Fun Beat-Em-Up Action Makes The Sacred Citadel Worth Visiting
Years ago, multiplayer beat-em-ups were all the rage. You couldn't take five steps in an arcade without running into Captain America and the Avengers, The Simpsons Arcade and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time. These games were built for quick four-player entertainment, a way for you and your friends to bond as you took on common enemies and eventually brought near-unstoppable bosses to their knees.
Lately, we don't see too many of those games, mainly because of how the "scene" has changed over the years. However, there's still a market for them, as we've seen with re-releases of Simpsons Arcade and X-Men on the digital front. And now we have Southend Interactive's The Sacred Citadel, a game for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade that channels the Sega classic Golden Axe while delivering some strong RPG elements to make it stand out on its own right.
The story is the weakest part of Citadel – which is to be expected. You're basically on a search for magical artifacts, while dealing with nasty types that want to get to them first. It's told through a series of cut-scenes, but, honestly, if you just skip past them, you're not missing much – y'know, unless you're one of those picky types that demands narrative.
From there, you'll choose from a handful of warriors and set out on your journey, hammering away at any enemies that get within your reach while collecting new weapons (similar to the "swap" system from Darksiders II – what you pick up is immediately put to good use) and keeping your health at bay, so it doesn't cost you a life. (Being able to rejuvenate with a health potion is a nice touch, even when you're fighting.)