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Three years (game time) after the original Ghosts 'n' Goblins story, King Arthur finds that his loved one has been kidnapped yet again by a big ugly, (no not me). Ghouls 'n' Ghosts follows in the same vein as Ghosts. Arthur runs around the beautifully detailed scenery lobbing a range of offensive weaponry at the myriad of ugly mothers who would love nothing more than to reduce you to running around in your undies (if you don't believe us, play the game). I only have two slight niggles: the yellow character sprites are impossible to see on yellow backgrounds, and you're sent back to the beginning of the current level. Apart from that Ghouls 'n' Ghosts is a brilliant conversion of a very good coin op. Now go rescue that princess.
Arthur's dusted-off the suit of armour he used to such good effect in Ghosts 'N' Goblins and donned it for his second jaunt. The monsters are bigger, stranger and have more teeth than before, but Arth's as determined as over and this time Merlins taught him some magic. Software Creations obviously viewed Chris Butler
's amazing conversion of Arthur's first game when designing the C64 graphics. Scenery is of a similar fashion to Goblins, but with greater detail to fit in with the Ghouls coin-op. Sound effects are good and music even better.
So, to sum up, Ghouls And Ghosts makes a welcome change from the recent slick, flash but ultimately shallow coin-op hits which US Gold has produced recently (Fog Worlds, Strider) and shows a massive improvement on the dull conversions it did at the start of the year. It's good to see the gang producing genuinely good arcadey games again and this must rate as one of the most challenging and playable of the year. A bit of a triumph for USG and Software Creations all round, I think.
Beautifully detailed sprites and bouncy title tune blend together to create a first class conversion of a very playable coin-op. The only slight moan is that some of the sprites are a little difficult to see at times.
The graphics are on the bit of the titchy side, but it's still a faithful conversion and an enjoyable game which provides plenty of challenge and excitement.
My only gripe is it's really hard, and the way you're returned to the start of each level when you die is bloomin' frustrating. Nonetheless, as well as having fab graphics and triff sound (especially on 128K), it's a compelling and addictive platform romp.
The first stage of the game didn't strike me as wonderful with the small hero graphic sometimes getting lost with the yellow walls but on later levels this criticism disappears and the large scale monsters are very good, in both graphics and size with later levels showing some good uses of colour and making for a game which can be played for ages, by all ages.
If you have the ability, time and patience Ghouls and Ghosts could be a great game; graphics are colourful and detailed, if a little small, and sound and gameplay adequate. Unfortunately, I'm no Mother Teresa and will have to let it pass, but someone out there could do a blinding sequal.
Is this lack of innovation a bad thing, you may ask? The original, it must be said, was great, and this is just as good as its parent. A straightforward shoot-'em'up platformer with nothing radically different from other games of its type. Quite a good buy then providing, that is, you have considered the question: is that damn Princess really worth it?