Top Critic Average
Golden Force is an excellent side-scrolling action platformer with some of the best boss fights I've seen for quite some time. With brilliant combat and combo mechanics and four varied islands to explore, Golden Force will surprise just as much as it entertains.
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.
Golden Force is a fun and varied 2d action game, but you'll need a lot of patience to overcome its challenging difficulty.
Golden Force harkens back to the days of difficult Super NES-era games, but the difficulty at times doesn't feel natural. Between some enemies occasionally spawning nearly right in front of you, the occasional dropping framerate with numerous enemies on the screen, and the issues with the camera when moving downwards, coupled with long boss fights–including right at the start–the game can be a bit too difficult for some players and turn them off altogether. Buying things in the shop helps a bit. But as expensive as they are you won't be buying too many in each world without grinding out coins. Overall it's not a bad game, but the difficulty seems a bit high. And with the game as short as it is, you're either going to have issues with its difficulty, or complete the game rather quickly.
Golden Force doesn't quite have what it takes to be as good as the classics, but it's still a fairly fun time in its own right. It has some issues that make it a bit of an annoyance in some spots, but it still mostly does what it aims to.
Authentically retro gaming, warts and all.
There's a good game in here somewhere and I really want it to break the surface, but performance issues and questionable difficulty are holding down a great game.
Golden Force is a fun, retro, side-scrolling experience not for the faint of heart. Full of challenging battles and pixelated fun, this run-n-gun will keep you on your toes.
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.
It's disappointing that Golden Force falls down in the areas that it does, because without these fixable issues it would be an easy recommendation – level design is mostly strong, the boss battles marry spectacle with varied and fun-to-learn attack strings nicely, and it feels good to get stronger and play better. Unfortunately, some rookie errors come close to spoiling the fun altogether, but if you're bloody-minded enough to muscle through these frustrations there is undoubtedly a lot to appreciate about Golden Force. Which is a shame, in a sense, because "Golden Farce" would have been a perfect tagline for this review. The one we've had to opt for is rubbish, by comparison. (It's not as easy as you might think, this game-reviewing lark.)