Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection Review
Like a zombie emerging from a graveyard, Capcom’s classic Ghosts ‘n Goblins series has come back to life and shuffled its way onto the Nintendo Switch in the form of Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection. But this storybook-styled semi-sequel is anything but braindead, reimagining and remixing the best elements of the ‘80s Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, and offering a raft of flexible difficulty options to make it far and away the most approachable entry in the action platformer series to date. Of course, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still as hard as coffin nails if you want it to be.
Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection has come a long way from the simple sprites of the early games – and from the slightly lumpy 3D look of Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins on the PSP, for that matter. Everything from the armour-clad Sir Arthur to series stalwarts like the pigmen and cyclops have been hand drawn and brought to life with the quirky movements of murderous shadow puppets, and staged inside fantastical reinterpretations of classic series levels like the Graveyard and the Crystal Forest (now the Crystalline City). As a result, Resurrection is the most visually striking and personality-packed Ghosts ‘n Goblins game by quite some margin.
To be honest I still viewed the bulk of its beauty through a red mist because despite its fairy tale appearance, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is anything but child’s play. Hordes of demonic enemies continuously respawn in each area to keep you perpetually under attack from all angles, which can be agonising to endure but exhilarating to overcome. It’s also constantly messing with you: you can never be sure if the hidden treasure chest you discovered houses a power-boosting suit of gold plated armour or a magician waiting to transmogrify you into an aggravatingly defenseless frog.
Meanwhile, there’s very little story to dig into during Arthur’s quest to rescue his damsel in distress from a diabolical demon lord, which does seem like a missed opportunity to reboot the lore into something that matches the art style’s charm. Instead, the only words uttered between ‘Once upon a time’ and ‘Happily ever after’ was the roughly five hour-long string of profanities supplied by me as I battled my way to Resurrection’s climax.
Despite its fairy tale appearance, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is anything but child’s play.Five hours isn’t exactly an epic length, but each of Resurrection’s seven levels introduces a series of unique gameplay twists that prevents the action from ever becoming stale and kept me from ever relaxing into a rhythm. In one stretch you might ride a series of stone dragons through the air while dodging giant electrified squids, which feels just as bracing and brutal as a rollercoaster ride through a hailstorm. In another, you must simultaneously stave off both hordes of zombies and an intensifying sense of claustrophobia as a gaping maw closes in from all four edges of the screen, threatening you with rows of spindly teeth should you misstime a jump by millimeters.
Its playtime is extended a fair bit by the fact that after you complete Resurrection the first time around you gain access to Shadow versions of each stage, which rearrange enemy types and placements and add environmental effects like fog to make platforming even more fraught with danger. I welcomed the challenge of playing through Resurrection a second time since it reframed each stage as an entirely new obstacle course, although I was slightly disappointed that the end-level boss fights in the regular stages and their corresponding Shadow forms remain the same.
Ghosts 'n Goblins: The Complete Playlist
Passing the Torch
There are eight different weapons for Arthur to get his hands on, the bulk of which have their own clear strengths and weaknesses – from the classic lance that can be lobbed long distances but only deals a medium amount of damage, to the hammer which delivers a more devastating shockwave but requires you to get uncomfortably close to enemies in order to be effective. Some weapons are also better suited to certain environments than others, such as the bladed discus that can be skimmed along undulating terrain towards their target, or the spiked ball that can be hurled like Donkey Kong’s barrels down cascading platform sections in order to skittle enemies below.
Initially, you can only pick up one weapon at a time which means that yes, for significant stretches of Resurrection you’ll likely find yourself saddled with that perennially useless bastard of a flaming torch. However, by collecting ‘umbral bees’ hidden in each stage you can upgrade Arthur with skills and magical abilities, and early on I made an umbral beeline for the Kitted Out enhancement that enabled me to carry two or even three weapons in its fully upgraded form. Carrying a small arsenal made me better equipped to counter the varying attack patterns of each boss fight, which made my eventual victories feel like they were earned through my strategic smarts rather than just blind luck.
Which dormant Capcom series should be resurrected next?
Arthur’s loadout of magic powers can be configured in between levels, and I regularly relied on them to save my bacon by throwing up walls of fire to block swarms of darting death birds or briefly turning Arthur into a stone boulder to crunch through overwhelming zombie hordes. The use of these abilities is unlimited, but there is still plenty of risk involved in performing them since charging them up by holding the attack button leaves Arthur momentarily exposed. So their use needs to be timed smartly rather than merely relied upon as a last-second win button.
