|Golden Axe: Beast Rider|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Release date(s)||October 14, 2008 (USA)|
October 17, 2008 (UK)
|Genre(s)||Hack 'n' Slash/Beat 'em up|
Medieval Fantasy Action
|Media||DVD, Blu-ray Disc|
Golden Axe: Beast Rider is an installment of the Golden Axe series for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 developed by Sega's acquired game developer. Secret Level, which worked on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox version of Final Fight: Streetwise, among other projects. The game was released in North America on October 14, 2008 and in the UK on October 17.
Excluding the Sega Ages released of Golden Axe, Beast Rider is the first game from the series in 3D as opposed to side scrolling hack and slash. While this is a major shift in game style from the previous games, Beast Rider maintains many of the elements from the originals such as magic and riding beasts, as well as sending the player on a quest to defeat Death Adder.
Gameplay is divided into three types: Campaign, Challenge and Trials. Each mode allows for the collection of tribute, which is used to increase magic strength and unlock weapons. Armor is unlocked as one progresses through the story or Campaign.
This is the story mode of Beast Rider where the player controls the female, Tyris Flare, from the original games. Through the story mode the characters Gilius Thunderhead the dwarf and Tarik the Axe Battler are introduced, though they remain NPCs. Tribute is awarded at the end of each level based on the amount collected multiplied by the player's performance during the level, which also affects the player's Class or "grade" per level. Such multipliers include time, damage taken, enemy dismemberment and difficulty settings.
Challenge mode plays the same as Campaign, including tribute and class at the end of each level. However, Challenge allows the player to replay any level previously completed in Campaign, in addition to being able to use any armor previously unlocked, as well as any weapon unlocked through the collection of tribute.
Trials mode is the equivalent of the original’s "Duel" mode, in which the player battles enemies of the selected level in an arena from that level. Each level becomes available in Trials after it is completed in the campaign. The player must complete ten waves of enemies, plus three bonus waves featuring gnomes, without dying. Like the Challenges, Trials allows the player to select various armor and weapons unlocked in Campaign or through the collection of tribute.
Tyris Flare, an athletic young woman with reddish hair and green eyes, is the main character of this game. She sports an outfit made from leather and bone, with white paint over her eyes, which makes it look like she's wearing a mask. She is a great warrior and defender of the Axirian Priestesses, a sect of woman that worships the Great Dragon in the Island of Axir. Tyris's skills in combat and magic are almost unsurpassed, but there is a shadow rising over Axir that even she must fear. Death Adder's armies are on the move. They are after the power of the ancient Dragon Titan. It is rumored that even Death Adder fears something about the Titans, though nobody really knows what power they possesses over this dark lord. Death Adder's ambitions must be stopped! If he gains control over man, woman and beast alike, who knows what will become of the world. To stop him, Tyris takes up sword and sorcery to stop him.
Beast Rider received a 3.2/10 rating from IGN with a closing comment, "This is a game worth avoiding like the plague, even if the classic remains deep and warm within your heart." GamePro called it "poorly designed and utterly mediocre," "a terrible game that feels like a slap in the face to fans of the original franchise." TeamXbox gave the game a 6.8 rating. The game was referenced and criticized in a Penny Arcade comic. Gametrailers' sister site ScrewAttack.com's editor High School Ben told people to "F' it" due to strange controls, lack of music, and high difficulty. G4TV's X-Play gave the game a 2/5 stars during their Oct 22, 2008 review.
However recently, Play Magazine scored it a 9/10. Play also delivered a comment that "certain online reviewers" couldn't have played through it and released a decent review in the time-frame they did. As of present, there are a few game sites that have yet to review it.
As part of E3 2006, Sega issued a press release touting a new entry to the Golden Axe franchise for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 A teaser trailer could also be seen during the event.
During the summer of 2007, fans uncovered new art and sculptured models from the game.
The October 2007 issue of Play magazine offered new details. The game will feature the return of Tyris Flare, the female amazon warrior from the first installment of the series. With a heavy focus on riding beasts, the game has received an M rating since dismemberment, decapitations and nudity are present. The magazine also claimed that the PS3 version was canceled and would be an Xbox 360 exclusive. However, on October 19, 2007 Denny Chiu of SEGA denied the Xbox exclusivity, stating "Completely untrue, it's coming to PS3 as well."
While this game does only feature single player, the senior producer stated that the second game in the franchise will feature all co-op.