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Mini Review: Battle Axe (PS4) – Top-Down Mix of Brawler and Run-‘n’-Gun with Henk Nieborg Pixel Art

Not an old battle-axe, a new Battle Axe.

Considering that Makoto Uchida’s work on Golden Axe was inspired by combining a fantasy backdrop with Double Dragon’s gameplay — alongside the fact that Golden Axe was originally going to be named as Battle Axe or Broad Axe instead — the greatest compliment we can give Numskull Games’ PS4 Battle Axe is that it successfully captures the spirit of its inspirations. From its origins as a Kickstarter project, Battle Axe was pitched by developers Henk Nieborg and Bitmap Bureau as a top-down game that draws its vision not just from Gauntlet, but also the settings of Golden Axe and Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara.

Nieborg’s delightfully detailed pixel art presents Battle Axe like a CP System era arcade game, and the Capcom references extend to Manami Matsumae’s fantastic fantasy soundtrack, which is boosted from her experience of composing beat-’em-up music for Final Fight, and particularly her tunes in Magic Sword.

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