Yet given the option I’d probably trade almost all of these special attacks for the ability to double-jump or fire weapons on a diagonal axis, because even with these extra upgrades Arthur is still as stiff as rigor mortis as far as his fixed-arc jumping and four-way shooting is concerned (with the exception of the crossbow, which shoots two bolts diagonally but can’t be fired in a straight line horizontally or vertically). I realise that Arthur's rigid move set is by design and true to the arcade originals, but there were times in the more pressurised later levels where I couldn't be completely sure if Resurrection's unwavering adherence to Arthur’s long established limitations was scratching a nostalgic itch or gleefully picking at old wounds.
Giving Up the Ghost
Arthur’s movements may be as stubborn as ever, but Resurrection’s difficulty options are surprisingly flexible. I opted to play through on the second hardest setting, ‘Knight’, and although I didn’t regret it it did make me sweat. Fortunately, while you can’t permanently reduce the overall difficulty once your quest has begun, Resurrection still offers you a small amount of mercy if and when you need it: Die a few too many times within one checkpointed area, and you’ll be asked if you want to drop the difficulty down for the remainder of that level, thinning the enemy herds and reducing the amount of damage required to take down the boss. If Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection can be considered as a form of side-scrolling sadomasochism, then these optional mid-level difficulty drops serve as its safe word. Your overall points bonus for completing the level are penalised, but it’s a small price to pay to prevent your progression from stalling for too long, and I’m not too proud to admit that I gladly took these lifelines on a handful of the more desperate occasions over the course of my two playthroughs.
The two lower difficulty settings are even more accommodating. ‘Squire’ allows Arthur to withstand more hits before he collapses into a pile of bones, and even lets you slow enemy movements to half-speed if you’re still struggling to avoid their attacks. Meanwhile ‘Page’ is effectively god mode, granting you the ability to respawn on the spot with unlimited lives rather than boot your armoured arse back to a checkpoint. I wouldn’t say that this would be the ideal way that someone should experience Resurrection, since a Ghosts ‘n Goblins game that’s completely removed of friction is likely to have a running time as brief as Arthur’s boxer shorts, but there’s certainly no harm in Capcom including it for the younger set. And before you die hard fans protest, there’s still the extremely punishing ‘Legend’ mode if you’d prefer to play Resurrection with your teeth gritted and the well-being of your controller under constant threat.
There’s also the ability to play Resurrection in two-player co-op, which is a first for the series. However, since it’s local multiplayer only I haven’t been able to test it as part of this review process, as the only potential co-op partners I have available to me are my kids and they’re far too young to be exposed to the full extent of their father’s swear word vocabulary. Still, the inclusion of this feature, which allows a second player to act as a guardian angel by shielding the first from attacks or carrying them safely over more perilous stretches of terrain, is at the very least just another example of how inclusive to all players Resurrection aims to be.
Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection is an old-school action platformer that’s not too cruel to compromise, allowing you to fine tune its challenge level relative to your individual skill and tolerance for pain. Its seven-level story mode may be slightly short, but it packs in plenty of variety and unique challenges to navigate, and bolsters its replay value with the addition of the alternate Shadow levels that unlock after your first playthrough. If Capcom had added further flexibility to Arthur’s movement and attacks – and maybe had some fun with the story – this would have been a truly sensational second coming, but regardless Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is still a supremely spirited comeback.
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Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection Review
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Relive Your Favorite Capcom Arcade Classics!
Watch as this nostalgic yet completely reimagined storybook world unravels before your very eyes.
Taking cues from both Ghosts 'n Goblins and Ghouls 'n Ghosts to give birth to something entirely new, Resurrection is a title worthy of its name.
Don't be fooled—this picturesque storybook world, while gorgeous, is a love-letter to the original titles and maintains the same punishing gameplay that fans have come to expect. So go on and test your mettle, for the gauntlet has been thrown!
About Ghosts 'n Goblins
The game that gave birth to this famously challenging series, Ghosts 'n Goblins released in 1985. Players take charge of Arthur in his quest to save the princess, who has been kidnapped and taken away to the Demon Realm. Thanks to its brutal difficulty, beating this game back in the day bestowed instant status to those few who proved themselves worthy. One of the original "hardcore" games, this title helped pave the way for an entire genre.
