Golden Axe: Beast RiderGolden Axe: Beast Rider is an action-adventure hack and slash video game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, published by Sega and developed by Secret Level. It is the first 3D entry in the Golden Axe franchise, as well as the first "mature" game in the series . The game was released in North America on October 14, 2008 and in Europe on October 17.
Golden Axe: Beast Rider PlotThe main character is Tyris Flare, an athletic young woman with red hair and green eyes. She wears an outfit made from leather and bone, with white paint over her eyes. She is a great warrior and defender of the Axirian Priestesses, a sect of Kaily worshippers from the Isle of Axir. Tyris' skills in combat and magic are almost unsurpassed, but there is a danger 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 possess over this dark lord. If he gains control over man, woman and beast alike, it is unknown what will become of the world. Tyris uses sword and sorcery to stop him.
Golden Axe: Beast Rider GameplayBeast Rider is the first Golden Axe game 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 Tyris Flare, an Amazon, from the original games. Through the story mode the player is introduced to two non-player characters (NPC's) Gilius Thunderhead the dwarf and Tarik the Ax Battler. Tribute is awarded at the end of each level based on the amount collected multiplied by the players performance during the level, which also affects the players Class or "grade" per level. Such multipliers include time, damage taken, dismemberments 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.
ReceptionBeast Rider received generally unfavorable reviews, with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version receiving Metacritic scores of 44/100 and 45/100 respectively. IGN gave it a 3.2/10 rating 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. GameTrailers' sister site ScrewAttack.com's editor Ben Singer criticized it due to awkward controls, lack of music, and frustrating combat. G4tv's X-Play gave the game a 2/5 stars.
Play scored Beast Rider a 9/10 in their October 2008 issue. Separately, in an editorial titled "Dave talks Golden Axe", Play editor Dave Halverson wrote "The majority of these people (can't call them critics) either didn't complete a fraction of the game, don't understand game design, or just plain suck at games", and that "to score Beast Rider below a 7 is just irresponsible."
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