Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Golden force is one of those titles that comes around once in a while that will probably appeal to older gamers more than it does to younger ones. Set in a one to four player side scrolling adventure, the party will hack & slash their way through hordes of enemies while platforming over dangerous elements to steal the gold from an evil overlord. What? It’s not “your” fault that the party is broke after their previous vacations. You’re just here to lend a hand!
Graphically finding itself at home in the SNES era you’ll be picking from one of four characters in order to go through five giant bosses and four dangerous stricken lands to get what you want. Upfront, this is neither a hard adventure but nor is it an easy one with plenty of cheap ways to kill you in manners that feel unfair at times. I know what you’re thinking, unfair? I have no issues with something being hard or difficult, what I do have issues with is when something is designed to kill you and there’s no real way around it especially when you actually have to go through that point.
Otherwise it’s a fairly simple adventure. Starting with a first boss that acts as a tutorial to all of the combat and platforming elements, there are four lands each with their own bosses before finally facing off against the big bad. Each level to start off has four stages each with a set of golden coins and a seashell that act as collectibles. After a certain amount of gold coins are picked up they can be used in order to upgrade your health. After picking up a certain amount of seashells, the same can be done with the amount of attacks in your combos.
Short of those two elements there are no other real upgrades to be found. Within each level it is possible to find temporary upgrades such as adding fire ice to your attacks, being temporarily invincible, having access to come back to life if your health drops to zero. These temporary upgrades can also be bought from the same shop as the permanent upgrades but for the standard currency obtained by platforming or by defeating enemies and breaking open treasure chests.
If we take the occasional at first, and a lot heavier later, unfair elements of the platforming out, there’s a fairly decent platformer here. While you don’t need to worry about jumping or sliding on walls there are plenty of platforms to jump between and water to swim through as you then bounce off of bounce pads to reach heights you wouldn’t have access to. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s solid in its design as long as the cheap shots are taken out of the equation.
Where the adventure is a little bit hit and miss is in the combat. What has been put into place has a solid base with attack combos that work fairly well for your basic and tougher enemies, but where things kind of fall into a mundane, if not battle of attrition, are the boss fights that would otherwise have been amazing. Boss battles, the one true pleasure in any title if done right can also be the bane on one’s existence. Falling more into the second category for the half of them, bosses are big, bad, and have multiple moves which wouldn’t be a bad thing if you could do more damage to them. Instead, not only do you have to rinse and repeat the same doing mechanics repeatedly to simply score a single hit at times, but half the time the moves being thrown at you aren’t exactly the most fair. It’s unfortunate because had these been calibrated a bit better, these fights would have been loads of fun instead of one frustration after another.