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Retro Game Club - April ‘19: Golden Axe - POLL ADDED FOR MAY get voting (ends 1 May midday)

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The knights are ridiculously easy as the dwarf, once you know how. They don’t do dash attacks, you can just stand there with your back turned while they walk slowly towards you, then do his backwards roll attack when they get in range. They literally can’t get a hit in. 

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26 minutes ago, wev said:

He has a backwards roll attack!?

 

Press jump and attack at the same time! All characters have a back attack, but the dwarf’s one covers about half the screen and is totes OP. 

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Really enjoyed my first playthrough of the MD port in a long, long time. Made it all the way using an extra credit (6 lives, all used on Death Bringer), got a 66 / A+ rating. Turns out the Assistant Director was Opa-Opa.

 

Having got more familiar with emulating the arcade original in recent years the differences that struck were numerous.

 

The music - arguably as iconic if not more so than the visuals and art direction - sounds more refined and delicately arranged. And the game breathes easier with its slightly slower pace and less aggressive enemies. Rather than find satisfaction from making a downward thrust attack connect I particularly loved getting in between a couple of grunts and keeping them both locked in a continuous single slash cycle. In real life you'd be [SLASH] --> [SPIN 180°] --> [SLASH] --> [SPIN 180°] --> [etc]. This was even better with one opponent with the standard attack button mash combo initiated - but instead of the 'knock-knock-knock-pickupandthrow' bit at the end just keeping the foe paralysed by continuous forehead knocks by slowing the knocking tempo down. No faffing about, just a never ending combo. In real life this would be like someone repeatedly cracking down on a foe's forehead with a wooden broom handle until they croaked.

 

The final extra zone was even better than I'd remembered because the dramatically lit statues of non-game enemies (undeveloped characters from the original's cutting room floor perhaps?) exposed due to inexplicable, Abobo-esque, human-sized holes in the brickwork.

 

I'll probably do the Master System version next. I played that one a lot as a kid too despite it using background layers to animate the characters; at least it's jankyness and speed was consistent (from what I recall).

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6 hours ago, wev said:

Think I'm getting the hang of it, although not learnt how to trick enemies yet. Got as far as the two pink knights on Stage 5 with Short Arse.

 

Do you mean trick them into falling to their doom?  If so, you just stand near the edge, wait for them to charge at you, and move up at the last moment.

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Or simpler still, in areas that have holes rather than just edges, stand on a lower Z Axis than the enemy and they’ll blindly walk into the hole, trying to take the shortest path to you. Works a treat on the post Death Adder level. 

 

Science picture:

 

ED19B75B-A5A0-4F59-A0D0-7B11FED1E93E.jpeg.5f27c29a083ef59efe96a5872c5f4ca9.jpeg

 

Had a go tonight, using the MD 3 button pad. Better, I think - easier to dash and the chunkier buttons make the back attack more reliable. Got all the way to the fiend’s path without losing a life, and had max health, then one of the enemies pathing AI sent them bumping along the top edge of the screen. I ignored them and cleaned up the other enemies, but then found they’d wondered off screen completely. I couldn’t advance, as there was still an undefeated enemy. Tried using my magic, but that didn’t work, and I had to reset. Booooo!

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7 hours ago, spanky debrest said:

Really enjoyed my first playthrough of the MD port in a long, long time. Made it all the way using an extra credit (6 lives, all used on Death Bringer), got a 66 / A+ rating. Turns out the Assistant Director was Opa-Opa.

 

Having got more familiar with emulating the arcade original in recent years the differences that struck were numerous.

 

The music - arguably as iconic if not more so than the visuals and art direction - sounds more refined and delicately arranged. And the game breathes easier with its slightly slower pace and less aggressive enemies. Rather than find satisfaction from making a downward thrust attack connect I particularly loved getting in between a couple of grunts and keeping them both locked in a continuous single slash cycle. In real life you'd be [SLASH] --> [SPIN 180°] --> [SLASH] --> [SPIN 180°] --> [etc]. This was even better with one opponent with the standard attack button mash combo initiated - but instead of the 'knock-knock-knock-pickupandthrow' bit at the end just keeping the foe paralysed by continuous forehead knocks by slowing the knocking tempo down. No faffing about, just a never ending combo. In real life this would be like someone repeatedly cracking down on a foe's forehead with a wooden broom handle until they croaked.

 

The final extra zone was even better than I'd remembered because the dramatically lit statues of non-game enemies (undeveloped characters from the original's cutting room floor perhaps?) exposed due to inexplicable, Abobo-esque, human-sized holes in the brickwork.

 

I'll probably do the Master System version next. I played that one a lot as a kid too despite it using background layers to animate the characters; at least it's jankyness and speed was consistent (from what I recall).

 

Yes, it's cool the way the statues come to life and start attacking you in the last dungeon.

 

I'm sure the enemies are much more likely to dash at you in the Megadrive version than the arcade.  In particular the black ones seem to do it much more.

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I Inceptioned it up last night and had a blast on the MD version, emulated on a PSP (Genesis Collection), emulated on a Vita. It’s good. Slightly slower pace, or am I imagining that? Hard to tell with different screens and emulation etc. but seems less vibrant. Remarkably close to the original, sound excepted. Controls easier on a pad.

 

However it has two great flaws, the second of which is totally unforgivable. Firstly, they left Alex on the cutting room floor! His acting was great! Second and worst of all, the Golden Axe is silver. What?

