Review by OldSchoolFan99
"If you play this game, I hope you know how to repair broken electronics."
Ghosts 'n Goblins was originally an arcade game created by Capcom, and released in 1985. This port was released in 1986. The arcade game was deemed a classic, even though it was a half decent at best platformer that made many gamers want to tear their hair out. Some people actually like this game. Why? I have no clue. I broke two controllers because of the incredibly high difficulty and bad programming in Ghosts 'n Goblins.
A knight named Arthur and Princess Guinevere (alternatively named Princess Prin Prin) are having a picnic in a graveyard. One of the Devil's minions captures the princess (the reason why is never explained), and you play as Arthur on his quest to rescue her.
For an early arcade to NES port, this game looks pretty decent. The colors in the game mainly consist of black, gray, and white. The animation is decent, though the backgrounds look plain. When there are too many sprites on the screen, they start to blink. This happens a lot, so you better be able to guess where your character is. The music is annoying and repetitive, and the sound effects aren't anything special.
The gameplay is where this game falls flat on its face. The control is delayed quite a bit, and the hit detection barely works. When you're trying to hit an enemy, if your weapon goes anywhere other than the center of the creature, it passes through. However, if anything comes near you it counts as a hit. You can only get hit two times before you die. The first time you get hit, your armor will fall off and you'll have to walk around in your boxers. If you get hit again, you will turn into a pile of bones. Trying to avoid getting hit twice shouldn't be that difficult, but it is. The levels are very large and are filled to the brim with enemies. There are various enemies to kill in the game, and some of them are very annoying. The flying devil creatures (Firebrand in the North American release; Red Arremer in the Japanese release) fly up into the air and then fly back down very fast and often kill Arthur more than any other enemy in the game. They can also shoot projectiles. That's fair now isn't it? No, no it's not. Due to some of the worst programming ever, the screen can scroll for no reason and you'll take damage from NOTHING! It also doesn't help that you will often find yourself falling right through platforms that you should have been able to land on. Here is the one thing that will make you throw your NES into the nearest garbage can. If you manage to reach the end of the game, which is pretty much impossible, you have to face off against the Devil. There's a catch though; if you don't pick up the shield weapon (replaced by a cross in some versions), you're not going anywhere. In fact, you're going back to stage 6. Isn't that nice? When you find the shield and get to stage 7, it's time to fight Satan and save your girl. If you're like me, you were thinking, "Yes, I beat the game!" after defeating the final boss However, the game states that the room was an illusion and "a trap divisut by Satan." The ending also states to "Make rapid progres!" Considering that the text in this game was originally written in Japanese and translated into English when it was brought over to North America, there are more than likely going to be typos and translation errors. The game sends you back to level one to beat the game A SECOND TIME! This time, however, the enemies are twice as fast. I've never beaten the often called hard mode/second quest, though I've seen footage of what the ending looks like. Much like the "fasle ending," this contains typos and very poor grammar. It states "Congraturation This story is happy end. Thank you. Being the wise and courageour knight that you are you feel strongth welling. In your body. Return to starting point. Challenge again!" Could this be any worse? Congraturation should be congratulations, courageour should be courageous, and strongth should be strength. There are only a few good things about the gameplay, such as being able to find and use many different weapons and having infinite continues, but that doesn't make up for the awful programming and unbearable difficulty. Suits of armor fall from the sky to restore the armor you may have lost by that point, but they are so rare that they shouldn't even exist.
Ghosts 'n Goblins is absolute garbage and has the distinction of being my least favorite video game of all time. If you want to keep your sanity, your NES and controllers, and your TV, avoid this game at all costs. For those who decide not to listen and play this game, I hope you know how to repair broken electronics.
Final Score: 3/10
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 03/21/11, Updated 01/07/14
Game Release: Ghosts 'n Goblins (US, 11/30/86)
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