Top Critic Average
As old-school as it can get in every frame and fibre of its being, Battle Axe faithfully transports you back to the classic Capcom and Neo Geo arcade era with its exquisite pixel art animation and punchy, challenging gameplay.
A classic arcade "like the oldies" that will be enjoyed the most by players looking for action in the Gauntlet vein, that showcase a wonderful pixelart, a magical soundtrack and gives the most playing on coop. It's a shame that campaing mode it's so short and that the three characters are almost the same, because here there was potential.
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Battle Axe might be an excellent arcade game, but that’s a flaw as well as a feature. Extended play sessions, like those you find in Infinite Mode, can quickly wear out their welcome. You can only blow apart so many orcs before you start yearning for more. Maybe the gameplay loop doesn’t escape that cabinets and coins territory, but it doesn’t need to. The action that’s available is nothing short of exemplary. Fluid pixel art animation, tight controls, retro music and audio, and an intense challenge all elevate this game beyond ordinary nostalgia. If you’re looking for your next arcade game, you absolutely can’t miss Battle Axe.
There's replay value to be found in the Hard difficulty setting, or chasing 29 Trophies for a Platinum, as well as an unlockable New Game+ challenge. Yet, even the inclusion of an extra Infinite Mode highlights how the core gameplay becomes repetitive, plus the four main areas of Arcade Mode can be beaten in less than an hour. If the idea of exploring to save villagers reminds you fondly of Zombies Ate My Neighbors, or perhaps you remember isometric arcade brawlers like Dungeon Magic and Wizard Fire, then the nostalgia conjured up from Battle Axe mixing together two formidable old genres may still hack-and-slash its way into your heart.
Battle Axe offers a nostalgic arcade hack & slash experience with it's beautifully created sprites, levels, and bosses. Beating your high scores in Battle Axe's arcade mode and infinite mode will keep you busy for hours. The levels offer a diverse variety in enemy types and obstacles, but the game can get somewhat repetitive after a few playthroughs. Where the game ultimately falls short is in the controls and camera, which further adds to the game's challenging difficulty. Also, the absence of online multiplayer is a shame.
Battle Axe is a good-looking homage to the classic hack and slash arcade efforts of yesteryear that's dragged down by some fairly dull and repetitive action. It looks the part, sounds the part, nails the aesthetic and vibe that it's going for completely, but then it drops the ball with regards to level design, enemy AI and in providing any sense of strategy or surprise during a short campaign that gives you very little reason to return once its done and dusted. If only it had a few twists and turns and a handful more levels, this one could have been well worth a playthrough but, as things stand, it's pretty forgettable stuff.
On the surface, Battle Axe looks and sounds like an amazing retro throwback. When you dive into it, you'll find a lack of accessibility options and bland, uncompelling gameplay.
The philosophy of the game design is firmly rooted in old arcade sensibilities. Some may be turned off but this, but for those who grew up in arcades in the 1990s will undoubtedly feel Battle Axe is like coming home.
A great addition to anyone's Switch catalogue, Battle Axe provides some neat pick-up-and-play value with an Infinite mode accompanying the standard story fare. In tandem, these modes are perfect for coping with the daily commute with some bashing and slashing and are backed by a fantastic soundtrack and gorgeous retro art style. Although it has a savagely brutal difficulty curve for the young'uns (as well as older folk who don't have the reaction times they once did), Battle Axe is a decent conversion full of nostalgic fun.
Battle Axe packs in a lot of personality thanks to its trio of colourful protagonists and its wonderful art style. But its gameplay likely won’t keep your attention for much longer than an hour or two. It’s a great flashback to games of yesteryear, but outside of a nostalgia hit, there’s no real reason to keep going back.