Published on March 26th, 2013 | by Scot Mackay


Blog: In the beginning…

The blood red writing was instructing me to choose my character, to choose a destiny to fulfil but more importantly in which way did I want to smite my enemies?

Golden Axe

My choice was simple.

  • The barbarian with his strength, broadsword and the smallest loincloth in history
  • The dwarf armed with an axe big enough to hint that he is compensating for something


  • The Amazonian woman who has more attitude than Tony Soprano and a bikini which is possibly not historically accurate.

Golden Axe was not my first experience in gaming but it was one of the most memorable. I remember sitting down with my older brother and arguing over who gets to be the dwarf, purely because he had a massive axe. 9 times out of 10 I would lose and whilst nursing a dead arm (my brothers negotiating tactic), continue as the barbarian Ax Battler hacking and slashing at everything I could. I would attempt to get back at my brother by stealing every potion and health drink whilst ‘accidentally’ bumping him with the old hit, run and pray technique.

Move forward 24 years later and the delicate balance between being friend or foe endures. The battlefield may be different with vastly improved cooperative elements in games such as Army of two, Gears of war and Bulletstorm but that bond forged in warzones across the planet was always going to be a brittle one. Games such as Trials HD or Mortal Kombat always pulls me back to being the younger sibling who wanted to beat the ultimate boss…….my big brother.

I carry my belief of cooperative play into many of my chosen gaming arenas. Call of duty is one of my most common haunts but lately I have found it difficult to extend the hand of friendship because it is usually greeted with a wall of silence. I understand that not every player in the world likes to talk to strangers from far off exotic lands such as India, Singapore or Swansea but a little bit of communication does help.

With the evolution and expansion of social gaming a very real problem has emerged from the shadows…..the Troll. We have all had experiences with Trolls at one time or another, be it constant team killing, hacking or simply abusive comments and messages. This is what I believe prevents players from stepping into games and uttering that immortal word ….”Hi”. With this in mind it is important to remember that there are people out there who take their time to welcome new players, old players and …GASP!!!!….even female players into the digital world.



Feel free to

drop me a message at any time over live especially if you want to join me in a game of Golden Axe but beware….

I am the Dwarf!


Tags: , ,

About the Author

A 33 year old father of three from Inverness who has a deep rooted passion for the noble profession of gaming. As a child he explored dungeons, defeated Dr. Robotnik, explored space and even managed to help Mickey and Donald escape the World of Illusion. He is currently the Charlie Sheen of Titanfall and Is looking forward to The Division. He is known to obey Wheaton's Law 60% of the time. GT: RayzingKane

6 Responses to Blog: In the beginning…

  1. Robert Young says:

    Nice blog post buddy and welcome to the HXR team!

    I first started gaming when I was young, I was staying at my cousins for a week and I was at a crossing one day and lights went green, I started walking, heard a loud noise then bang… next ting I know I’m in an ambulance… A motorcycle had ran over me at speed and the back wheel had ran over my face… I arrived home a few days later, scared the shit out of my little sister who thought I had turned in to a monster with all the cuts and bumps on my face.

    My parents came to pick me up and take me home, when I got home my father surprised me with a box which I opened to find a top of the range home computer, the ZX Spectrum (48k). I was in love with this, you could load in games with a tape or even code your own pyramids, this at the time was totally new and I think this is where I always got my interest in code and design, I was already drawing loads at the time.

    Then as time passed I had a Commodore 64, Megadrive, NES, SNES, Playstation, N64, Playstation 2, and Gamecube (in that order).

    Then a friend of mine bought an Xbox and at the time they were relatively new kid on the block scenario and I was 100% Playstation until I visited his flat, played Halo CE, got to level 2, crossed the bridge and on to a massive set piece with loads of enemies and ships bringing in more and I was sold and I have been Xbox since, I bought a 360 then a Wii and later a PS3 and in my opinion the 360 stands tall and I recently traded all my Wii stuff (console and games) and all my PS3 games, the console will be traded this weekend for a proper blu ray player.

