Classic beat 'em up action
Sega's follow up to its classic arcade hack'n'slash adventure continues in much the same vein as its predecessor and while a bit more in the way of development would have been nice, it remains a fun and exciting beat 'em up. Similar in style to Sega's own Streets of Rage or Altered Beast, the game sees the three characters from the original return in another quest to defeat the evil Dark Guld, and which basically involves chopping, slashing and hacking everything you meet. Retro gamers will have fond memories of Ax Battler the Barbarian, Tyris Flare the Amazon and Gilius Thunderhead the Dwarf, each with their own distinct fighting moves and magic and they are all back and tougher than before. While gameplay is virtually unchanged from the original, with one or two players teaming up to make their way through six side scrolling levels of action, a few differences are apparent. Magic is perhaps the area with the greatest change, with updates to both the type of attacks available and the system for using it. Elsewhere though, things are very much the same, which is something of a disappointment but when the original was so good, why change it? The action is still immensely satisfying, the graphics are much improved with some impressive magical effects and environments and it is undeniably fun kicking bad guys off cliffs or smacking them with your dragon mount. While simple and undemanding, this is arcade action at its purest and most enjoyable.