Golden Axe - Beast Rider (Playstation 3)

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Sega's arcade and console classic of the late '80s, Golden Axe, swings out in a bold new direction with Beast Rider, a gritty, 3D combat adventure in a harsh land of fantasy. The main storyline puts players in the role of the barbarian gladiator Tyris Flare, who seeks vengeance against the demons that destroyed her tribe. Tyris fights using her powerful magical spells, on foot with a blade, or on the back of powerful, monstrous steeds that only the bravest or most foolish would ever dare try to subdue.

There are five main types of beast in the game, any of which can be commandeered by the heroine. It is possible to knock an enemy off its perch and steal its mount, but opponents can steal Tyris' mount in the same way, if she is not careful. On foot, combat involves combos and timing. Parry and dodge abilities are the key to victory, but they must be used at just the right time to be successful. Beast Rider's magic system borrows ideas from the original arcade game, but fires them up with contemporary lighting and video effects. Often, a perfectly executed attack or counter-attack move is highlighted with a quick, dramatic cinematic cut-scene.

Other elements inspired by the original 16-bit game include an RPG-style leveling system, destructible environments, and even greedy little gnomes. In addition to Tyris Flare, there are five other playable characters. The game's main storyline reveals lore from a time long before Tyris first joined Battler the warrior and Thunderhead the dwarf in their quest to conquer the evil Death Adder, one quarter at a time.