It seems every time you turn around, Sega is bringing another bit of classic gaming history to iOS. Golden Axe 2, a legendary hack and slasher, is their latest game to hit the App Store.
Golden Axe 2 features classic gameplay, 3 characters, a long single player campaign, and a duel mode where you can fight another player or hordes of enemies.
Golden Axe 2 is a good slash-em-up, and the experience comes across largely intact in this port.
Playing as one of three characters, you must journey to the evil Dark Guild’s castle and kill him. The previous game saw you killing Death Adder, but his relative, Dark Guild, survived to carry on his carnage and destruction.
Golden Axe 2 plays like a typical beat em up with swords; you walk along and slice up everyone you meet with your weapon. Besides basic sword or axe combos, you can jump and slash, back flip or back slash, use running attacks, and even magic.
While weapon combos are similar for all three characters, a nice touch is the ending animation that knocks the enemy down is different, depending on how close you are to the bad guy. If you are close up, you might throw them after slashing them a few times. If you are while further away you’ll kick them to the ground instead.
Magic uses a very simple system. You collect books from wizards you destroy. Obtaining more magic books allows you to cast more devastating spells, although each character has their own element and skill at magic. Tyris Flare’s fire magic is by far the strongest for example, able to wipe out bosses in one attack at maximum power, as she summons a dragon to reduce them to cinders.
While the game doesn’t have the varied enemies of a game like Streets of Rage, you’ll have plenty of enemies to deal with. Just a few of the enemies you’ll face include soldiers, skeletons, wizards, and huge bosses like giant headless knights.
Golden Axe 2 features 6 long stages and a rather high difficulty level. Enemies always seem to have just slightly more range than you, so they can hit you first if you just walk directly towards them. Foes also always try to get on either side of you or otherwise box you in to kill you quickly. Bosses can also be also pretty tough and are able to whittle down your life bars in no time.
GA 2 features a pretty solid porting job, except for the now standard loose port controls and the fact you can sometimes obscure whats going on with your fingers. While this finger blocking isn’t such a major problem as it has been in some other Sega ports, it can be very annoying. Commonly, an enemy will appear under your virtual d-pad, forcing you to awkwardly move under you own finger to kill him.
Golden Axe 2 is a enjoyable port of a solid game. While the recent Streets of Rage 2 is a better game, GA2 will scratch that retro itch just as well.