About Ghouls 'n Ghosts
The second entry in the Ghosts 'n Goblins series took the stage in 1988. Three years after his victory over the Demon Lord, Arthur is again called to action when the princess is endangered once more by the servants of the Demon Realm. With improved visuals and polished gameplay, this title built on the strong foundation of the first game and went on to win even more acclaim for the series.
A long time ago...
In a far off land our tale begins, its beauty matched by none. There we find our hero, Arthur, resting in the sun.
Then lo! Beyond the rolling hills, a maiden drawing near, Arthur, the apple of her eye, the princess does appear.
A moment shared between the two, all happiness and bliss, When suddenly off in the distance, something is amiss!
A spark ignites, and then one more, the town goes up in flames, A cloud of darkness does emerge, the palace it does claim.
The shadow then extends its reach, to the Umbral Tree divine. Its color fades, its vigor drained by powers most malign.
And with this chaos wrought, the Demon Lord plays his vile hand. While Arthur's back is turned, the princess he kidnaps as planned.
Our gallant hero tries his best and yet is overwhelmed. With the princess he takes flight, off to the Demon Realm.
In haste does Arthur don his armor, to save his maiden fair. To the Demon Realm he does depart, so demons best beware.
The princess has been taken away to the Demon Realm! Can gallant Arthur save her?
The experience you know and love, born anew!
Just like its predecessors, Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection makes use of simple controls that anyone can enjoy. Use them to your advantage as you fight your way through weird and spooky stages filled with unique enemies in this enchanting world brought to life with modern technology and game design philosophy!
Elegantly simple yet deceptively deep, this ghost is tougher than ever—and it's coming back to haunt you.
The torch has been passed, but the legacy remains.
Ghosts 'n Goblins is, well, hard . Its unyielding difficulty has been a defining characteristic of the series, and Resurrection pays respect to that legacy.
You'll die, and you'll die again, but you'll dust yourself off and get better with every attempt as you learn more about your foes and further craft your strategy. You'll struggle, but you'll also bask in glory once you do eventually emerge victorious. That is Ghosts 'n Goblins.
Choose Your Path
Note: Unlike other paths, Pages will not be able to experience all of the game's content.
Choose your path. Choose your challenge.
In addition to the main Knight mode, players can choose from three other paths. The Legend path is there for those with the grit to endure the punishing difficulty the series is known for.
Brave the ordeals of the Demon Realm to bring the princess home!
Stages inspired by Ghosts 'n Goblins and Ghouls 'n Ghosts , as well as completely new challenges, await Arthur in the Demon Realm. The Demon Realm is divided into zones, and Arthur will have to conquer stages in each zone during his quest to rescue the princess. In zones that have multiple stages, Arthur can proceed by completing a stage of his choice.
Traverse the Zombie Graveyard , where the dead spill forth from the ground and walls, and make your way through the Woody Pig Woods , where the forest itself seems to come alive with its moving branches and paths.
Take a Look
Fight off waves of swift, scythe-wielding Skeleton Murderers in the Murderer's Execution Grounds , and escape the nest of the persistent Vilevines in the Vilevine Falls .
Stages from Zone 1!
In the first zone of the Demon Realm, Arthur's path will take him through either the Ghosts 'n Goblins -inspired Graveyard , or the Ghouls 'n Ghosts -inspired Execution Grounds .
Don't slip as you explore the frozen terrain of Snow Shoggoth's Square and make clever use of barrel bombs to fell your enemies as you ascend the Giants' Tower.
In the first half, struggle against sand and wind in the Antlions' Nest . If successful, you'll make it to the burning Fire Fennecs' Clocktower . Both areas will require complete awareness of Arthur's surroundings to proceed.
Stages from Zone 2!
Zone 2 will also see Arthur take one of two distinct stages inspired by Ghosts 'n Goblins and Ghouls 'n Ghosts .
Caverns of the Occult
Go spelunking through the candlelit Mephisto's Grotto , and jump from dragon to dragon to traverse the bottomless Stone Dragons' Drop in this menacing stage.
The Underground Labyrinth spans the entire stage and will demand precise control over Arthur. In the first half, the walls are littered with eyes that will spawn demons if carelessly hit by an attack. In the final half, the walls themselves come alive and collapse around Arthur. Watch your step and proceed with caution!
Stages from Zones 3 and 4!
