GOLDEN AXE MYTH / Senile Team / PC
This fan-made prequel to the first Golden Axe game is made with OpenBOR, pretty much the premier game design simplification program for the old-school arcade beat-em-up genre. As OpenBOR games go, it's very well-designed and sports a lot of original and well-animated art.
The art style does switch to much more of an anime influence, but otherwise the game represents classic Golden Axe well. The movement of both the players and enemies, the attack styles, magic use and meaty thuds of big hits and falling enemies all recall the first Golden Axe game in feel even though it looks quite different. Backgrounds have a fair level of detail for a presumably no-budget thing, down to the grim little slices of Conan peasant life as villagers get bullied and killed by the enemy troops. And it has some nice remixes of songs from the original games throughout, I assume collected from places like OC Remix.
In terms of gameplay, you get one main quest in standard arcade beat-em-up style, but it does have branching paths and little hidden areas in the levels in which you can sometimes get new characters to add to your roster. You start out with the three classics of the first Golden Axe, but also an apparently pre-evil Death Adder wielding a morning star. He's a painfully slow walker, but crazy attack power and some awesome-looking instant death magic makes him worth it.
The only big problem with the game is a lot of cheap, tedious enemies. This game's version of the "giant brothers" can just interrupt any attack at any time they feel like it to insta-toss you, and there are some really obnoxious fat rock guys who just keep launching themselves in the air again and again and you can do nothing but wait for them to come back down. Areas with pits are also even more of a nightmare than in the original games. I don't know if it's the perspective or the game loses track of alignment when you're in the air, but you'll often jump with solid ground beneath you and then somehow you're inexplicably plunging down a pit. That and there are a number of areas with little ground to stand on and lots of enemies that do knockback attacks that send you right over the edge. The only thing that makes it all tolerable is that you get like 10 credits to complete the game with.
* Download (Internet Archive)
* Gameplay Video
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