Golden Axed: A Cancelled Prototype Review – An actual prototype

Golden Axe is a classic Sega Franchise that defined the Arcade and Genesis era of beat-em’ ups. It was a unique and amazing series that perhaps deserves a revival. And yes I’m conveniently ignoring the 2008 entry on purpose.

Golden Axed: A Cancelled Prototype is a prototype that Sega commissioned almost a decade ago attempting to revive the franchise. It’s also a true prototype that is valuable both as an artifact of a failed game but also to understand what games look like when publishers have to decide on it.

By that though, I mean Golden Axed: A Cancelled Prototype is one of the roughest games I’ve seen, which is part of what I was expecting. Golden Axed: A Cancelled Prototype has a simple attack system, and lacks a magic system which is what really made Golden Axe stand out from other Beat’em Ups. There’s one enemy though that’s used multiple times and the game ends suddenly. The menus system in the game is horrible (it’s hard to see which is selected). There’s no option system and ultimately, this is a ten to twenty-minute look at the game.

And yet all of that is what prototypes tend to be, except for the lacking magic system which honestly I would have expected to work, even if it was just a screen damage effect.

What’s really interesting to me is to show how rough this game looks, and to criticize it due to length, graphics, even the combat Is out of place because ultimately this was not intended for public consumption.

But a part of me wishes this was more commonplace. Seeing a failed or canceled project’s prototype can be really cool and to imagine what could have been. Alas, this project seems long dead, but it’s an interesting chance to look at the corpse.

I will recommend people checking out the game, but not to consider it a full game. It’s just a very rough proof of concept.

I’ll give this game an arbitrary


While I praise the concept of releasing it and the behind-the-scenes look at the game, I really can’t give it anything other than an average score because it’s ultimately just a prototype, and it was never intended to be released, as much as I wish that would change.

PS. I am aware of Tim Dawson’s comments on Twitter, however, they are interesting as they illuminate the project’s process and issues with the design. Check it out: here

If you enjoyed this review and want to see more from me, including more in-depth reviews of select games, check out my youtube channel at

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