- Beat-‘em-up, Hack and slash
- Developed by Sega AM7
- Published by Sega
- Available on Sega Genesis (via Sega Channel), Wii Virtual Console, iOS, Windows, PlayStation 2 (via Sega Genesis Collection), PlayStation Portable (via Sega Genesis Collection), PlayStation 3 (via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection), Xbox 360 (also via Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection) [played]
- Released on 1995 (Genesis), 2007-10-22 (Wii), 2012-11-29 (iOS), 2012-05-02 (Windows) 2006-11-07 (PS2) 2006-11-16 (PSP), 2009-02-10 (PS3, 360), 2012-05-30 (360)
Golden Axe III was once one of the most elusive games because although it was released in the Eastern territories, it was only available in the US and Canada on the Sega Channel service, where games were available to play through a TV cable connection. Nowadays, it’s really easy to find it as it has been rereleased numerous times on collections and digital stores. However, was the original scarcity of this game justified by its quality?
A new villain, Damned Hellstrike, has stolen the Golden Axe and cursed the heroes. However, one manages to break the curse and recruits the help of four new heroes to stop Damned Hellstrike, cure the remaining cursed heroes, and retrieve the Golden Axe. You play as different characters from the first game, with Gilius only returning to advise you. I like the new characters for the most part but two of them are just copies of Ax Battler and Tyris Flare, which is disappointing.
The graphics in the game are a double edged sword as the color palette has been greatly improved but the detail is lacking. Character models look vivid but undetailed. Sound is much like before with stilted sound effects and forgettable music, though in my opinion the music here is better than in Golden Axe II. Overall, the presentation is flawed but serviceable. Graphics are okay and sound does the job.
The Golden Axe series really isn’t known for taking risks. As such, the gameplay here is just like the previous games. However, there have been some improvements to the previous game. There are new attacks and moves you can do, including sweep attacks, blocking and cooperative spells. Chronos and Proud are two new characters in the game you play as and their different play styles helps to make this game feel really different. Unfortunately, the ability to charge your magic to choose which power level you use from the previous game has been taken out.
Another new feature in this game is the choice to choose which path you take on your way to defeat Damned Hellstrike. At various points in the game, after defeating a group of enemies or a boss, you will be asked to walk in the direction you would like to take. This helps make each playthrough feel a little different but it doesn’t increase the replay value a lot since you’ll be doing the same thing regardless of where you go.
Co-op play is as always the way to go in this game and using the team based abilities help make the game feel more of a team effort. However, the hit detection and the lack of visceral attack makes this feel less exciting than other side scrolling hack n slash titles. The Dual mode returns as vs mode and it’s mostly the same and again, mostly just a quick distraction from the actual story mode.
Overall, Golden Axe III is just another Golden Axe game that manages to be better than the first game but only tow the line compared to the second. It’s not a step forward like the second game was but more like a step sideways. Most places where you can get the game have it bundled with the other two games in the series so getting it that way is good. However, on its own, it’s a hard buy to justify. Still, on its own, it can make for a good time and I can see some people liking this game over all the others.
Thank you so much for reading my review of Golden Axe III. Have you played this game before? What did you think of it? Leave me a comment down below and let me know. Peace and love, gamers and players!