Golden Axe: The Duel
Attention, Golden Axe fans, the side-scrolling beat-'em-up you loved is now a one-on-one fighter. Was this a wise move on Sega's part or was it a humongous boo-boo of epic proportions? The answer mainly depends on how big a fighting game fan you are.
It would be futile to argue the virtues of side-scrolling beat 'em-ups over fighting games and vice-versa, so let's judge the game as it is.There are 12 characters to choose from, but no end boss.You have Kain the barbarian, and Gilius, who's the classic dwarf fighter.The rest of the cast is composed of a former boss, a warrior woman, a madman and a giant green guy.
The graphics are very sharp and the character details look very polished.The special moves range from the spectacular to the uninspired.The way you execute those moves is with the standard Street Fighter joystick movements, combined with timely button presses.The actual gameplay mimics Samurai Shodown more than Street Fighter, but Golden Axe doesn't have the same timing as either of those games.
The oddest thing about the game is the weird music played during Keel's and Pancho's stage.There's nothing wrong with the melody, but the volume of the music rises inexplicably. It drowns out all the sound effects and gets rather irri-tating.This doesn't happen in any other stage and could be a bug of some sort that wasn't corrected.
The game itself is very challenging and will have you playing to see all the endings. Of course, there are certain characters, like Kain, who have an easier time than others. Which brings me to character balance. Characters like Jamm, Keel, and Green are very weak and could use some more animation, as well as some effective special moves.
Golden Axe is enjoyable, but misses the mark by a hair. It's still a great fighter with good depth, but the Capcom fighters for the Saturn rule this category.
To get the maximum enjoyment out of the game, put the speed setting on slow.The higher speed settings reveal more of the gameplay flaws and make the animation look choppier. Also, you can select a character during vs. mode without going to the character select screen. After you win the match, pause the game and press the L and R shift buttons. Highlight the character, unpause and you'll skip a screen.
Graphics - 8
Sound/FX - 6
Gameplay - 7
Rating - 7
Download Golden Axe: The Duel
Fans of the Japanese Saturn scene are finally going to be granted one of their fondest wishes: Sega is releasing the latest entry in its Golden Axe series, Golden Axe:The Duel, on American shores this summer.
Arcade aficionados and old-school Genesis owners will recognize the Golden Axe name, but they probably won't recognize the latest Golden Axe game. Golden Axe:The Duel is remarkably different from its predecessors.The original games were made in the Fatal Fury mode and Golden Axe:The Duel is a straightahead fighting game, complete with sexy Valkyrie maidens, burly sword-toters and malformed magical miscreants.
Golden Axe:The Duel is in fact a "traditional" fighting game which has more to do with Samurai Shodown than Virtua Fighter. Each character is on a personal quest to find the legendary Golden Axe and must fight their way through I I other fantasy fighters to get it.The fighters range from stocky midgets (that's dwarves to you) to cowled and helmeted medieval types.The backgrounds are sumptuous, the action is fast and fluid, and heck, there's even scaling! Get crazy. My only question is this: where's the latest version of Rastan?