Review by stonedwal

Reviewed: 02/16/01 | Updated: 02/25/01

I have never seen a drop off in a series of games this significant

There is a typical trend that sequel movies tend to follow. The first is always the best without a doubt. The sequel tends to be disappointing to some, and sometimes it is a complete farce (there are some exceptions to the rule, The Empire Strikes Back being the perfect example). The third in the series is supposed to make up for the shocking second in the series. With Golden Axe, this is not the case. The first game was a classic, one of the games which put Sega on the map. The sequel stayed very loyal to the original, not changing much at all. The third game, however, takes the good name of Golden Axe, gives it to a dog as a chew toy, wipes its bottom with it, beats it with a baseball bat, and digs the series a shallow grave.

This game (and Golden Axe 2) are not to be confused with the Arcade-Only sequel to the original, Golden Axe 2 – The Return of Death Adder. The Return of Death Adder, in my opinion, was one of the best games Sega has made, and I am really really disappointed that it has never seen a home release.

Graphics: 5

This is about a 3rd generation Genesis title, yet it manages to take a step back graphically from its predecessors. This is shocking. The animation is poor. Sprites generally look very ugly. I was actually ready to turn the game of almost right away, but it has a right to a fair review. Generally very sloppy and a real disappointment.

Sound: 4

Music sounds very out of place. The music of the first two games was top notch, but this music is poor. And then there's the sound effects. Oh boy oh boy oh boy! These sound effects are just plain awful, there is no other way to describe them. They sound as if they have been recycled from a space shooter. Correct me if I’m wrong Sega, but isn’t this supposed to be based in medieval times? Absolutely shocking.

Story: 5

The ‘Prince of Darkness’ (oozing with originality here) has stolen the Golden Axe and put you under a curse. Some little green dwarf guy (I assume it is Gillius Thunderhead from the first 2, but am unsure as I have no manual) frees you from your curse, and orders you to defeat this fiend and return the Golden Axe. While the series was strong and action, not story, this story seems as if it has been used far too many times. Rather unoriginal, but is basically the only thing that saves this game from a really really bad rating.

Gameplay: 3

Well. This is just a joke. They have somehow reduced the number of moves in this game. While there are now 4 characters, one of them is completely useless (yes you Mr Wolfman). Where the hell do these 2 new characters come into it? How come you can’t play as Gillius? I suppose the instruction book could help here. But who knows. The game just seems to be annoying. I haven’t seen such a drop off in a series of games, with the exception of the Donkey Kong Series (everyone really loved DK3). I can’t stand it at all, it’s a poor way to see the series go.

Lastability: 3

I don’t know how long the game is, I couldn’t stand playing it for more than 20 minutes at a time. It could be quite long, it could be quite easy (like the other 2). Trust me, you will not want to play this game for very long. The only reason I played it as long as I did was to be able to give it a fair review.

Overall: 3

This is a sad end to a great series of games, because I doubt that (after this shocking performance) the series will continue. Sega obviously had their head up their posterior, and released this game purely on it’s cash-cow name, something that Sega rarely ever do. Just avoid it, and think that this game does not exist, but after the awful time you will have playing it, I don’t think you’ll ever forget it.

Rating:   1.5 - Bad

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