Sega GameGear: Ax Battler ~A Legend of Golden Axe~

Personally, when I heard that Golden Axe was being made to fit into my GG, I was damn happy. I played this game nonstop when the arcade came out around 1990, before the Iraqi Invasion. Many players enjoyed the well-presented sword & sorcery environment of golden Axe, aside from its skull-cracking, ass-whopping beat’em up action. The Mega Drive port was a near-faithful port of the arcade, while the GG version was something else. Golden Axe on GG came out as an RPG game just like the early Golden Axe Warrior on Sega Master System and Zelda 2 on the Nintendo NES, where you go into 2-D side scrolling action in battles and dungeons, and overhead view when traveling to towns and such. The size of the 2-D sprites is big compared to many 2-D game on GG at that time, beside the neat colorful graphics. This game has an excellent feature where the Ax Battler character develops throughout the game by learning and acquiring attack moves from a specialty store in towns while traveling in your quest.  It’s sad to see that Ax Battler is the only character included from the three heroes, though the whole bunch of the bad guys is back with more made-for-dungeons enemies such as snakes, bats, etc. Game control is very easy to learn, though jump timing is sometimes tricky. The floating turtle and the eagle’s back are back and creatively embedded into the RPG story-line, which is totally cool. And to make things better, a password system is tossed in to keep players happy, since it was pretty early for the Battery back-up feature. The only bad thing about this is the uninteresting music, which could have been better and related to the main source and it would have been cool to see the other two heroes tossed in at least as NPC characters. Check the Japanese box cover and manual to see some of the most beautiful artwork ever for Golden Axe, and forget the stupid US/European cover art and the lame manual! I do apologize for attaching an image from Play-Asia but this is the only JPN cover image available on the net. I still have the original game manual in top mint condition and plan to scan a couple of pages to show you the real artwork that we have been deprived off in the Western editions of this game.

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