Review by Neon_Knight2
"Rescuing another princess in a different setting."
Ghosts n Goblins is an action game on arcades from 1985. A year after, it landed on the Nintendo Entertainment System. This action-platformer was developed by Capcom after their big hits like 1942 and Commando. While their other games are all scrolling shooters, this one is different.
All starts when a beautiful princess of an unknown kingdom gets kidnapped. It's all up to you, the Knight in shining armor, to save her from the hands of the devils. To reach the devil, the knight has to go through 7 guarded gates.
Imagine yourself in the Middle Ages armed with javelins and battling zombies, ghosts and devils. I'm certain that a lot of people would say it wouldn't be easy, and they're right. Only a true knight would be able to defeat the plethora of enemy attacking you. Instead of have a scrolling shooter, this is a platformer. While going to your objective you still need to defeat the enemies, but it's done in a different fashion. You'll be constantly climbing ladders, jumping from platform to platform and, obviously, dodging the enemies. The knight also has more than just javelins to use against the hordes, but he needs to find them before he can use them. Throughout the levels there will be some jars scattered around. When those are destroyed they will either give you bonus point or another weapon to use. In the other weapons there are torches, sword, axes and crosses. It seems like a good variety but the most versatile weapon is the sword. They should have put a bit more thoughts on the different weapons.
As the title imply, you'll fight some ghosts and goblins and over ten more different foes. From the zombies, skeletons and tower monsters, you'll feel like you've seen most creatures that are in movies or in costumes for Halloween. There's a small variety in the bosses. They changes at set intervals and they get harder each time.
While the armor provides protection from hits, it might be the reason why the knight has trouble moving around. Then again, after he gets hit he still moves horribly. Firstly, when you jump you won't be able to control him. If you make him jump forward you can't control him to go back to his starting point. It is very annoying when you think the coast is clear but when you're about to land a monster pops up in your face. Another annoyance from the control is the crouching. When you're holding down to crouch and want to move forward, you need to stop pressing any direction before you can move. When you're crouching and you press forward or back ward, the knight will only turn to that direction and stay crouched. Even though jumping and crouching are vital to this game, it doesn't necessarily break the game. It makes the game frustrating at the start but you get used to it after a while.
The graphics are one of the most moodiest you'll ever see. All the monsters all look dangerous and wonderfully colored, but some don't look so good. The forest ghosts are the most horrible, they look nothing like ghosts and they're almost never from the forest.
Every stage is in different environment. Everything looks wonderful, from the forests, undergrounds and the ice tower. Most of the graphics are brilliantly done with a maximum of color used. Capcom is really starting to push the graphical ability of the NES. With all those colors used, there are a few places where it backlashes to the user. The colors of the various houses can get hard on the eyes if you get stuck there. Another thing that is a bit of a bother, the background of the first level is completely black. It's only something from the first level but it's distracting when you start the game again.
One thing that surprised me was the quality of the music, it's not the best but you can easily remember the songs and hum them while you play. It's disappointing that there aren't more songs for the levels.
Another thing that is poor is the different sound effects, they sound like random high pitched sounds.
As I said before, only a true knight would be able to win this game. You will face frustrating moments throughout the game. You'll have to memorize enemy position if you want to successfully advance. The Red Devil will give a lot of trouble to anyone. They are the most irritating enemy in the game, they are only few at the start but there will be a bunch of them in the later levels. The first level is easy but the difficulty goes up quickly in the next few levels. With all that you can expect that the last level is just ridiculous. Oddly enough, the last boss, the Devil, lacks any challenge at all.
What is going to make you come back for more Ghosts n Goblins slaying? There's nothing much that will keep you playing this over and over. By that I don't mean it's a bad game, on the contrary, it's a fine game that everyone should play. After you played it there's nothing more the game has to offer, plus the occasionally frustrating controls can make you stop playing.
In the end everyone should play this game. The setting and the presentation of each level are both great, and the gameplay is a good blend of both platforming and shooting. The fans of the arcade version won't be disappointed in this port. Despite the fact the sound effects aren't up to par and the difficulty is a bit high, it is a good game that everyone should try.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/13/07
Game Release: Ghosts 'n Goblins (US, 11/30/86)
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