Excerpt: Golden Axe: Beast Rider, the latest in a long line of retro revivals, has enough gnomes, beasts and characters from past games featured to still be considered a true Golden Axe game. From a gameplay standpoint, the game also has its similarities to previous games, although to cater for today’s increasingly picky gamers it’s much deeper. Beast Rider also owes plenty to the PS3’s underrated Heavenly Sword.
A Franchise Returns with a Lackluster New Installment
22 September 2009
Excerpt: Fans of brown and dusty wastelands have a lot to look forward to in this attempted revitalization of the Golden Axe franchise. For everyone else, the formula might wear thin after a few hours. It's not just the visuals --- Golden Axe has very few tricks up its sleeve. Kill a wave of enemies to open a gate, and run forward. For variety, you can instead gallop forward on an unwieldy beast.
Conclusion: The sound is okay, but the taunts and battle cries are really repetitive. What little voice-acting there is is respectable at best. Music is more The Barbarians than Conan in terms of quality, but what you can hear of it isn't bad. Golden Axe: Beast Rider isn't the game most Golden Axe fans wanted. It brings the pain, but only to the people who play it.
Conclusion: Golden Axe: Beast Rider is not worth the $60 price tag. Beast Rider is a disgrace to next gen consoles, nothing about this game shows off what the Xbox 360 is all about. No co-op and online play, does that make any sense? Stay away from the latest Golden Axe game and stick with the older games on the Genesis.
Excerpt: The holiday season notoriously hammers us with marketing hype promoting the onslaught of AAA titles (Mountain Dew’s Halo 3 -themed Game Fuel, anyone?) they hope will land under our Christmas trees, so it’s surprising Sega’s remake of beloved arcade classic Golden Axe hasn’t seen more of the spotlight.
Excerpt: Breaking news: Golden Axe: Beast Rider doesn't have the cocky stylishness of Devil May Cry , the deep combat system of Ninja Gaiden , or the outlandishly epic trappings of God of War I doubt anyone is surprised; despite the developers' declarations of love for the original series, many gamers had Beast Rider pegged as "crap" before it even hit storeshelves, and the generic cover art didn't help. To Sega's credit, it's actually a competent and enjoyable adventure.
Conclusion: At the very least, the campaign is fairly lengthy and will likely take you upward of 10 hours to complete. There are level-by-level replays and combat arenas if you want still more action, but these bonus modes only highlight the conspicuous absence of the cooperative play that put Golden Axe on the map back in 1989. This baffling omission is par for the course in Beast Rider, a game with lofty potential that ends up wallowing in mediocrity.
Pros: Brutal dismemberments, Campaign is reasonably challenging and long.
Cons: No cooperative mode a la classic Golden Axe, Many, many invisible walls, Combat system rewards inaction, Lame sound effects deflate dramatic moments, Beasts handle like plodding mechs.