Hey all, it's the end of March which means it's time for another one of these TG-16 features. What better way to celebrate Easter Sunday than with a caveman who hits people with axes? Probably a lot of ways.
The Legendary Axe was Aicom's first game for the TurbGrafx-16 and is considered one of the better games for the system, at least out of the ones that made it the US. It's a fairly primitive (no pun intended) Castlevania-style side-scrolling action game, but it's got responsive controls, an occasionally brutal but rewarding difficulty curve and looks amazing for a game made in 1988 for a home console. The TG-16 had a short amount of time to leverage its 16-bit graphics to sell units before the Mega Drive and SNES would completely overtake it, and The Legendary Axe could've been its best foot forward had it been bundled with the TG-16 instead of Keith frickin' Courage (which I'll probably be playing for this feature regardless).
More fun facts: The game had a sequel, the innovatively named The Legendary Axe II, and was the primary influence for Aicom's later Arcade/NES hit Astyanax. We were chopping mad for axes back then, yo.
How Is It Legendary? Don't Axe Me
Overall, this is a pretty solid game given its age. It's very difficult, but also kind of short, so it shouldn't keep anyone frustrated for too long. Oddly enough, it never received the Virtual Console treatment, despite being one of the more fondly remembered games for the system. Which might cause one to wonder where all these screenshots came from. That's a good question! The way tha-
So if you're a fan (or can at least tolerate how cheap they can be) of the older Castlevania games, before they went all Metroid-y and long before they went all Zobek-y, The Legendary Axe is a solid game of that ilk. The way it asks for a little caution from its axe-wielding barbarian, while also making the charged-up attacks super satisfying to pull off, raises it above most of the dreck as far as I'm concerned. I'll almost certainly be checking its sequel out at some point further down the line.
If you have an axe to grind with this game, or just want to bury the hatchet, feel free to post in the comments below. I'm just going to recharge my meter for a bit before I start on next month's Premium Feature comics.