Ghouls 'N Ghosts (Genesis) review
"I had this game when I was young but I never really played it because it was too hard and I couldn't even get past the first level. My father did go further tough and I enjoyed looking at him playing the game. Now that I'm way older, I felt like replaying the game and found out the game was in fact pretty darn good ! Now I can't stop playing, not until I beat the game ! (Yes, I actually went further than level 1... on practice mode) "
I had this game when I was young but I never really played it because it was too hard and I couldn't even get past the first level. My father did go further tough and I enjoyed looking at him playing the game. Now that I'm way older, I felt like replaying the game and found out the game was in fact pretty darn good ! Now I can't stop playing, not until I beat the game ! (Yes, I actually went further than level 1... on practice mode)
Knight Arthur sees his land being stolen by the Prince of Darkness who also kidnaped Arthur's loved-one. So he leaves on a journey to avenge his village and get back the princess. The land is now filled with goblins and other nasty creatures. The story is explained to you in the instruction manual but never in the game itself, not even when you start your game, why ? That's sad. No introduction to the game's story. You just start off like that, in Level 1-1 and you don't even know why you're there and where you are. There's a ending strangely.
The graphics are decent. They could have been better I guess but they aren't bad either. The background is quite empty, a completely black sky. Where are the clouds ? The stars ? Oh wait, I see a tree in the background there ! Wow... The rest is okay, from the character to the enemies to the items and to the nice looking bosses. The dark aspect of the game is well felt through the graphics.
I really liked the music in this game. It sounds like organ music (you know, a little like a kind of 'Dracula music') and it's well orchaestrated. Nothing you'll start humming but still very good. The sounds are well-done too, when the spear hits a metal wall or something, it really makes a realistic sound.
The character you play as is a knight wearing a nice white boxer under his armor. You travel through a gloomy land, fighting ghouls and ghosts with a large arsenal of different weapons. The game is pretty hard and for many reasons. This game is like a platformer with Hack 'N Slash. The enemies never really die. You kill one, but another one will come out of a bush or from the ground, constently. So you cannot stand still because the enemies keep attacking, without any end. You can get them out of your way, but not for long. Remember, they are ghosts. If you kill an enemy that is transporting a jar, you can get an item or sometimes treasure chests pop out of the ground. But sometimes, what's inside a chest isn't always good... You could be transformed into a duck or an old man by a sorcerer... You can collect many different items in the game but can only keep one at a time. You can get special armors, magic and many weapons like spears, swords, axes, knives and others. Each different weapon has its own magic power and each weapon has its own strenghts and weaknesses. If you have the spear and then see the axe in a chest, you have to choose carefully if you keep the spear or take the axe. Something that frustrated me a lot is that if you come across a boss with a weak weapon (let's say you have to hit a flying enemy with a sword...), you're stuck with that weapon, you can't change it at all and sometimes it's impossible to beat certain bosses with certain weapons. You sadly have to restart the game... even if you were near the end and even if it took you 2 days of playing to get there... (This is a true story, it happened to me.)
What makes the game so difficult is the fact that you only have 2 chances to get hit in a level. First, you're in your armor. Second, you get hit and loose your armor so you're naked (well... with the underwears). Third, you get hit and die. So you can only get hit once before dying. You can get your armor back in a chest but what you find inside is random so... Hopefully, you always start back at the start of level you were. Like for example, if you're in Level 2-2 and die, you start back at Level 2-2, not at Level 2-1 like other games. You also always start back at a boss if you die during the boss fight, no need to re do the level. And you never run out of continues. But the levels are HARD. Insanely hard. You'll start back a level many times before completing it, not until you master it. There's also a map, so you can always see where you are on this land and see if you're approaching the end. It's weird because hard games are usually very redundant after a while but this one is just so entertaining ! You won't be able to stop playing until you showed to these ghouls that you're more than a knight in boxer.
A very challenging game and somehow really entertaining. A must-have, definitively.
Community review by wishingtikal (August 11, 2003)
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