In the Ghouls N' Ghosts/Ghosts N'Goblins series, this is my most favorite
version out of the whole entire series. If the rumors about a "Ghouls N'
Ghosts 64" are true, they had better not ruin it like they did with
Castlevania 64. Nuff said! Now, on to my review.
I like the introduction to this game after the Capcom logo goes off. King
Arthur is running off to the castle in a hurry in front of bystanders like a
parade is about to start. The story begins with that one familiar scene
after the start button is pressed in all G N'G games: King Arthur & his
princess are just about to make out until some wierdo demon just comes out
of nowhere and nabs her into thin air, then your game map pops up as
always. We G N'G fans should know how the rest of the story goes...
The visuals contain those high-resolution
arcade standard graphics, and that makes the monsters
look meaner, especially that punk gargoyle, Firebrand. As being one of the
first SNES games Capcom made, I am talking about pre-SNES Street Fighter II
era, this game was one of the SNES's "Mode 7 special effects monsters" ( for
those that have been familiar with the SNES and don't know what Mode 7 is,
it is the 16-bit 3-D technology of scaling and rotation, Pilotwings is a
great example of what I'm talking about), I was awed by the rotating towers
in stage 3, and the entire stage 4, after stepping on a platform and the
room rotates to confuse where you have to go next, then in the second area,
the whole screen swings around. The Mode 7 graphics plays a great role in
the challenge factor.
The sounds of the game
really match the action. The skulls falling out of
the pedestals in Stage 1 really sound great. And I also love the pause tone of
the game. As being a first generation SNES Capcom game, it has a musical
pause tone. SNES Final Fight has a musical pause tone also. And the music,
boy! I thank Capcom for putting in a hidden sound test mode. The way some of
the music is instrumented, it sounds like the London Symphony Orchestra is
playing the tracks, even though it lacks in drums and percussion. I love how
the Stage 1 music starts. The music for the very last battle with the
Emperor makes a nervous, heart beating, pulse rising battle.
As far as control, the regular Ghouls N' Ghosts gameplay is still there, being
that two hits kills you (the first one sheds you of your armor, the second
reduces you to bones), and you can't change direction in mid-jump. The
only thing new to King Arthur's fighting is the fact that you can double
jump to get to higher and/or farther areas. That may be a cool new feature,
but it can also make you clumsy sometimes, especially in the raft ride in
Stage 2. If you jump too high, it can result in unexpected enemy contact, or
an unexpected fall into a hole. Next to the Mode 7 graphics, the double jump
makes for a challenge also.
Fourth, there are new weapons. King Arthur still has the original standard
throwing spears, the throwing knives which fires super fast, which we all
love, and the axes. The new weapons arsenal includes crossfire torches,
2-Way arrows, large boomerangs that fly in a strange "L-shape", and a
scythe. Also, another thing new to Super Ghouls N' Ghosts is that out of
some treasure chests, you can acquire two other types and colors of armour.
First, there is the blue armour, which enhances the power and better yet,
changes the look of whatever weapon you're using. For instance, my favorite
weapons when upgraded by the blue armour are the throwing knives, which turn
into lasers that look like they came out of a shooter, and the 2-Way arrows
that turn into heat-seeking fireballs. Then there is the gold armour, which
has the nicest looking plate along with a red ponytail on the back of the
headpiece. With the gold armour, not only your weapons will be still have
the effects from the blue armour, but will give you the ability to charge up
the weapon. One of the weapons I forgot what it was, but it can set off a
dragon ghost, and another one can set off a free treasure chest. You know
that annoying magician that randomly pops out of treasure chests and casts a
spell that transforms you into different funny shapes? He's back with a
Overall, like other Ghouls N' Ghosts games, it has the reputation of being
one of the hardest games of all time. If anyone has had any trouble getting
past 3 Firebrands in the last stage at once and let me tell you they are
hard to hit because they move around too much, I feel their pain. If you
think you beat the whole game, don't celebrate yet, your princess wants one
more thing and you'll have to beat the game a second time. All in all, great
gameplay, great music, great graphics, that's all what counts from a Capcom
game, even though the difficulty makes you wanna hook your Super Nintendo
and play Super Ghouls N' Ghosts in a boxing gym.
Note: The Mega Man series has made some small connections with the Ghouls N'
Ghosts series. In Mega Man 7, notice Shademan stage. Notice the way the
coffins rise out of the ground and the way the robo-zombies move. Here's a
suprise code, if Shademan stage is beaten, the code will not work. Highlight
Shademan stage, hold down B and press start...
Second, in Mega Man X4 for the PlayStation/Saturn, the battle with
General is inspired by the final battle in Super Ghouls N' Ghosts. In both
battles, the weak point of General and the final boss in Super Ghouls N'
Ghosts is the face. And to get to the face, you have to jump on either one
of two temporarily moving platforms.