Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
The evil Death Adder has returned (although the instructions assure us he's had his name changed to Blackadder - in which case where's Baldrick?). This time he's twice as mean, twice as nasty and he's got hold of the nine magical crystals that once protected our fair and pleasant land. Now they're being used against the kingdom. The peasants are repressed and Death Adder's minions roam the country.
As a brave hero and champion of the righteous, you decide to take on the hideous might of Death Adder's empire. But unlike this game's predecessor you don't carry out your task by beating up evil minions on a horizontally scrolling playfield. Golden Axe Warrior is a flick screen role-playing game, boasting over 200 screens of non-stop RPG excitement!
On your quest to collect the jewels and do in Death Adder, you find plenty of items to stick in your backsack. Swords and axes are your best form of attack in this land whilst torches can be used to light up this dark and dank dungeons. Golden apples help restore your energy and there are even balloons to give you a better view of the world. Ships and canoes are also evident and are just the ticket for messing about on the river (or the open seas).
Some of the buildings in Golden Axe Warrior turn out to be shops! Here our muscle-bound hero can stock up on food (which replenishes his ever-decreasing energy). Also for sale are better weapons and armour. Some buildings are inns and our hero can spend the night here to fully replenish his energy bar. The problem is, everything costs money. Money in Golden Axe Warrior takes the form of horns (who says money isn't an aphrodisiac?).
Stray too far from a built-up area and you're more than likely to meet some of Death Adder's cronies. There are over 60 varieties of monsters, ranging from simple slime to dungeon super-bosses - and these take some battering!
Your strutting warrior-type marches around the landscape and meets a lot of people. Simply by walking into them you can strike up a conversation (just like real life really). Most of the time they just give you very simple information like "Death Adder killed King Firewood!". Some others point the way to more useful contacts...
Urrr! Golden Axe was a brilliant Sega cart, but the idea to turn the concept into a role-playing game is simply a bad idea. I can imagine many people buying this game with the idea that they're getting a sequel to the best beat 'em up on the Sega. They're not. What they are getting is one of the most boring games I've played on the Sega lately. The adventuring aspect is tedious and progress is hampered by the absurd combat section - it's simply too hard and stabbing at a number of malformed sprites isn't my idea of fun by a long chalk. With its mind-numbing sound and tedious gameplay, I find it hard to recommend this to any self-respecting Sega owner.
Don't be misled by the "Golden Axe" in the title of this game, because this has got absolutely nothing in common with Golden Axe, the brilliant beat 'em up conversion. Golden Axe Warrior is a tedious role playing game with very little action. It starts out with promise, but unfortunately the rather unexciting gameplay - there are long periods where you have little to do - coupled with the awkward combat sequences make for a game that doesn't take long before it gets very dull. Some role playing fans might find some fun in here, but there are plenty of better games of this type - try Y'S or Lord of the Sword instead. Arcade fans should steer well clear.