Golden Axe Beast Rider is unlike any other game I had seen before.
As a longtime fan of Golden Axe the arcade game, which I consider among the earliest games to influence multiplayer, I was anxious to see the next iteration when Golden Axe Beast Rider was announced. To be made by Secret Level, a division of Sega, I was psyched. Unfortunately, the young new development company had a hard time, and the game reflected it.
According to Game Developer Magazine, during production they decided that Golden Axe Beast Rider had to have the multiplayer cut to reach their goal. The staff felt that the heart and soul was being cut out of the game, which is hard to argue with. Concept art had shown all of the characters together, which are recognized from the previous games in the series.
After the game was released, it was criticized for its lackluster graphics, bland color scheme and invisible walls. I am not any of these states is completely true. Many games have invisible walls to prevent the player from wondering in the wrong direction, and the game graphics and definitely up to par for console games at the time it was published. While Golden Axe Beast Rider does contain lots of brown and tan colors, it also utilizes blood and red effectively. Beside this, the game depends on flashes of green, orange and blue to cue the player to what button to press. So obviously there is extensive use of color in general.
The game is also a repetitive hack-and-slash style third person game, obviously influenced by the God Of War series. This makes Golden Axe Beast Rider monotonous until they are able to find beasts. At that point, things get interesting as you are able to charge and leap onto enemies, even knock down pillars and doors.
At the end of the day though, a game that looks bland and repeats itself does not make for an appealing game. There are bonuses like other costumes and a sort of survival mode. The game is overall decent and by all means not as terrible as many reviewers have stated. It is satisfying to fight the same final boss as in the original game and to have the bikini costume unlockable in the last level.