Thursday, June 14, 2012

Below the Cut: Golden Axe Warrior (SMS)

(Source: Neoseeker)
Golden Axe Warrior - Rating(8 RPP)
1) 1 - Character Advancement: practice/experience based advancement, stat or level increases, multiple classes or characters, customize characters
2) 1 - Combat: character stats used for combat, additional combat options, turn based
3) 1 - Items and Equipment: store to buy and sell, equipment decisions, item decisions
4) 2 - Story: main story at the forefront; world full of hints and lore; descriptions for objects, people, and places
5) 2 - Exploration: open world from the beginning, visited locations remain open
6) 1 - Quests and Puzzles: side quests not related to the main quest, puzzles and riddles to solve

Golden Axe Warrior is yet another Zelda clone. There's a deeper story here than the first Zelda game (at least there are NPCs to talk to), but not as much inventory management due to having only a single action button. I didn't play very long, so I didn't confirm there are puzzles, but if it's anything like a Zelda game then it should.

If I've missed anything, let me know so I can add it in. For now I think I can safely say the game isn't going to reach 10 points.


  1. Giauz

    You've unlocked it on that Xbox 360 Genesis collection too, right? Do you also think the screwy hitboxes, short weapon swing, and having to lineup your hits with the enemy just so right before the enemy walks into you anyway was developer bate like I do? Anyway I beat the first boss a while back plus a little exploring before my hiatus. I have to say I really like the spritework for everything but the super monochrome enemies. The game looks good but was harder to get into than the first Zelda (even with all its rupee, bombing, bombs, and burning grinding) .

    1. I did unlock, just tonight to try it out before writing this. I did note the screwy hit boxes, but thought the weapon swing as adequate. I didn't play long enough to dislike it. The colors seem a little more washed out compared to Zelda as well. I may go back to it to play again in my spare time if I ever find any.

  2. This was one of my favourite games back in the day. I was an SMS boy and had never played on the NES, so this was never a Zelda clone to me, it was just a fantastic game. It was only many years later playing Zelda on an emulator that I thought...hang on a minute, this is just like Golden Axe Warrior!

    Anyway, I was just going to dispute a couple of your points for fun rather than seriousness. I know this is an action RPG rather than a pure RPG, so I'm not arguing with your conclusion, I'd just love to see you play through it.

    There are stores to buy (but not sell) equipment - there's a shield you have to save up to buy early on in the game. Now I think of it, though, that might be the only piece of equipment you can buy (other than items), I think the rest of it is found/given to you.

    There are equipment decisions. It's not just a case of each weapon you find simply replacing the last. There are two main weapon types, swords and axes - swords have a longer reach (allowing you to poke enemies over the top of boulders, etc.), and are quicker, while axes have a long sweep and can hit enemies above and below you. Axes also have the benefit of being able to chop down trees, so you'll often find yourself switching between the two depending on the situation.

    Okay, so I know those are both stretching the definitions of your rating system (I was going to say searching for extra hearts was a side quest, too, but thought better of it), but I thought I'd just throw them out there.

    I'm currently replaying it on my Xperia Play - it's a great game, and still as fun as I remember. Is it an RPG, though? ... Nah, you're probably right :)

    1. I appreciate the write-up. I can understand growing up with something different and not having knowledge of other games. I made note of that early on in the blog when I mentioned Pokemon and Megami Tensei.

      I've been debating the use of 'equipment decisions', 'item decisions', and 'additional combat options' since so many times they'll overlap each other. I'm sure I've attributed games incorrectly based on them, but I've been thinking maybe I need rename them to make it clearer. So, you may be right, it may deserve a point for that. I'm trying to steer equipment decisions more towards an equal decision where I'm picking the weapon based on personal preference rather than a need to exploit a monster's weakness or get past a certain area. Where the choice is use the correct equipment and proceed or not, it's not really a choice to me.

      The stores really should be for buying and selling, as it has more to do with an active economy rather than me pouring hundreds or even thousands of gold while prices never fluctuate. What're they spending these millions of currency on? Why do they have an endless supply of items? At least the buying and selling gives more of an illusion of an active exchange.

      I've been thinking conceptually that there's very little difference in an all buy economy (get money from monsters, buy equipment), and than there would be if monsters gave reward points and you bought one off skills or permanent abilities for your character. I'd call the latter stat or level increases, but not practice or experience based. So, that's another couple of categories that start to blend when compared too closely. More often than not I'm using my own feelings about the games to guide my point allocations.

      Given all that, if you want to call the game an (action-)RPG, I'm not going to get in the way of that. I'm just not going to call it one myself (I'd call it an action-adventure). :) All this aside, it still seems like a fun game, and pegging it into a genre really doesn't detract from that.

  3. Being as this game is often mentioned as the most blatant Legend of Zelda ripoff ever I don't think there should be a problem overlooking this one as you didn't play the first Zelda either. Although over the years.people who have actually played it have always said the had enjoyed it greatly.

    1. Agree. The order games are played plays a role in how they're compared to others as well. If this were one's first Zelda-esque experience, then I could see how it'd be rated highly. Playing this after better games cheapens the experience a bit.

  4. I beat this about a year ago, via Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection (the actual Master System cart is expensive as hell).

    The game isn't fun. Biggest issue is with the controls. They suck. In Zelda, Link is restricted to something of a grid-like motion. This allows you to easily maneuver the little elf man and line up attacks. It's never difficult to end up squarely facing your target. In GAW, the Ax Battler and his respective enemies move way too fast, like they're sliding across ice. Controls are loose and pixel-perfect precision is required during combat. In fact, combat with any enemy that requires more than one hit to defeat is a chore in itself. When you strike an enemy it gets knocked backed slightly, and then gains blinking invincibility and charges forward again. Enemies seem to loose the "blinking" when they're right on top of your sprite, so fighting most anything requires a sort of two-step dance or constant movement around the screen. This isn't fun.

    Neutopia is another notable "Zelda clone" - difference being the fact that that game is actually lots of fun.

    1. I appreciate the insight from someone who's played it. Neutopia is definitely the better clone. I've played both, but haven't beaten either sadly.