Review by ZFS

"When Capcom puts together games like this you know they're the best out there."

Ghosts 'n Goblins

Here we are with Ghosts 'n Goblins from Capcom; but what is this game? Well, it's quite simple really. You play as a heroic knight named Arthur who has to rescue the princess from the evil that has haunted the land! It sounds cliche for this day and age, but during a time when games were booming this storyline was where it was at. This is also the time when companies would just create anything they could think up and sounded good on paper; some of them were hits while others were complete duds. It's very safe for me to say that Capcom created a major hit with this one. . . .

The gameplay is pretty simple for the most part: You have armor and a single weapon to defeat enemies with. The premise is easy right? Well, it's a little more complex from here, but not too much. For the most part, this game will play like a platformer/action title that the Nintendo Entertainment System is littered with. You have the basic jump button, attack button, and the D-Pad to move around. These are your commands, your functions. It's all really a basic game, even the weapon selection is limited to such things as knifes, swords, javelins, and fire wood -- each has it's on special attribute, such as speed and power but remains pretty basic. Your armor works in the same way. Unlike most games of this era, you aren't going to die in one hit, instead you have different levels of armor that would act as “health.” You start off with a normal set of armor and if you get hit by an enemy you'll lose that armor and be in nothing, but your poor loincloth. Similary, there are upgrades from the regular armor that you can find later. Now, how does the enemies health work? Well, they will all die in one single hit from whatever weapon you have. Make no mistake, however, even from this description do not get the idea that this game is easy because it is anything but that. Enemies may die in one hit and you may have different sets of armor to keep you safe from their cold claws against your flesh, but you will die. Many times. Per level. That's right, this game will test your patience like no other before. If you're expecting a game you can just breeze through you'll be in for a major wake up call, courtesy of Capcom.

How does this game hold up graphically? It's actually pretty low-quality, even for the NES, but you just have to love the style of the game. It's not so bad that it makes you want to spoon your eyes out, but instead, it looks bad while looking good. I particularly enjoyed the character sprite for Arthur. He seems like a nice innocent little guy who is just out to save the princess from harm. In a game that isn't meant to bring you in, the graphical portion does a fine job of connecting you with the game better. The environment and enemies are pretty much the same way. You won't find anything big here, but the varied colors from jungle theme to a more village like area make it seem easy on the eyes -- although, the game is anything but vibrant. It seems like one big night quest. When all is said and done, the graphics in Ghosts 'n Goblins isn't terribly impressive but the art style is what will capture you and make it easier to appreciate the game.

Now, for the fabled audio department . . . what's that? There is virtually no audio department you say? That's, sadly, the case with this game. I don't know what was going on in the headquarters of Capcom, but the music and sound is just incredibly dull. You won't come away from it with the feeling of "Wow, that was just awesome," instead you'll feel as if you hadn't even heard anything more than beeps and boops. I'll stray away from ranting on about the lack of audio, but while it is there, it's just not memorable enough to really sit with you. Considering the company that made this game it is somewhat of a shock to see a lack of effort in sound.

All in all, it's obvious that Capcom put together a well crafted game. Ghosts 'n Goblins has some faults, but for the most part they delivered an A+ title on the NES. It's got the gameplay anyone can enjoy and the difficulty that will grab in those hardcore gamers, but might turn away people who are wanting a slightly easier adventure. It's a pretty short game with around ten total levels, but remains so much fun that you'll be able to comeback wanting more even after you've ran through it once.

Final Score: 9.0

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/21/04

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