 

[Bannatyne.gif]

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Got to Death Bringer with all credits intact. Died. Absolute fucker.

 

I guess finishing both MD Outrun and Golden Axe for the first time in one night was asking too much. 

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Inspired by this thread I have been playing Golden Axe plus it's two megadrive sequels. The second is pretty bland and is more of the same but without half as much charm. The third reminds me a little of Streets of Rage 3 but in a fantasy setting. It's not bad but again feels a little lacking, despite the inclusion of more moves and new characters. 

 

Did anyone ever play Golden Axe Beast Rider on the Xbox 360? It was an affront to the good name of Golden Axe and didn't even have a two player mode. 

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So one of my self appointed roles in the retro folder is to pop up every time Golden Axe 2 is mentioned and defend it:

 

It's obviously been made on the cheap and I have a theory that it suffers from being made for console as opposed to adapted from an arcade game where the developers might have been pushing for more visual impact and less conscious of hardware limitations.

 

But...

 

If you like Golden Axe it's more of the combat with different combinations of enemies, has a - admittedly only very slightly - more in depth magic system and some decent enemy designs (I've always like the rat headed ogres). And it has a great soundtrack from the opening theme where the drum march breaks in to an incongruous funk tune onwards.

 

Golden Axe 3 though is an utterly charmless mess.

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I don't like Golden Axe 3 at all.  Got utterly fed up of fighting Stan and Ollie, the two enemies who turn up time and time again.  The original had repeated enemies, but they didn't seem quite so frequent as Stan and Ollie.

 

Haven't played GA 2 for ages - might have a bash on that this weekend as discussion of the original game seems to have dwindled a bit.

 

If you have played Ax-Battler on Game Gear, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts about it.

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Still have yet to get on it myself. Just finding I don’t have the time. I don’t just want a quick go either but wanna have a good few plays with it. 

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2 hours ago, Soulstar said:

Still have yet to get on it myself. Just finding I don’t have the time. I don’t just want a quick go either but wanna have a good few plays with it. 

 

It's a kind of infuriating game, so I find one-run-per-session is about right. Nice and fast too, particularly if you mash the buttons to skip all the interstitials.

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I played Golden Axe 2 last night, on the Wii.  I continued a game I must have started years and years ago.  I was in a fiery tunnel.

 

Managed to play it through to the end and finish the final boss off.

 

I enjoyed it more than I remembered.  A few downsides were that the death cries of enemies you kill weren't as good, and beast attacks somehow weren't quite as satisfying, but I really liked the minotaur enemies, and the headless armoured knights.

 

Gilius' special attack is much more difficult to connect with that in the first game.  He now sticks his axe in the ground, and then jumps on to it and swings round, doing an all-round kick, which hits enemies on either side of you.  It doesn't seem to do as much damage as the rolling axe-attack.

 

Will have to have another play from the beginning.

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This was the second game I ever played on my Megadrive - my brother hired it from the local petrol station/video hire place and I wasn't allowed to play until I'd done my homework :\

 

Have one-credited the Megadrive version countless times, but am off to Arcade Club next week so will give the arcade version some hammer while I'm there.

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The Wonderswan version has very poor hit detection, and wasn't much fun.

 

I'm done with the original for now.  Going to have a long play of GA 3 at the weekend.

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The Spectrum version of this is surprisingly good. It doesn't look like much, but it has all three characters, two player, the moves, the baddies, a reasonable title screen tune. All in all, feels like a passable attempt at an arcade conversion by a machine that was punching way about its weight!

 

image.png.e69370d74fec485b2ea94bf0335cfce6.png

 

 

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On 13/04/2019 at 13:03, strawdonkey said:

This was the second game I ever played on my Megadrive - my brother hired it from the local petrol station/video hire place and I wasn't allowed to play until I'd done my homework :\

 

Have one-credited the Megadrive version countless times, but am off to Arcade Club next week so will give the arcade version some hammer while I'm there.

 

I credit-fed this yesterday. A lot of the tricks from the Megadrive version don't work in this - notably headbutting the knights, they'll just swipe you out of the air. I could only land hits on them by running, doing a super jump over their sword slash and then doing a regular chop, and even then the timing was tricky.

 

In addition the way you crumple to the ground after getting hit by one of the hammer lads has a ton of impact, it looks brutal.

 

I still had a load of fun playing this but the nostalgia played a big part in it!

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I gave the 360 version a go via XBone BC the other night. The graphics are weird, pixel backgrounds but the character art is kind of smudgy and "painted looking" they all have black outlines too.

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I've started to enjoy Golden Axe 2.  It's not as good as the original, but it's much more fun that I have been giving it credit for.  Perhaps I should give Golden Axe 3 another shot.

 

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Played this a fair amount in the flight to Texas, en route to Florida. It was good fun but my god is it cheap, fuckers knocking you straight back down.

 

I'm absolutely shit at it.

 

I found constant diagonal movement was the only way to stop the AI from spamming the charge.

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Drifting on the Z Axis seems essential, IMO. You can try and counter their dash moves with yours (I think whoever launches last has priority), but closing the distance by Z drifting is both safer and does more damage.

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5 minutes ago, Alexlotl said:

Drifting on the Z Axis seems essential, IMO. You can try and counter their dash moves with yours (I think whoever launches last has priority), but closing the distance by Z drifting is both safer and does more damage.

 

who now with the what now?

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