First Impressions: Capcom's classic gameplay set in the form of a pant-losing hero.
Many, many, many, MANY years ago there was a game. It had a name. It had fame. It was lame. No wait, just kidding. Back when the Nintendo Entertainment System was around, there was one title that stood out, and introduced a little something to gamers. The idea of an adventure game that had humor in it had opened up Capcom's warped minds. Today the game Ghosts 'N Goblins, I'm sure isn't remembered by everyone. But to those who had fun in the days of old, well, you're getting a second chance to relive the experience that you had back then, in an all new, all original, and all hilarious adventure title that'll set the standards for greater things to come!
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory, heir to the Ghosts 'N Goblins series, has the spotlight on a new knight character, Maximo. After Maximo returns one day to his kingdom from a distant war, he discovers that the place isn't as he left it. Achille, once his most trusted advisor, has imprisoned the land's four sorceresses, leaked evil into the kingdom by raising the undead, and has even took your girlfriend, Princess Sophia hostage...and forced her to marry him. But that's not all...after a little wave of Achille's hand, Maximo is sent straight off to Hades. Down there, things don't look so good, as the Devil himself is displeased with how Achille is plucking his precious souls right from out of his keeping. The Devil decides to then approve of Maximo's return to the surface world, to collect his souls, and to defeat Achille. It's up to Maximo to fight the unholy mass of monsters with a sword in hand, to free his friends, rescue Sophia, and to finally confront Achille. The job may sound tough...and when the going gets tough, the tough try to keep their pants on.
Unlike the previous games, Maximo will be controlled in a third person, 3D perspective that's beyond different from the 2D side scroller title that this series once was. Maximo's gameplay will have the hero exploring each of the game's 5 massive levels entirely to collect both souls that Achille has stolen and coins from within treasure chests for later on when Maximo can then trade these items in to purchase new armor, new power-ups, and even a pair of new boxers (no, seriously). Finding these items can be a difficult task, since each one of the levels has a dangerous theme that it follows. Surpassing the themes is what you must learn how to accomplish in order to survive. The levels of exploration Capcom has planned are the broken kingdom, a frozen underwater ship, a fire wrought level, a murky swamp, and lastly, Achille's castle. Carrying in them, the levels pack a horde of the undead from which Maximo can smite...
The character Maximo will have to battle a lot of undead monsters, like skeletons, amongst others, and even wizards, along in his journey to save the others. Fighting these enemies, though, may turn out to be a form of a riddle, as certain bad guys may for instance wear armor. Taking the armor of with your sword, and continuing to bash the skeleton's revealed bones is the way to take them down. Boss characters have an etched strategy as well. The first one, being a giant Frankenstein creature, is huge and can dish out devastating attacks on our smaller sized Maximo doll. The way to bring this tower down is by swiping at his feet, showing the giant that shoes really do make the man. At any other time, Maximo will have to deal with enemies such as wizards that turn him into a baby or an old man, fire breathing towers, and even crows that pickpocket his power-ups.
The actual control of Maximo will seem easy, even though it may look or sound complicated. You'll be able to perform moves like slashes and jump slashes with your sword, crouches, double jumps, blocks with your shield, and a very cool throw of the shield move. Having to deflect an enemy attack will come most helpful just as fighting is practical. Maximo, when low in health, will actually lose his pants, further revealing his under shorts. Unless you can survive a level, you'll have to select the continue option. The only possible way to continue the game, however, is by collecting souls. If you don't have the minimum number of 50 souls in your grasp, you're Hell soup. So as you can see, item hunting can have a purpose in a game.
As for the power-ups in the game, Maximo can gain items that will help him along in his quest. One power-up for instance, will let you throw a shield, while another allows Maximo to become temporarily invisible. Since there are large assortments of power-ups to use, Maximo only has the ability to equip three at one time. In light of this feature, defeating boss characters opens up a new slot for Maximo to equip yet another one. You'll also need to figure out how to think by the way of fighting in the game. Not only do you need souls in order to survive the massive game world, but also, whenever Maximo comes back to the land of death, he'll lose all of his power-ups in his list, which were not already equipped. It seems as though Capcom's really looking to make this game an all around challenging, but fun game for all.
Visuals of the game are looking to be virtually well detailed. Each one of the enemy characters move fairly well. And as for Maximo, all his powerful enemy thrashing, level exploring, sword-swinging moments are shaping up to add to some of the best looking graphics on the PlayStation 2 yet. The game's areas are well detailed, with realistic shadows that tag along with the character motions, remarkable designs of every object on screen, and even the miraculous sparks that appear from Maximo's sword whenever it's swung. Every area theme, from the richly flowing magma in the fire area, to the hovering mist of the kingdom level in shambles is well done from anything to everything seen in the demo reels.