When in 1985 Ghosts
'n Goblins entered the world of the arcades, the jump 'n run would
never be the same again. Capcom had created a new standard for years
to come with their knight in shining armour, slashing through creatures
from the underworld.
It's a simple love
story. Our hero Arthur has to rescue his woman Guinevere from that
major bad-ass ruling the undead. Therefore he must go through six
action packed levels to prove his woman he's the man who makes things
And for Arthur
making things happen is where Ghosts 'n Goblins proves to be a tough
nut to crack. Baddies come in all forms creepy and freaky. Some
are easy to eliminate, others are tougher then Mickey Tyson on speed
(that #@$%# gargoyle!). And though a baddie may seem a simple
adversary on his own, in group most are hard to beat. Add multiple
routes, bonusses, secrets and a clock ticking, and we have what
we call a situation. And behold, great level design makes
that Capcom's classic oozes with situations...
As luck will have
it, Arthur is pretty versatile. He can jump, duck, climb ladders,
heck, even shoot backwards while jumping! Rocketscience in
the mid 80s, but slightly dated for the 90s day and age.
What keeps me coming
back to Ghosts 'n Goblins is not only the cool baddies or the great
playability. The levels are varied and always make you want to see
what's next. In his quest for giving Guinevere her freedom
back Arthur will have to battle his way through a cemetary, a haunted
forest, an icepalace, a forbidden city and much, much more.
All graphics are designed in its typical cartoonish - dark medieval
style, making optimal use of the hardware. This doesn't take away
the feeling that the graphics look dated. For the trained eye the
old style tiled-scroller is pretty visible, and most animations
don't look as smooth as they should be (and I am being mild
and with a clear medieval feel, the music guides Arthur through
his adventure, setting the atmosphere and helping the adrenaline
flow. The sound effects are also well designed. Though the sound
track is good, it is sorry enough generated by Programmable Sound
Generators, which were customary during the 80s but are limited
in audio capacity : the audio is jinxed with some severe limitations
and it certainly would not pass a comparison with a modern system.
Capcom hit gold
with Ghosts 'n Goblins, and two years later, Arthur was sent only
once more on the warpath in 1989 with Ghouls 'n Ghosts. Sorry
enough, and to the regret of many fans, Capcom never continued the
series after that. Worth mentioning is the incredibly good conversion
Nintendo made for their SNES, called Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts.
All three games
(Ghosts 'n Goblins, Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts)
were recently published again for the Sony Playstation and the Sega
Saturn under the name Capcom Generations 2
Read a complete
review at videogames.com
If you want to play these gems on the PC or Mac, you will have to
check out your favorite emulation site, or if you feel adventureous,
find an arcade who still features the game in some lost corner and
toss in a few coins! I know I would!!