Avast me hearties, last review we talked Ninja so naturally we talk now about the other side of the coin, pirates! Jump aboard, walk the plank and fly the flag it’s Golden Force.
Golden Force developed by Storybird Games and published by our friends over at PixelHeart, we are taking an adventure on the 16bit high seas in a platforming, action, beat-em-up mash up for all you retro enthusiasts.
You take control of one of the 4 main characters, Gutz, Spina, Elder or Drago as you take on the King of Demons and get all the treasure your pockets can hold. The story is told by a few sprite art cutscenes and frankly doesn’t add anything to the product other than dressing, just how I like my 16 bit games!.
Visually Golden Force is a beautiful game if you’re of the Pixel persuasion as I am. The colours are vibrant, the stages are varied and the enemy design manages to be surprising and familiar in all the right ways. The game smacks of funky SNES hidden gem platformers and I mean this in the most respectful way.
I really can’t overstate just how good Golden Force looks, screens alone should so you but to see the game in motion is a thing of beauty, from the initial fight with Kraken to the mysteries of muscle island the visuals will just grip you from start to finish.
The gameplay in Golden Force is for want of a better word an awkward mix of platformer, brawler and run ‘n gun, when it works it is all hunky dory but unfortunately there is one flaw that damages that balance.
As mentioned the combat is based on Brawlers, multiple hit combos you know the script, wouldn’t be an issue but you can only take 5 hits and if you come into contact with any enemy it’s your health dropping.
So damage is really unbalanced throughout and this really throws the difficulty out of whack in some places, the game is generally a lot tougher than perhaps it should be. Level design is fine, some levels have a bit more going on than others but all in all the level design is of consistent quality throughout the surprisingly lengthy campaign.
The bosses are all fantastic and challenging for the right reasons, you’ll be paying attention to tells and learning patterns from an eclectic rogues gallery which as mentioned before starts you off fighting the Kraken out at sea!.
Performance wasn’t too much of an issue docked and handheld, there were a few stages that slowed at points due to high enemy count but I never had anything more serious than that. Lack of online co-op does harm this as with the current real life situation I’ve not been successful in finding a couch co-op player to test the multiplayer side of things out.
Overall I had a lot of fun with Golden Force, mainly in part of it reminding me of one of my favourite eras in gaming and the other part being it just has a load of charm. The iffy difficulty and strange balancing does knock the game quite a bit from being totally golden but for those who love the 16 bit era this is quite the little treasure.
The uneven balance of difficulty rooted in its main gameplay causes this gem to be a little duller than I’d like.
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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.