Available on: Amiga, ARC, Atari ST, C64, GEN, PC, SMS, Wii Virtual Console, ZX
Developer(s): Capcom, U.S. Gold, Software Creations
Publisher(s): Capcom, U.S. Gold, Sega
People were hardly over the shock of the first game, when already Capcom was working on a sequel to the infamous Ghosts 'n Goblins. In 1988, it hit the arcades and frustrated the hell out of everyone that had already been driven to a nervous breakdown by its predecessor. Still, they couldn't get enough of it and Ghouls 'n Ghosts became a hit. The home port of the game landed on every home computer available at the time, but Nintendo missed out on the fun when it came to video game consoles, as Sega's new 16-bit Genesis console allowed Capcom to make a game that was visually downgraded from the original arcade title as little as possible. The result was a critically acclaimed 16-bit game, that just didn't sell that well due to Nintendo's huge popularity over Sega's in some parts of the world... and perhaps due to the fact that one hardly pays for a mental suicide. The game is very good, but it ain't easy.
"THAT WAS NOT FAIR!"
Sir Arthur is a man that does not rest when the soul of his significant other is in question. The Prince of Darkness has risen and reaped the souls of half the land, including that of Princess Prin-Prin. Donning his favourite armour, Arthur sets out on another quest through the monster-infested lands to slay the greatest of demons.
That's it, I've burnt out. Too early to say that before even getting to the likely main feature that is the SNES game? Maybe. That's why I'm trying my best to keep a level head. When I first started this game, it didn't feel nearly as difficult as Ghosts 'n Goblins on the NES. The controls - keep in mind what I've said about my personal opinion on the Genesis' controller before - are great, very smooth and of course, very simple. A and C are both used for jumping, while B is used for attacking. You can also attack upwards and downwards, which is the most advanced part of the basic gameplay - very simple, which is just what we all liked about Ghosts 'n Goblins, the simplicity when it came to gameplay. When it came to general difficulty, the game was everything but simple, but at least that difficulty wasn't brought on by technical issues - it was just made to be hellish. The first stage of Ghouls 'n Ghosts was quite a breeze. I had some trouble with the boss, but the pattern of his attacks was easy to work out. In the second level, I had some more trouble with several issues. In the third level, all hell broke loose. Yep, this is definitely an apple from the same tree as the '85 classic.
|Spikes, assholes and auto-scroll from |
below. Welcome to hell.
From the beginning, it very much seems like Capcom is straight on fucking with us. Most games have difficulty levels to choose from. Ghosts 'n Goblins didn't, although the first round could be interpreted as being "normal", though it was far from it. Ghouls 'n Ghosts does let you choose the difficulty level, between Professional and... Medium? Normal? No, PRACTICE. I probably don't have to tell you that the "Practice" mode is way more difficult than any average game in itself. Not only is playing on something called "Practice" and getting the assrape of a lifetime insulting, but what's even more insulting is that there's a reminder of your chosen difficulty level in the bottom corner of the screen, all the fucking time. Yeah, you got enemies on that side, you got enemies on this side, you got enemies all over the God damn screen! There's no escape! ...But remember, it's just "practice"! Capcom did pretty much the same thing years later with Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, in which the "Normal" game mode was dubbed "Easy" mode for some reason... almost as insulting as "Practice" in my opinion. But not quite.
|Oh, and one should not forget the tongues.|
|"I'm ready, so where's the boss?" "Dude... you're |
standing on him."
Considering my usual discomfort with the Sega Genesis it's not saying much, but Ghouls 'n Ghosts is one of my favourite games on the platform. Perhaps it doesn't sound that rational after everything I've laid down here, but something about its ridiculous difficulty makes it so addictive; once again, there's nothing wrong with the gameplay. OK, the third stage is nothing but frustratingly difficult, but everything else offers up true challenge that only the most dedicated players can ever hope to conquer. The first game was good, but Ghouls 'n Ghosts goes way beyond looking better.
Graphics : 9.0
Sound : 8.5
Playability : 8.0
Challenge : 9.8
Overall : 8.2
a.k.a. Dai Makaimura (JAP)
Although the game was never meant to be released on an 8-bit console, Sega released a Master System port of Ghouls 'n Ghosts in 1990.