A pretty good game that fixes some of the flaws of the original Golden Axe, but loses the spirit and the nostalgia.

User Rating: 7.5 | Golden Axe II GEN
Thank god, the hit detection and the controls work a little bit better than they did in the original Golden Axe. Despite this mild improvement, the game itself is markedly average. Golden Axe 2's primary failing is that it doesn't explore any new ground thus rendering it somewhat unnecessary and superfluous. Rehashing the original Golden Axe makes sense from an economic point of view but it doesn't make for the most exciting gameplay experience. The graphics, sound, and controls are all quite decent, probably very good for the standards of time. Well worth playing for the Genesis owner, but for me it doesn't have the same nostalgic 'spirit' of the original Golden Axe.
From a modern perspective, the Golden Axe games seem like a relic of the fantasy beat-em-ups so prevalent in earlier decades like the 1980s, a period piece. Where the game is most senile is its controls: you have to kind of waddle around the enemies to avoid getting hit, but the controls are so unresponsive and you can be attacked from all angles. After the fluidity of analog this is hard to go back to and doesn't seem worth it. I preferred Altered Beast if only because you just move up and down, simplifying matters considerably.