Ghosts N' Goblins: Review

by - November 26, 2009

Even though this game is almost 25- years-old (gah!! That makes me feel really old) it is still ranked as  one of my all time favorite video games ever.

Released in 1985 by Capcom for video arcades, this platform game has been ranked as the most difficult to be released in video game history.  You are only given two chances to be hit by whatever zombie, or flying bone bird thing, or ape-like ogre that comes your way, and you lose a life.  Once that life is lost, you are returned to the beginning of the level (soooo frustrating) or the middle of the level if you were lucky enough to make it that far (Wikipedia).

The game only has 6 levels, but I promise you each level brings you any amount of joy, difficulty and controller-biting anger that say, Punch Out conjurs up, even in the most temperate of individuals.  You, the player, control a knight named Arthur, who must fight their way to a purple-headed demon guy to save Princess Prin Prin, who has been kidnapped by a minion demon in the graveyard where they are hanging out.  Along the way, many a zombie and malevolent spirit are thrown your way, seemingly rising from the ground or descending from the dark sky at random, and quickly.  Arthur must dodge, shoot, jump, and duck, to make sure he stays out of harms way.  This sounds easy enough right? Except that being a platform game, one can logically deduct that a lot of your jumping and landing are from, and on to, platforms.  Sometimes these are the size of a regular walkway, sometimes smaller than your character.  If not timed just right, you lose sucker! 

Weapons are few in this game.  You begin with the lance, which is pretty standard, except fairly slow when you are trying to kill things.  Since this game relies heavily on speed, one would have better luck with the dagger.  Smaller, more light-weight I assume, Arthur is able to throw these quickly and efficiently.  Although, my question is, once you lose your armour and are only in your boxer shorts Arthur, where do you hide all of those daggers?  You are able to throw fireballs as well, but these SUCK.  Slow and not even remotely accurate, these flare up in a pathetic resemblance to real fire.  Try to avoid these.  I have also heard that there are axes and crosses that are used as weapons but I never made it that far in the game to use them.  That's right people.  I have never beat the game.  But I did find the secret of the frog!! Have you?

When I think about how awesome this game truly is, I get excited.  It is almost like a puzzle that needs to be solved.  A very, very hard puzzle.  But it's the challenge that makes this game so good.  Once you have learned the right sequence for a section, it will never fail to bring you one step closer to the end.  And the end is oh so spectacular! With the grainy graphics and a kiss from the Princess, you are left with these final words of wisdom:

This story is happy end.
Thank you.

Oh right.  The clincher: once you waste the last boss in the game, you are placed back at the beginning again.  Meaning, in order to FOR REAL be able to say that you beat the game, you have to play it twice. 

Have fun with that.

Watch a speedrun of the game below and have an amusing time playing this awesome game!

This story is happy end.  Thank you.

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