Today I was looking through my Sega Genesis/Megadrive collection and I found Golden Axe 3. I never own this game as a child but I remember that a couple years ago I bought the game in a “lot-sale” and I got it. I never was a truly fan of the franchise, I recall playing the first game in the local arcade and some on the Master System/Genesis but I never played the second or third game, I think at that point on the Genesis life span there were more exciting and better games.
Game magazines were not friendly with this Sega Title, for instance Electronic Gaming Monthly said: “Sega of Japan is not going to release this title here in the States – and for good reasons! The graphics are by far some of the most plain looking on the Mega Drive. Plus, the new magic effects aren’t as impressive as before. So, if you are considering purchasing this title from an overseas seller, don’t waste your bucks!” To be completely honest the graphics aren’t as bad as EGM said, at least compared with other early titles, of course this was the 3rd game in the series so they were probably looking for a better looking game but I think it’s okay. Some enemy sprites are used over and over with a different colour but that was a common practice in the videogames industry in the 90’s, so I have no complains about it. The original gameplay was improved adding more attacks and they even added a block move that I couldn’t use it as intended. I think that move is somehow broken or I’m too dumb to block enemy attacks.
EGM based his review on graphics and graphic improvement but they never commented on gameplay. The character moves smoothly on screen and there’s almost not flickering. Music is great, many people remember the original Golden Axe tunes but nobody talks about GA3 tunes. Some of them remind me bands like Blind Guardian/Stratovarius, 16 bit-power metal. In terms of difficulty, I was able to play in one sit and go straight to the last level (Death Mountain/Castle) but I couldn’t beat the last two “goat-with 4 arms-brothers”. In a second sit I could go a little bit further but still I can’t reach the end.
I have never played Golden Axe 2 so I don’t know how GA3 improved but I think it’s a really fun game with amazing tunes, clearly it doesn’t deserve the hate it received. Hope you guys could try it again.