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GENRE: Platformer
August 29, 2006

Ghosts 'n Goblins

Ghouls 'n Ghosts

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts

 Written by Jason Young  on December 01, 2006

Review: Filled with the ultimate dread of horror?and I'm not talking about the zombies or ghosts either.

Back in 1985, a game entitled Ghosts 'n Goblins was released in arcades representing some of the hardest games you would've found for either mediums. Yet despite it's difficulty, the series became a hit spawning multiple sequels including the one recently released for the PSP. Was it any different? Would the inclusion of an ?easy' mode make it easier for people new to the series? No and no.

The game, despite many years of evolution, is still insanely difficult. Not just difficult, but system smashing against the wall difficult. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, you take control of a knight named Arthur who goes through multiple levels fighting demons, zombies, and the undead in order to rescue a princess. Scattered across the game's various maps are power-ups for armor, shields, and abilities in order to help Arthur survive.

What's not included to help him survive though is tons of pattern memorization, trial and error, and immeasurable deaths in the game. Players going through the game will die an extremely large amount that the game almost seems unbeatable at times, frustrating them not only with its difficulty, but with its controls as well.

Although the series has been renowned for it's precise controls, none of it is found in this game. Every time you jump it feels stiff, which leads to a sense of unending levels and you cursing the level designers in the game. In a game that demands players to have the ability to dodge enemies and lead across pits it's just frustrating. Enemies endlessly respawn in your path as you attempt to jump across a pit, power-ups are located in an almost suicidal spot at times, and the crappy camera often causes the player to have poor interactions with both surrounding objects and the environment. With all the dying you'll be doing in the game, it literally blows that you have to restart from a specific point every time you die and don't just respawn then and there. You'll have to go through the same puzzle multiple times and it just makes the game even less fun.

With all these problems, it can't get any worse can it? Well, it does. Poor Arthur can only pickup one weapon at a time meaning that you'll actually have to be aware of WHAT you pick up if you want to keep a specific weapon. In fact, at times you'll be hoping not to get any new weapons if you have something you like.

Although the gameplay is the main attraction of the game (despite it royally sucking), the game does have some very nice visuals at times. The bosses in the games are rendered gorgeously as well as some of the weapon effects. Although they're not breath-taking, they're detailed and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. However, much of the levels in the game aren't as aspired and seem rather boring and dry. In each of the game's sections, every level looks exactly the same as the predecessor and considering how many times you'll be dieing in the game, a little originality would've gone a long way. Not to mention that Arthur's character sprite seems very blocky and undetailed for the most part.

Considering that this ?remake' was part of Capcom's classical upgrades for the PSP, the game could've truly been a masterpiece as Maverick Hunter X and Mega Man Power Up were. Instead, we're left with a haphazard game that's marred by poor controls, extremely difficult levels, and poor execution.

Bottom Line
While it's hard for me to generally recommend this game to anyone, I know that old-school fans of the game and masochistic gamers who enjoy relying on dumb luck along with insane difficulty will enjoy the game. As for the casual gamer, I can't recommend the game at all.

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