Ghosts 'n Goblins
Review by Snow Dragon
"Knight in shining .... underwear????"
So here he is, the stereotypical knight with the stereotypical knight name - Arthur - and he's on a date with his honey, though why they've chosen to make out in the graveyard where the spooks and spirits of the night can get them will be a mystery to gamers for years to come. He, Arthur, the brave knight, is about to have a little too much fun with his girlfriend when this demon descends from the stars and sweeps her away. Immediately he rushes to put his armor back on and goes out into the cruel, cruel world to save the girl and win the day.
First of all, it is proven unanimous by all gamers everywhere from the days of yore (that is, old school) that this is THE hardest action platform romp one will ever embark on. You can take two hits per life. The first will reduce you to an emaciated goober running around in red undershorts, and on the second contact with the enemy you will crumble to the dirt in a pile of bones. With the unstoppable horde of enemies all around and the time that most tend to fritter away like billy-o, you're going to be seeing Arthur in his skivvies a lot. Possibly also seeing Arthur as a skeleton a lot. In fact, the frustrating difficult makes this title no fun for anyone, even the seasoned veteran who claims to have beaten games like Iron Tank blindfolded with his or her hands tied behind his or her back. No amount of experience will prepare you for the molar-grinding difficulty that Ghosts 'n Goblins puts in front of you. Most will drop this one after ten or twenty minutes of play. I myself cannot keep myself enthralled for long, usually only getting to the second level before giving up (and accomplishing that feat alone automatically puts you in the running for Video Game God of All Time). The sound is bare and the music is unnoticeable when all you're trying to do is hold on for dear life as you're being chased by bats and zombies and ogres with axes and more bats. It's nothing commendable, and trying to rescue the princess chick to the beat of your own stereo probably won't aid you a whole lot either. Gameplay, control, graphics, and sound are all terrible, terrible facets of this game. I have seen this game in the form of an arcade machine, and I bet it could fill its stomach on quarters or tokens in no time flat off of the person with enough naivete to blow several bucks on this title.
The only reason I could conceivably see for someone to love this game is straight up, unadulterated nostalgia. It is a piece of gaming lore from the time when a story, be it ever so unoriginal, did not matter once you compared it with rock-solid play and challenge that would make your ears produce steam and your sweat glands jump into serious overtime. I am reminded of the line from the Dire Straits classic Money for Nothing, wherein Mark Knopfler, in a gruff, bassy voice, sings:
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb
Although obviously he was talking about playing a guitar, the same lyric could be applied to the feverish speed with which one slams their phalanges on the D-pad when experiencing this game.
Playing this on a cart means risking your sanity and the condition of your Nintendo, as it will be filled with dents if you let your temper get the better of you. If you can exercise physical restraint to that degree, look at this if you must, or download the ROM, because you know that your fuse is not so short that you would actually break your computer over this game. I don't know exactly why it's a classic, but then again, I've never understood why people went crazy for boy bands either.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 01/31/02, Updated 01/31/02
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