Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts Review

SGG Title

Presentation and Story

One of the best things about Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts comes right from the start. It’d be a challenge to find music that rivals the intro music for this game. Not only does it set the tone for the adventure you’re about to take, but it helps provide the intensity for what could be the most difficult task you’ve ever tried to complete. You play the role of Knight Arthur, and your goal is simple – save the princess. On your journey, you will encounter a variety of enemies including zombies, ghosts and bat-like creatures. Each of the levels has its own music. You could say that the music sometimes seems repetitive, but that’s because you’ll spend a lot of time trying to complete each section of the game. Luckily enough, the music is more of a motivator than a nuisance. One thing that does end up being bothersome is the occasional lag. When there are too many enemies or items on the screen, the game will slow down making gameplay slightly more difficult.

Gameplay

SGG presentation

Knight Arthur starts with silver armor and a lance for a weapon.  By pressing the attack button, you can throw your current weapon the number of times that specific weapon allows. For example, there can be two lances on the screen at once while the dagger allows for three. You can also strengthen your weapons by finding new armor. By upgrading your armor to the next levels, Arthur will unlock new attacks for his weapons. Take the lance for example. By finding green armor, the lance becomes faster and more powerful. By finding gold armor, Arthur gains a charge attack that shoots lightning. Finding new weapons and the most advanced armor becomes an essential part of the game.

The key word is “finding.” It is the intricate parts of the game that make it special, and one of those parts is figuring out how to make new weapons and armor appear. There are many treasure chests scattered through every stage. To make them appear, there are prerequisites that need to be fulfilled. Figuring out these preset conditions can sometimes be challenging. Finding a new treasure chest can sometimes require you to use your double jump ability to jump off a cliff and back just to make it appear. Not every chest will help you though. Sometimes a chest will have a wizard inside that will attack you depending on what color armor you’re wearing. Also, there is such a variety of weapons that some weapons will be a downgrade from the default weapon. It’s your job to find out which weapon is the best for specific situations. Once you find enough hidden chests, you’ll have a good chance at having gold armor and a decent weapon. That is if you can keep from being hit by an enemy.

The difficulty in avoiding death is the other part that makes this game a classic. The main culprit in causing your death will be the jumping mechanic. If you cannot master the double jump feature of this game, you will be a very unhappy gamer. The part that’s so insanely difficult about jumping for Arthur is that once you decide on a direction to jump, it cannot be altered or manipulated. Moments when you jump and see that you’ve made a mistake in your judgment are imminent. Moments when you have found gold armor will be ruined when you jump to avoid an enemy and land on another leaving you with only your boxers. Once you understand the chaotic gameplay you’re getting yourself into, you’ll have a challenge your sadistic gamer side will appreciate.

With several difficult areas to complete and giant bosses to encounter, Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts is a game that will test your limits. It can safely be said that you’ll enjoy the challenge of the leading batch of areas the first time around. A big flaw of this game is that it forces you to do every level twice before you can fight the final boss. Capcom tries to justify this by saying you need a specific item to finish the main villain. That item can only be retrieved during the second playthrough. Playing the exact game twice before you can fight the final boss is slightly annoying.  It’s even more irritating when you have to use a specific item to defeat the boss of the last two stages. To add to the frustration, the final battle is relatively way easier than the rest of the game. Despite this flaw, finishing the entire game does leave you with a satisfying feeling.

A big difference with the Virtual Console

SGG Gameplay

If you’re a gamer who wants a challenge but needs some help, the virtual console can help you out. The original Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts required you to finish the game in one sitting. Once you turned the Super Nintendo off, you had to start all over. With the virtual console, you’ll have the ability to save your game where you left off. This is helpful for players who may not have enough time to finish the game in one sitting or need breaks in between parts of the game. Don’t worry hardcore gamers, you can still try to finish the game in one go. The ability to use save points won’t affect you if you ignore it.

Pros: Cons:
Difficulty leaves a satisfying feeling when you finish the game, as long as you knew what you were getting yourself into Requires playing through every stage twice before allowing you to fight the final boss
Has a variety of weapons Final boss isn’t difficult enough to feel like the final battle
Has a lot of secrets to discover Too many things happening on the screen causes lag
Ability to use save points (Wii VC version)
Music is top-notch

The Acosta Statement

When a game forces you to play it twice before being able to say you finished it, there’s something wrong. With that said, any gamer looking for a challenging game, look no further. In fact, this game may be one of the hardest games to ever be created; however, that is no excuse for forcing players to go through the same game twice before finishing it. The best thing about the second playthrough is the music! C’mon Capcom!

6.5/10

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