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Golden Axe Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Rating: 64%
Golden Axe
Golden Axe Golden Axe Golden Axe Golden Axe
  • Review Score:

  • B-
You want to be shocked and amazed? Then I recommend you import a copy of Golden Axe and fire up your WonderSwan Color. Who know that Sega's classic arcade brawler would work so well on Bandai's ill-fated color portable? This is a perfect portable version of one of the best arcade games of the 1980s.

Obviously this is not the first time we've seen Golden Axe on a game system, the road back through video game history is littered with competent ports of this arcade game. Early Genesis owners will remember Golden Axe, as will Master System and TurboDuo owners. But this WonderSwan version is the first portable version that's actually worth playing, a fantastic port that doesn't skip any beats.

Although there are a few minor differences, this version of Golden Axe is exactly the same as it was in the arcade. The graphics have been shrunk down (and the music isn't very good), but this is level for level the same game. You have a choice between three different characters -- a scantly clad woman, an axe wielding dwarf, and the tall, strong hero -- and then it's off to level after level of beating people up and collecting potion items.

The combat isn't very complex; it's really nothing more than pushing your single attack button over and over while facing your enemy. You can also jump attack, as well as do a rushing attack. By today's standards the game play is extremely shallow, but that is hardly the point of Golden Axe.

While fighting through the hordes of enemies you will also be able to climb aboard friendly animals (and dragons) to gain an advantage over your foes. You can also chop up tiny men who will give you potions, which can be used to unleash a number of magic attacks.

Not only is the full arcade game housed on this WonderSwan card, but you will also be able to play through a beginner version of the game, duel with friends, and more. Best of all, you can play the single-player game with a second player (something that not all console ports of Golden Axe featured). The game is pretty much the same every time you play it, but at least this version gives you an incentive to play it more than once.

Some may look back at Golden Axe and see it as nothing more than button pounding your way through enemy covered levels, but that's not a bad way to waste some time when you're out on the town. Golden Axe is a fantastic handheld game, one that even goes as far as to offer a lot of modes you normally wouldn't get. This isn't the best version of Golden Axe available for purchase, but it's clear that this is the champion of the portable arena. And to think, we're talking about a game for the WonderSwan Color!
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