Ghosts 'N Goblins Review
by Daryn

   

I have to hand it to Ghosts 'N Goblins. I don't know where or when this whole "save the princess" gig started, how many times it's been done, and how many more times it's gonna be done, but GNG, perhaps, has the best version of a princess kidnapping I've ever seen. The game begins with Arthur and Guinevere enjoying a lovely night in the graveyard under a full moon. (Are you with me so far? Just try to buy into it, okay? YES! A graveyard! They're sitting in a graveyard!) Arthur, with the exception of a red loincloth, has no clothes on. Suddenly, out of the sky swoops a red demon who takes off with Guinevere and disappears into the night. The moral of the story is: If you don't want to be kidnapped by horrible monsters or undead creatures, DON'T BE HAVING SEX IN THE DAMN GRAVEYARD!!! Arthur, in one simple move, that he used to impress Guinevere and convince her to make out with him in a graveyard, puts on his armor, and takes off. Now the fun begins. If you can actually stand the music of this game for more than 8 seconds without turning off the volume, then you have greater will power than me. A monkey banging on an out-of-tune, toy piano can come up with better sounding scores than this.

One thing I have to give credit to GNG for, is that I think it pulls off its intended purpose. I'm assuming, since it's about Ghosts and Goblins, and other undead monsters, the game is supposed to scare you. Although these cute little critters aren't going to horrify you anytime soon, the bad graphics and play control probably will. When Arthur jumps, he almost seems to be floating away, and quite frankly, there are times I wish he would. One hit, and Arthur goes back to wearing his loin cloth, or red speedos, whichever it is, and the second hit turns him into a skeleton. Personally, I don't see why he doesn't just keep fighting. Every other dead thing is coming to life, so why not him? But, hey, who cares about logic when the game opens up with two people making whoopee in a graveyard?

I think the farthest I ever made it in this game without using the stage select code is level 2. All I remember were these large blue buildings with these levitating platforms I had to leap to and from. Of course, Arthur, who takes on a mind of his own while jumping, could not seem to properly navigate these platforms. Therefore, I just reset the game, and watched the little opening sequence over and over again. It's also possible I hallucinated those blue buildings after going into a severe depression for actually having spent money on this game. I think I did use the Stage Select code to go to the last boss, just so I could beat the game and see if it really is worth all the trouble it is to keep Arthur's clothes on. (I'm convinced this game was either made by love-starved women or some gay guy.) All I got when I beat the boss was a message that said, "Bad Ending" or something to that effect, and it told me to start all over again. So I plugged in the code again and went to the final boss again. This time, the ending was exactly the same, but it said, "Good ending!" YIPPPPEEEEEEE! TALLYHO! So basically what they're saying is, you have to endure this torment twice, in order to get the programmer's approval.

I must say, the only reason I hang onto my copy of Ghosts N Goblins is so that someday, if I ever meet the game's programmer and/or designer, I can throw it at him, and when it connects to his forehead, I'll say, "Bad Ending. I must start over." Then I'll pick the game up and whack him over the head with it and say, "Good Ending!" I know that won't inflict quite as much pain as that which I had to endure while playing this game, but it will give me some satisfaction!

My breakdown of this game:
Story: 1 - Like I said, this is probably the best version of the kidnapped Princess tale I've ever heard. It gets one point for that.
Graphics: 1 - Red Reamer and the Final Boss look cool. I didn't see most of the levels, but what I did see, looked like the Atari 2600 on a bad day.
Sound: 0 - What I heard of it was terrible, but the only real sound I could hear was my teeth gnashing while trying hard to endure this programming mishap.
Play Control: 0 - If you're wondering why, you need to read more carefully.
Hero Rating: 1 - I'll give Arthur some credit. First, he must have some kind of charms to be able to lure a princess into a graveyard in the middle of the night. He also has the pride and guts to keep going when his clothes are blown off his body. Apparently, Arthur has no shame. Let's just be thankful this trend didn't catch on. The Zelda and Mario series would never be the same...
Overall Score: 1 - Okay, I actually scored this a little higher than the games that came right before it, but it's only because this is the only game I know of in this group that has actually made me laugh. (Watching that opening sequence gets me every time!) Also, it's my review, so I can pretty much do whatever the hell I want with it. HAHAHHAHAHHAHA!

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