken up somewhat by having to either avoid (LB) or parry (RB) certain attacks from enemies. Get it right, and you unleash a devastating attack. Get it wrong, and you get hit harder. Also, the boss fights are pretty great. They're straightforward and lengthy but aren't unfair. It's pretty satisfying taking down the giants that get thrown at you in this way, and it's this that makes the end of the game so satisfying. While the game in the main is all about going through the motions, the final few levels are pretty exciting as they all involve huge beasts in one form or another.
So, is this a game you should pick up? Hmm... maybe. If you can find it cheap, and you really, really love Golden Axe, then why not? There are better games you can play, but this is by no means a bad game - it's not broken or buggy - it's just pretty average and repetitive. Oh, and it also loses a point for not having the dwarf as a playable character.
Golden Axe: Beast Rider is the return of Segas classic Megadrive series to the current generation of consoles.
This latest Golden Axe stars Tyris Flare (apparently she was a character in the original). She must go on a quest throughout the land of Yuria to defeat the games demonic villain Death Adder. The story is paper thin and does little more than just be there, but the original was never a story driven game so I was prepared to over look this.
The gameplay is a classic hack and slash affair. You can do a mixture of strong and light attacks to perform combos to defeat the games foes. Mixed in are a few magic spells but they are sadly toned down from the insane lightning spell that was in the original and are used very rarely thanks to a limited supply of mana.
They have stolen some ideas from Heavenly Sword to enhance the gameplay, enemies weapons will glow with a certain colour and then based on that colour you perform a move to counter it. It is a good system but they haven't executed it as well as Heavenly Sword as the controls are not as precise and if you fail to do the right move your health bar will really suffer for it.
There are some beasts for you to ride hence the name but usually it's just an exercise in frustration to stay on them as like the original one hit will send you flying off. Add to that they all handle very strangely it becomes really tiresome, definitely a concept that needed alot more work on it.
The games graphics and effects are nothing to stellar, characters are environments are passable but nothing will excite or wow you throughout the entirety of the game.
The game trys to reinvigorate the franchise with modern gameplay but keeping some elements from the older titles but gets the balance all wrong.
Golden Axe: Beast Rider is the first in the Franchise which branched out into the Seventh Generation Games Console market, with High Definition Graphics and did away with the silly Street Fighter-esq 'Duel' and side-scrolling sort of games that Golden Axe (and indeed other Sega titles from back then) were known for.
This offering puts you in the shoes of Tyris Flare. Well, I say shoes... they arent. But hey. And it doesnt put you in the shoes per-se, but behind her, in typical Third Person view, much like Gears of War and Unreal Tournament.
Having never been a big fan of the Golden Axe games, I got this one as a thought for my other half, who was a fan of the original. Instead, I found myself playing it, and her not liking it.
The battles in there are very responsive on the control-pad. No waiting around for a move to be executed (unless your in one of the big beasts) and plenty of button-bashing for stunning combos.
It can take a few levels for you to get into the gameplay itself, but it is a very basic layout, with X and A being the action buttons, Y being Jump, and B being the Spell button, which you use in conjunction with the D-Pad to select the type of magic you want. RB and LB are block and dodge, and LT is dash.
The battles are really good, and quite gory also. Sadly, one flaw with the game is the AIs inability of being able to move the camera around to the back of you when your near a rock, and mid battle. This, in turn, causes a massive closeup of Tyris, and even though she is something to look at, shes also getting the blood drained from her by the crazy mad-men behind or infront of her, weilding a huge sword.
The story isnt strong. I found myself not being too interested in the story, which has become something of a requirement for me to play a game, but the gameplay itself made up for that. It doesnt captivate you as much as Gears or Call of Duty 4 does. Also, the cut-scenes are NOT skip-able. Very annoying when you are itching to play.
All in all, with a couple of faults its not the greatest game ever, but a very smooth, crisp and back-to-basics control type make this game something to take a look at if you like your typical beat-em-ups.