there was only one reason I passed on the fifth star: my personal rule
of not awarding a game-developer the highest marks when all theyre
doing is a touch-up of an already classic title. It seems that Capcom is
stuck in the same rut as Nintendo when it comes to digging up old code
and doing a recompile on it. Other than the vague disappointment that
they didn't actually develop a true sequel, I was in ecstasy when I
heard Capcom would be dropping Super Ghouls & Ghosts onto a cart for the
GBAone of the most memorable sidescrollers since, well, Ghosts &
though it felt odd playing the game after having played through Maximo a
few months earlier, I was reminded of the features I really missed as
well as the items that really pissed me off. It doesnt come as breaking
news that this game is 2D and hard as hell, but the difficulty level is
something you might have forgotten (though, I dont know how). After the
first level, I was rudely reminded of the legendary difficulty of this
game. Yes, legendary. This will probably be one of the toughest games
youll play through; however one option that I dont remember being in
the original, not saying it wasnt there, is the ability to save your
game at any point in your quest. You cant imagine how cool that is.
Super Ghouls & Ghosts is a game of patience and timing, the former
because if you rush, youll die, and the latter because its a straight,
block-like jumps, no bouncing off of walls, grabbing edges, etc.
youre not already familiar with the game, then you should be told it
has your standard hack plotline. You assume the role of Arthur on a
quest to save the princess. Its boilerplate, but kind of chic from a
retro point of view. One of the cooler elements, one that made the
series memorable, is the amalgamation of various European mythologies
and their manifestation as enemies you face along the way. I mean, who
can forget (note, this will be a bit of a spoiler to newschools) the
battle with Loki.
from maybe some minor tweaks, there isnt much graphically thatll
distinguish this incarnation from the originalboth the arcade and SNES
releases. With the Gameboy Advances lighting problems, portions of the
game can be difficult to play. It would have been nice to see Capcom
take this issue into account and customize the game to adjust for this
hardware problem; brightening the colors would have been a nice touch.
Luckily, I was able to play through the game on a modified GBA.
core of Super Ghouls & Ghosts is the difficulty that at once hinders
you, yet rewards with a feeling of joy as you crawl your way through
each level. The control of Arthur is by no means fluid, but thats not
to expected from a game like this; rather, you have the movement, much
like your characters in the Castlevania series. Jumping seems at times
blockyat least to me. Once you jump, youre on your way ,so to speak,
so plan ahead, know your cliffs, know your enemies, know the fireballs
that you might need to duck when you land.
handled via the loss or gain of suits of armor. You can collect up to
three suits, the third being golden. I cant tell you how many times
youll be running around in your skivvies dodging everything under the
moon. It was rare for me to acquire the Golden Armor. Granted, its nice
when you do so, because the power-ups add to your weapons, which makes a
nice segue. Arthur has a variety of weapons at his disposal, though you
have to discard your current weapon to switch to another one, but
usually the type of weapon you find seems tailored to the section of the
game youre working through. Youll quickly learn which one is your
favorite and hold onto it throughout the course of the level. My
personal favorite: the scythe and daggers, especially the daggers when
you have the Golden Armor.
For todays standards, the gameplay isnt too fluid; in fact it can
become aggravating, especially if youre used to the more modern games.
Still, it remains one of the more rewarding re-releases of recent times.
level is linear and provides a midway restart point, which also
incidentally indicates how close you are to the boss character for that
stage. Yep, this is one of those games, meaning metered levels that are
completely straight forward, including their milestones and end
challenges. The downer here is that this isnt anything new in the
gaming world and the only reprisal Ghouls & Ghosts has is that it was an
older game, so I cant harsh on it too much, right?
What can be said about the music? Its not a symphony, just straight
forward 16-bit tunes, not good but not awful. Still, youll probably
want to play this game with the volume turned down.
of the older gamers, this might be a nice, nostalgic addition to the GBA
library, but I get a sense that you can only spend so many hours with
the game. When I first got it, I was stokedplayed it everywhere: in the
apartment, in the bed before I went to sleep. It was cool, then
something happened; it started to get old on me, quicker than most games
do. Maybe its because Id already gone through the motions and the pain
of beating it earlier in my life. In its day, the game was totally
intense, but nowadays it just seems like another sidescroller lacking
any type of innovation. If you can, rent this game first or borrow it
from a friend; however, if youre after the nostalgia or to
re-experience the early days of console gaming, then by all means pick
the cart up and enjoy. I sure did.