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Trônant fièrement sur le panthéon des beat’em all qui ont marqué toute une génération, la série des Golden Axe n’a pas à rougir face à son concurrent direct : Street of Rage. Elle tire son originalité de son univers d’heroic-fantasy auquel elle emprunte intelligemment les éléments de base. Dragons, lutins, magie et créatures démoniaques sont au rendez-vous pour le plus grand bonheur des joueurs qui ont ici une bonne occasion de se défouler après une journée trop stressante.
It’s hard to see why someone who already owns the Mega Drive / Genesis version would want to download this – unless of course they’re a massive Golden Axe fan. However, if you’ve not purchased Golden Axe in any form on the Virtual Console yet, then this is worth considering. You’ll miss out on the bonus levels that were featured in the home version and it costs 100 more Wii Points, but you get the added benefit of improved visuals and sound – as well as that fantastic ending.
Double Dragon meets Conan is the best way to sum up Golden Axe. Easily one of the better side-scrolling fighers to be found on the Megadrive (regardless of the basic nature of the fighting system compared to the likes of Streets of Rage), Golden Axe is still a gorgeous game to behold, even today. The character and level design are brilliant, and in two player mode it really is a hoot.
So Golden Axe is a title of compromise. New features were added for the Genesis version, while the clarity of its graphics and sound took a hit. It's a fair enough balance for a Wii download, but the option of choice would be nice. Perhaps the future will find the arcade version available, which would do gamers new to the world a favor. As things stand now, it's confusing – this game should be Grey Axe instead.
Having said that, arcade purists should beware: Although the Mega Drive was definitely capable of arcade perfect ports, corners were often cut thanks to the cartridge costs, and this was one such example - though the presence of extra levels more than makes up for the simplified animation.
Zwar zieht die Mega-Drive Umsetzung des erfolgreichen Arcade-Automaten gegen ihre Vorlage technisch gesehen den Kürzeren, spielerisch hat sich die ehemals indizierte Monsterverhackstückelung aber bis heute recht frisch gehalten. Auch hier gilt: Im Alleingang macht’s nur halb soviel Spaß.