Top Critic Average
Authentically retro gaming, warts and all.
If you like your 2D hack and slash games with challenging gameplay Golden Force is well worth picking up. But if you’re picking this up for co-op I’d say be careful. Also, additional difficulty settings and less gold grinding to get new items would have made this experience more accessible for a wider audience. That being said, Golden Force does have that retro old school feel of pattern recognition that will appeal to some gamers. Plus it has the coolest old man character I’ve played as in a video game in recent memory. Nice work.
Golden Force attempts to relive the retro gameplay of yesteryear but, in some ways, falls on its own sword due to a number of issues. It is marketed as “Old school difficulty (but not so frustrating).” This ends up not being quite so true because of the aforementioned gameplay and technical issues, which range from instances of poor level design to noticeable frame rate issues. If you are not hardcore, then I can’t recommend this game due to the punishing gameplay. If you’re interested, I’d say this is probably one to grab when on sale unless you’re sure you’ll enjoy it. Some of the special collectibles are very hard to find, and between that and improving your performance on each stage, it will keep you busy for a long while. It’s certainly not the best retro-inspired title out there, as there are certainly a number of others that play better than this one. Golden Force is available on the Nintendo Switch eShop for $19.99, as well as on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It is also coming to Steam sometime in Q1 2021.
The uneven balance of difficulty rooted in its main gameplay causes this gem to be a little duller than I’d like.
Golden Force is competent in what it proposes and is a good entertainment throughout its duration. However, some dedication and attention to details such as variation in the gameplay and presentation screen would bring more elements for the game to go beyond the basics and stand out in the middle of the ocean.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
So overall, while Golden Force does have some shiny moments, a lot of the adventure falls flat which is unfortunate as it has multiple elements that could have made for a stellar retro inspired adventure.
If you have the patience to persevere through its irritatingly tricky segments, Golden Force can be a rewarding fun-filled adventure.
My initial impressions were much stronger than my later ones, and as I made my way through the different stages, conquered the bosses, and replayed stages to seek out more coins and collectables, the weaknesses became more prominent and the strengths less so. My understanding is that the developers are aware of some of these issues, so this could turn into a somewhat decent title in the future. At present, though, if there's an alchemy to turn lead into gold, it's sorely needed here.
In all, Golden Force was unfortunately pretty disappointing.
Golden Force doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does the nearly-impossible by offering a truly 16-bit experience, from sprite-based visuals to the tough-as-nails difficulty. If Gunstar Heroes copulated with Rocket Knight Adventures, Golden Force would be its beautiful brood. Just don't go digging for the easy mode, it simply doesn't exist.