Review by solidus snake777

Reviewed: 12/29/02 | Updated: 12/29/02

The best of the Golden Axe series


Golden Axe 3 is the third in a series of side-scroller/fighter games (think Streets Of Rage). Like it's predecessors, you play as one of a multitude of characters and fight to reclaim the Golden Axe. What makes this game all the more fun is that it has more (and different) characters (unlike Golden Axe 1 & 2, which had 3). Each character has their own weapon, special moves, and attack style. While some of the characters are harder to play as, there is a beginner character that's good all around.

Golden Axe 3 is slightly easier than 1 or 2. In 1 and 2, you had a very finite number of lives, and it was very hard to get another one. Golden Axe 3 fixes this problem, giving you an extra life for every 5 noncombatants you free.

There are some problems with the game, however. During the course of the game, you can ride certain creatures and use them as mounts that attack your enemies. The problem with this is that once you get on something, you can't get off without being hit by an enemy. Also, like all games of it's genre, there are instances when an enemy will go off the screen, and you can't attack it unless it decides to attack you. This can be especially annoying when the enemy in question is the last one you need to defeat before you go to the next screen. However, the mount system's realism counterbalances this. You can knock your opponents off their mounts and steal them, and they can do the same to you.

The biggest hole in this game is the way that it reuses the plot used by Golden Axe 1 and 2, which has always been ''Fight the Prince of Darkness and return the Golden Axe''. Not that this is necessarily a problem (the R-Type series, for example, uses the same storyline for all it's games), so it's really not something to bash the game for.

This is another weak spot for the game. For one thing, there are only around 10 different regular enemy sprites, each one reused by changing the sprite's color and stats, which just isn't enough. Another thing is the surprising lack of detail on enemies, but this is counterbalanced by the much better detail on the bosses and playable characters. There are many different animations for each sprite, so that's not a problem.

Golden Axe 3 has it's own small soundtrack, which plays at the right time and is co-ordinated nicely with the different areas.

Replayability: Not much, unless you decide to play again as a different character.

Buy/Rent: Buy.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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