There's nothing golden about this awful port.
We'd like to ask a favor from companies publishing retro games for the iPhone. Please take your time. You're better off making us wait longer for a superior version of a long-lost classic, rather than rushing it. This is why Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog and Capcom's Mega Man 2 turned out horrible. Unfortunately, we just added Golden Axe to the list.
In Golden Axe, you choose from three different warriors (a Conan-ish sword wielder, a scantily clad babe and an axe-wielding dwarf) as they set out to stop the evil Death-Adder, a tyrant who's taken over the land with his army of soldiers. As you journey through each stage, you'll run into a variety of foes, including thugs riding powerful creatures that you can also mount, and skeletons that appear from the ground.
Golden Axe for iPhone is based on the Genesis version instead of the original arcade game. Although Sega deserves low marks for the graphics and audio, you get two extra levels out of the deal. Sadly, the quality is so below-average, you'll probably never make it through the first stage.
Let's start with the controls. Similar to Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe has two different schemes, one with transparent buttons and another with a monitor separated from the controls. Unfortunately, neither work very well. You'll mash buttons to execute attacks and hit the magic button by mistake, forcing you to lose a spell that you never intended to use. Even worse, enemies score cheap hits, surrounding you on the left and right so you can't hit an opponent more than a few times.
Thanks to constant slow-down, the game's nearly unplayable. Even if there are only a couple of characters on-screen, everything moves like a plodding turtle. This is unacceptable, considering that other games like Knights Onrush (with even more enemies on screen) run without a hitch.
The biggest letdown of all, however, is the lack of multiplayer. Games like Golden Axe thrive with co-op, and the iPhone version doesn't offer it whatsoever. Not through local or online connection.
Sadly, Golden Axe for iPhone is a cheaply made port. Don't subject yourself to Death-Adder's torment. Stick with the cheaper (and far more enjoyable) Hero of Sparta.
What's Hot: Two additional levels not found in the original arcade game.
What's Not: Difficult to use control schemes, graphics and audio haven't aged well, too much slowdown, no two-player option.