    As for my fondest arcade game memory I think it would have to be between Golden Axe, Gauntlet and Double Dragon… my pocket money was gone as soon as I was given it.

    • Scot says:

      I was the same, I worked my way through many different consoles and ended up settling with the PS2.
      I was happy for a while…then I spotted an advert for a little game known as Halo. That was it for me.

      I made the switch to Xbox and never looked back. This black behemoth sat below my television and flooded me with insane visuals, deep rooted storylines and just good ol’ gun tootin’ shootin’!

      But then something else caught my eye, Oblivion. I am not a stranger to the series but by mainly being a console gamer i didn’t have the kind of exposure required to fully understand what Oblivion was. All I knew was there was magic, sword and things to fight…..count me in.
      I bought my Xbox 360 and instantly the upgrade was clear. Although it may look dated now, at the time it looked stunning. I spent a good half hour running around the sewer punching rats, laughing like a maniac but the laughter stopped when i exited the sewers.
      I stood there and looked to my left and right. Surely there must be somewhere to go? Most games I had played tended to be linear in some fashion but this was just incredible. I put it to the test. I pointed my character at a far off mountain and set off.

      I explored every inch of Cyrodiil and was not disappointed.

      It was one of the best feelings I ever had in a game, one of total freedom. A very worthwhile purchase.

  2. David Guild says:

    Ah yer from Inverness, love it up that way I’m just south from you in Perthshire, but originally a Fifer. Also like you I still have a fondness of Golden Axe, I mind playing it with my sister and friends.

    I just feel gamers from the 80s and 90s just have more repsect for the game compared to the folk who have joined gaming in the last couple generations. I’m not saying they are all but, as I always said I never seen as much bitching and moaning in my life, when I use to play C&C and Counter Strike online using a 56k and back then blaming lag wasn’t the option of choice, it was “Noooo my AOL connection booted me and it took 15 mins to dial back” I started gaming from mindless age of 3 playing Pong with the paddle on the Atari 2600 and having a love affair with Pacman who till this day I love but still bloody awful at. When I was 4 I got the Amstard CPC and played for hours upon hours on that. that could because it took hours to load up games from tapes.

    I had Commodores and Specturems oh and Sinclars on the side but nothing could ready me for Amiga 500! Right from 1991 to 1999 I had an Amiga as my home computer, from the 500 to the 1200 then back to the 2000 for its desktop tower look. Endless of games, internet connection using I think a 12.8k to a 33.3k modem to get SKY codes that it will unlock the channels. Plus browsers were mostly text based no images just ASCII ones. Loved that damn Amiga so much and was in tears when my dad gave it away that the first thing I did when I drove was go on ebay and buy another 1200 and 3 boxes of games 😀

    Now I just find myself collecting games from all generations and consoles. And wasting cash on buyin xbox games I probably never get around to play. But damn its all worth it for the little man in my head jumping up and down seeing all the games I got lol.

  3. Scot says:

    Its the moment when we realise that we have turned into the crazy old folk that we always see standing at the bus stop when we utter those dreaded words, “Bloody kids” and “They don’t know how good they have it nowadays”.

    Its true, with the expansion of gaming leaving the bedrooms of social pariahs and entering into the commercial arena the flood gates have truly opened for anyone and everyone. I love the fact that I am now able to have millions of unique social gaming experiences but its the fact that I have to wade through the seas of stupidity and ignorance to have GOOD experiences.

    It would be nice to see some more elements put in place to give me a more specific way of tailoring my social gaming choices and make matchmaking in games allot more customisable. The times at night when I get a chance to get online I normally end up in a match with all French players. I don’t mind the French, I really don’t as they are the best people to play against competitively as they are historically obligated to surrender within the first 30 seconds of the match. My problem is attempting to speak to them without asking for French fries, French toast and when will Jean Reno do a remake of Leon?

    Until then, Ill put up with the bad guys because there are so many awesome people out there to game with.

    I will say one thing David, If you have any games you don’t want you can always donate them here:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑
  • Social Links

  • Subscribe to our Newsletter

  • Member login

  • Site categories