Golden Axe was released in 1989 and is one of the classic games of the genre. It has some interesting features, as well as its flaws.
Graphics: nothing spectacular, well made for the time. The characters have many moves, depending on the distance to the enemy. The backgrounds are pleasant and complement the gameplay well.
Sound: It is OK. It uses (very compressed) recordings of sounds and screams. The music does not distract.
Gameplay - There are 3 characters to choose from - Dwarf, Barbarian and Amazon. They differ in their power and range. All 3 can cast magic, collecting blue bottles on their way. The magic has a few levels of damage, depending on the number of bottles collected. The Amazon has the most powerful magic, but requires the most bottles. They are cast, using the third button, and are visually very spectacular.
The characters can hit, jump and run. They can also ride some fantasy creatures, using them to hit enemies. The hit detection is not perfect, sometimes the character hits the air instead of the nearby enemy. The enemies do not have life bars, so it is hard to tell how much beating they need :)
The game itself is relatively short, but requires many credits to be completed. There are many short levels, sometimes I did not know that the level has changed.
Will I keep playing it? Not one of my favorite, but works well as a rest from other titles. The graphics are nice, the enemies are tougher than the usual. 20 years later, it is still a decent game.
Rating - 6/10