Ghosts ‘n Goblins

So old-school it hurts. Seriously, this game is painful. Torturous, really.

“There are infinite continues, but are they enough to overcome the hundreds of attempts it may take to make significant progress? How soon will the player realize how much time of their life is being wasted? Why do half the enemies arrive on-screen with an ear-slicing scream?”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

We can put this in the “Too Frustratingly Difficult To Be Anywhere Near As Fun As A Game That Is Actually Great” file, alongside stuff like Silver Surfer. But at least in this one, you can get hit twice before you die.

Look, I know this is a much-beloved game, and some even count it among their favorites (yo, Cat DeSpira!), but I just can’t get into it. I’m lucky if I can reach the second level. You can make fun of me for not being among the most elite NES players of all time, but I think the fruit of my labor is better spent on pursuits other than mastering a game I do not consider very fun.

It is constructed well, though, and has some bright spots of iconic sentimentality. However, Ghosts ‘n Goblins also serves as a perfect case study in the errors of early arcade ports.

Also, really, why do the levels have a time limit?

Hurray for infinite continues. And AVGN videos.

On Twitter, @TepidSnake mentioned that the NES port of Ghosts ‘n Goblins was done by Micronics, a developer that is not exactly known for their animation skills or sound effects mastery. Not only does this explain some of the graphical oddity in Ghosts ‘n Goblins, but also all those screeching noises. Their work can also be seen in titles like Athena and Elevator Action.

Read The Full Review For: More in-depth analysis of the components of the gameplay, along with critical commentary thereof. Not to sound definitive as to what the point of a formal review is…

NES Gameplay Tips for Ghosts ‘n Goblins: LOL.






2 Responses to “ Ghosts ‘n Goblins ”

  1. Great review, and I totally agree. I never thought the arcade original was all that fun to begin with, though it was slightly less an exercise in frustration (maybe) than the NES port. Despite that, a friend owned a copy and we spent hours just trying to get into that 2nd level as well. Even with the Game Genie I’ve never completed the game, which makes me think I need to revisit it again just to see if that would make the challenge level drop down just enough that I could finish it. Still, not Capcom’s finest hour in terms of design, as better things were to come (i.e. the sequels). Even they are nearly as much an exercise in frustration as this semi-turd.

  2. I want to love this game because of the main character and foes, and brooding atmosphere of the game. Then I got stuck on the level with the ogres in the mansion (screenshot #4), and found out you actually need to beat this game twice to get the real ending. I have the game on Virtual Console so every now and then I’ll give it a go to see if I get lucky. I’m quickly playing another game in 5-10 minutes.

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