Super Ghouls and Ghosts
Box Shot
Super Ghouls and Ghosts
Platform: Super Nintendo
Publisher: Capcom
Designer: Capcom
Genre: Action
Players: 1
Published Date 1991
Reviewed by: Toni B.

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 vengeance!

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.