Normally, we avoid metareviews of games that have been universally maligned because, well, who cares about them? But reader Joseph P. pointed us to a review this morning that made us reconsider our position on Golden Axe: Beast Rider. Let's see if you can figure out which one it is.
Eurogamer (30/100): "Castle Crashers has already shown that there's a market for well-produced 2D hackandslash, but instead we get this utterly charmless and shamelessly derivative 3D shrug of a game. SEGA might as well have released this as The Adventures of Fiery Boob Lady, and left their mothballed franchise with at least modicum of dignity."
IGN (32/100): "If had to sum up my feelings for Golden Axe: Beast Rider in five words or less, I'd actually do it in one: hatred. The game is so ridden with poor production values that there's absolutely nothing redeeming about the game, and its checklist of annoying issues will drive all but the already-insane crazy long before it ends."
GamePro (40/100): "Fans hoping for a worthwhile update to one of gaming's most revered hack-and-slash franchises will be sorely disappointed by this poorly designed and utterly mediocre title."
Play (90/100): "I could write another page on things I love about Beast Rider, like how bloody cool it looks when Tyris slices a body in two or hacks off an arm, subtle homages like scampering gnomes and thorny spikes, the naked body parts that Death Adder's minions use for decoration, how the game runs like a dream on PS3, and how awesome it is that the single-player experience wasn't compromised to add some bogus online crapola, but I think my work here is done."
You read that right: A 9 out of 10. How could something like this have happened, you ask? Well, in this missive, reviewer Dave Halverson theorizes that most reviewers didn't even finish the game. We haven't played it ourselves and with Halverson listing "the lack of a multiplayer mode" among the things he loves about Beast Rider, we don't know who to trust. Have any of you given it a shot?