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Sega Ages Vol. 5: Golden Axe

version: jp - year: 2003 - developer: capcom - publisher: capcom - format: playstation 2, dvdrom - condition: mint - rarity: slight
























Review - The original Golden Axe arcade game and its excellent MegaDrive port both represented for me the peak of 2D fantasy themed side-scrolling hack'n'slash excellence.

So when I picked up this Sega Ages 'enhanced' edition, I was expecting to see a decent revival. Sure, the pre-release screenshots looked far from promising but I was still hoping for Sega to fix the blunt look of what I saw.

That said, I will try to be as objective as I can here. Upon turning the power on, the player will be greeted by a mediocre intro that supposedly explains the story behind the 'Golden Axe', the magical weapon that Death Adder holds. The game then lets you pick from the barbarian, the amazon or the dwarf just like in the original except that, at first glance, the characters look so unrefined that it makes you wonder if it's a joke. The worse is maybe the dwarf, which has the shape of a cube with arms and feet. The amazon, on the other hand, sports some amazing triangular boobs that have to be seen to be believed. I don't know how many polygons make up each character but to be sure, they all look like biped geometric figures...

About the in-game graphics, it is just a sorry mess. From the poor color palette, to the awkward animations and the depressing backgrounds that are loosely based on the original game, it almost feels as Sega really didn't feel like making this game.

The music and sound-effects are luckily above average, but that really doesn't do much to save this wanna-be Golden Axe from the grave it should have never left.

Moreover, as if this wasn't enough, the controls feel unresponsive and sluggish while the analogue stick isn't supported so you'll have to use the regular pad to move around.

Cut-scenes are worthless, and don't feel integrated at all with the rest of the game, while all of the little details that made the original game stand out are sorely missing, like the progress map that use to show up between one level and the next.

On the bright side, the programmers introduced some new enemies (minotaurs and sorcerers). This game lacks polish to such extent though that when the minotaur shows up the 1st time, he supposedly roars with anger but...he has no mouth!

This is just a pathetic pretext to cash in on a glorious license. As a veteran Golden Axe player, I feel insulted by this port. If Sega intends to give Golden Axe this kind of treatment I hope they will never again bring a new Golden Axe game out.

Bottom line: how to take a classic and transform it into a pile of smelly crap. 3/10










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