Alien Storm > Golden Axe

#1

Golden Axe is one of those iconic Sega franchises that hung around long enough for an abysmal attempt at a revival last gen (not quite Altered Beast level, but still), despite the single best entry of the series tragically left to die on a few cabinets & MAME setups

it hails from the tail end of the 80’s, when conan influenced kalinske to give he-man a backtory & cartoon to help push the aesthetic for those of us who weren’t reading savage sword of conan as kids i guess. it’s cool for what it is, but i felt like every chapter got a little worse, until 3 showed up & tried to deal with the most glaring problem - speed - and ended up feeling like a low-rent SOR clone at that point, losing the series’ identity in the process.

meanwhile, Alien Storm shows up with a better approach on the same template, and i know i’ve heard folks knock the genre switchups - there’s run & gun levels (one of my all-time favorite genres) as well as first person ones - but to me, this addresses one of the biggest problems beat-em-ups ran into even at the height of their popularity: once we got more effort past palette switches, people still saw how repetitive they got. expanded move sets helped, bu even on some of the great Neo Geo ones, it’s hard to finish them in one sitting unless you’re ready to push past some of the monotony. mind you, not all attempts to buck this trend work well - splatterhouse 3 was weird, y’all - but i welcomed it.

by some accounts, the biggest loss of the game was losing the cool ghostbusters-esque intro from the coin-op, which i’ve still not emulated cause i really wanna play it in an arcade one day. knowing that connection was there makes it even cooler, much less gillius thunderhead as a judge bridging the gap.

so yeah, GA was fun but console-wise? it peaked in '91 when someone deiced to ape Zelda 1 but make it more interesting, and also international courts now recognize taito’s original Rastan as the best barbarian game so there’s no point in disputing this further.

yes, whiskey in involved here, but still

discuss

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#2

Tag is true.

I’m a little bias cos Alien Storm was one of the few games I owned but still, it’s awesome.

Way better soundtrack too!

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#3

yaaaaaaaaas queen that’s such a great use of the genny’s sound chip too

it’s like when Namco does any kinda revival shit and i know deep down rolling thunder won’t be it…ive lost count of the sega surveys where i’ve namedropped ALIEN STORM YOU COWARDS on the last blank and all i get is blocked for my love <3

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#4

One more cos this my favourite track

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#5

ooo it’s such a stressful track though! all while it’s going i keep thinking you have to time your leap-overs and shoot it from above or you’re gonna run out of energy

i love the short song played between levels

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#6

This one?

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#7

yes! it’s like you’re watching helpless civilians be terrorized to that tune because ur team is still haggling over the extermination price haha

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#8

Yes haha! Some of the little “cutscenes” are great. Dangit now I wanna go play…

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#9

I still need to play Alien Storm. I’m not a huge fan of the arcade version of Golden Axe. The AI is really dumb and just stands parallel to you spamming attack. It’s pretty easy to take advantage of. The Genesis game is great though. I can’t say it being repetitive is a bad thing because it can easily be beaten in under a half hour.

Also, I take offense to you having an issue with beat-em-ups because Bare Knuckle exists.

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#10

I like Golden Axe more because it received a better port; with the Pyron colour patch it looks very faithful to the arcade. A bit too much got cut from the Alien Storm home port unfortunately.

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#11

Golden Axe MD is definitive considering it got even more content.

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#12

Sci-Fi over Fantasy for me, so… Alien Storm. I actually rented this game quite a few times back in the day. And yeah, that soundtrack.

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