Hey guys welcome to another vintage game review, this time we are going all the way back to 1986 when one of the hardest games ever made was ported to the Commodore 64…welcome the world of Capcom’s Ghosts ‘n Goblins.
Ghosts AND Goblins!? What a combination!
Satan has Kidnapped Princess Prim and only the little bearded knight Arthur can save her, in fact he is in such a rush he forgets his armour and proceeds to start his quest in his underpants.
Starting In the graveyard in this side-scrolling monster of a game and confronted by zombies rising from their graves, you use your standard weapon of a lance to make your way through the oncoming hoards.
As you work your way through the game you pick up what either are wicker baskets or urns to collect power ups with the most valuable being armour. Weapon upgrades are also available from daggers, axes and 3-way knives to flaming torches (the latter possibly being one of the most useless weapons in the history of gaming).
Enemies in all shapes and sizes
The creatures range from zombies and ogres to dragons and cyclops, and increase in numbers and difficulty asthe landscapes change from graves to woodlands, to towns to skull island and finally the tower you eventually have to ascend to the final level. At the end of each section you have to deal with a boss from a demon that can throw it’s own head to twin ogres intent on reducing you to nothing but bones to Satan himself.
Wasn’t there more than that!?
Some of you may be reading scratching your head thinking I don’t remember that or I’m sure there was more, you would be right! Due to the capabilities of the Commodore the game had reduced levels so was altered so it could handle the game, the Amiga version had the missing levels and the later consoles were arcade perfect.
As I stated at the beginning of this article the difficulty also sets this game apart from the others; you are limited to 2 hits per life and you only get 3 lives meaning when you die you are put back to a reset point which can be over halfway back on the section you are on. As Capcom was obviously being run by some sort of sadist at the time you also only had about 3 mins per life, and just to add salt to the wounds *spoiler alert* once you complete the game you are told that it was all an illusion by Satan and you have to do the whole game again! (cue people passing out or throwing profanity at the TV along with the controller).
Star Struck Gaming Rating
The graphics are simple as you would expect from a game from the 80’s but somehow feel perfect for the game. The sound effects and music as you can imagine are quite limited for the time but the music changes and just seems to suit the level and also when the bosses turn up to do battle.
The game was a commercial success and was released and re-released on newer consoles and handhelds as the years went on, and to this day this game is still highly playable. It offers a solid challenge and can be found on virtual stores – it really has stood the test of time and is still held in very high regard.
So In winding down if you want a game that will last you and bring back memories of standing in an arcade on your English holiday seafront to Southend, and give you a serious sense of accomplishment when completed you will not go far wrong with Ghosts ‘n Goblins.