Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe (XBLA)

May 31, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

I love the Golden Axe series. While the side scrolling hack & slash is all but extinct now, games like Golden Axe were once an oft explored genre. And while there were a number of top tier games, Golden Axe laid waste to the competition, at least in my opinion. Just choose your character, prepare your blade and magic potions, then leave a blood soaked trail in your wake. Not much in terms of depth or strategic decisions, just a war of attrition with hordes of enemies. Then when you finally get a chance to relax around the fire, gnomes arrive to steal your hard earned treasures. But after a long level of bloodshed, kicking some gnomes is just the icing on the cake, right? The Golden Axe world would even allow you to battle foes atop massive beasts, unseat the riders, and claim the beast as your own. I mean, a giant blade, insanely powerful magic, and riding on giant beasts of war…what else could someone want from a hack & slash adventure?

Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe provides the first three Golden Axe escapades, all in their beloved, old school forms. In order to compensate for the screen size of the original games, a border is placed around the game area, a practice most should be familiar with. While I want the other Golden Axe games released as well, this first collection is a lot of fun and offers a more than solid value. As in the salad days, you can hand off a second controller to have a friend join in, but you can also recruit some help from your on-line friends, which is just awesome. I love co-oop games and being able to run through these classics adds so much to the overall experience. The games themselves are just as you remember, a little rough perhaps, but still fun button mashers with a great sense of humor at times. The treatment seems to be faithful as far as I can detect, with no visual issues popping up, as happens in some retro game releases. While Golden Axe is also available in other ways, this Sega Vintage Collection is a great value and for old school aficionados, is well worth adding to the collection.

Video: How does it look?

Aside from the new borders, these games look like they always did. I noticed no visual glitches like some retro reissues suffer, so fans can breathe easier in that area. This is a faithful port of some classic games, the visuals obviously can’t compete with current games, but the sprite style is as cool as ever. So my score is based on both faithfulness to the source and the quality of the port in this case, as opposed to the normal scale.

Audio: How does it sound?

As with the visuals, the audio represents the original version, for better or worse. The game sounds just as it should, with all the Golden Axe music and sound effects. I didn’t pick up on any kind of problems with the port in this area, the game sounds good and I see no reason to complain. If you loved the Golden Axe sound design before, then you’ll be satisfied here, as this is a faithful port in all aspects

Disc Scores