Anyone who calls themselves Death=Adder just has to be looking for trouble! Which is just as well because there are three vengeance-
The plot is as basic as any blood-
The limited number of sword strokes (three) is supplemented with some sundry close-
As the team leap over bridges and chasms the ordinary foot soldiers of Death=Adder throw themselves into the fray with amazing frequency. These kiddies are easily dispatched with blades but it's their friends, dragon riders and giants, who cause concern.
The lizard mounted cavalry are fun, their steeds come in three flavours: tail sweepers, flame breathers and fireball spitters. These monsters require riders to be dangerous and that's where the fun starts. If a rider is unseated in the heat of battle you can hop on and take control of the scaley tank - with the breath weapon included. It's a trick that carries the risk of getting toasted, but it can swing the battle decisively in your favour.
Top of the Death=Adder nasty chart are the giants. Like the normal boys and girls you hack to bits (and indeed the three heroes) each one can take a set number of hits before dying. But, the larger they are the harder their weapons are. This means that one swipe from a giant's axe can result in central damage. What is more, like the double-
To balance out these rather chunky chaps Golden Axe sends midgets running at regular intervals. If you kick them in the head they proffer magic-
The most dangerous element of Golden Axe are the backgrounds. The heroes have to jump over the occasional gap in order to proceed. Yet the flawed, pseudo 3D makes jumping dangerous - as was the case in the arcade. There is a disconcertingly high chance of falling into oblivion, and losing one of your three lives, if you misjudge a leap and fall off or in-between the scenery.
This is the one graphical black mark against a game which otherwise has a strong visual appeal.
Is Death-Adder a Wimp?
The biggest chink in Golden Axe's armour is its staying power. The weakness lies in an unexpected area, normally it would fall down on the formula nature of plot and game design, but the mindlessly aggressive charm lasts surprisingly well. The problem is that the game is too easy. Anyone who crossed swords with its arcade parent will have no trouble in polishing off the Amiga version - provide they can find a cooperative partner.
Golden Axe is identical in spirit to Double Dragon, with two heroes forced to fight as a team in order to overcome masses of bad guys. The strong graphics of the arcade have travelled well, as has the games spirit. Only the ease with which the game can be beaten and the annoying landscapes, hold Golden Axe back from the mantle of classic conversion.