A fusion of new elements and those inspired by both Ghosts 'n Goblins and Ghouls 'n Ghosts await Arthur in the stages of zones 3 and 4.
Arthur's default weapon. Moderate rate of fire with a long range.
Travels in an arc and explodes upon impact. Clean up enemies with the holy power of this weapon.
Although this weapon can be sent flying at an impressive speed, its small size means Arthur will need to aim carefully!
Deals massive damage, but lacks range. Shoots shockwaves through the air, sending enemies flying.
Can be sent crashing along the ground to bowl over enemies.
Can be sent spinning along the terrain by throwing it while crouched or by hitting the ground at an angle.
This tricky weapon shoots arrows of flame in two diagonal directions.
Can be used to deflect enemy projectiles, but has a short range.
Employ Arthur's diverse arsenal to battle your way through the Demon Realm!
In Resurrection , Arthur can obtain 8 types of weapons. Each one has its own unique characteristics. Consider that as you form your plan to progress through the Demon Realm!
Magic and Skills
Calls the power of thunder unto Arthur's body to unleash a hailstorm of bolts in four directions. Becomes more lethal at higher levels.
Ignites two walls of flame to Arthur's left and right which move with him and damage anything they touch. Walls grow taller at higher levels.
Temporarily turns Arthur into a small boulder. Roll around to crush enemies. Attack power and time before reverting back increase at higher levels.
Temporarily reproduces a mirror image of Arthur who will join him in attacking. Number of copies increases at higher levels.
Turns all enemies on screen into frogs. Affects stronger enemies at higher levels.
Quicken Arthur's movements for a period of time. Lasts longer at higher levels.
Cast a magic net to catch all Umbral Bees and Money Bees on screen.
Turns on-screen enemies to stone, making them climbable. Foes defeated in this state sometimes drop items. Lasts longer and affects stronger enemies at higher levels.
Make room for magic and skills in your strategy!
In addition to his large arsenal of weapons, Arthur can also learn a magnitude of magic and skills, some of which can be upgraded to become even more powerful! By meeting certain conditions, you'll also be able to equip multiple spells at once and switch between them in the heat of battle.
Triples the power of Arthur's first attack after being stripped down to his boxers.
Increase Arthur's inventory space to carry more weapons, which can be switched between on the fly. Level up to further increase inventory space.
Enjoy the passive benefits of skills!
Unlike magic, the effects of learned skills are instantly applied. Similarly, skills with multiple levels will have their effects amplified automatically upon unlocking their improved versions.
The Umbral Tree
Restore the Umbral Tree to obtain magic and skills!
To unlock and improve these spells and skills, Arthur will need to restore the Umbral Tree to its former glory. By finding the elusive Umbral Bees hidden throughout each stage, he can return them to the Umbral Tree to learn and upgrade magic and skills. Arthur can also forget spells and skills and choose to learn others instead. Picking the right ones for the job at hand will prove indispensable!
The Magic Metronome
The Magic Metronome has three settings in addition to the game's normal speed:
- One setting exists for slowing the game's speed.
- Two settings exist for speeding up the game.
Players who want to practice their moves can slow the game down, and those who would like a challenge above and beyond the normal speed can try the two faster options.
Note: Settings for slowing the game are intially only available to the Squire and Page paths. The Magic Metronome settings can be accessed in the Options menu.
The Mysterious Magic Metronome.
By fulfilling certain criteria, players will able to use the mysterious power of the Magic Metronome to change the speed of the game itself.
A few of the foes that await Arthur...
Beating it just once won't cut it a "world of shadows" awaits in your next playthrough.
True to its roots, Resurrection can't be completed in just one playthrough! After your first playthrough, any stages that have been completed will take on a completely different form in subsequent playthroughs.
These transformed stages are called Shadow Stages. In addition to their darker aesthetic, the types of enemies and gameplay elements encountered will also be totally changed. New challenges and fun await in these transformed stages, so give them a shot!
Ominous Black Treasure Chests: Guiding You to a Certain Somewhere...
In each stage, you can find special black treasure chests which differ from the normal chests found throughout the Demon Realm. These peculiar chests are more difficult to find than the normal variety. Destroy one and an Alablaster will appear. If you're able to defeat it, a change will occur somewhere in the stage, guiding you to a normally inaccessible den of demons—a Hell Hole. You'll be unable to escape these special rooms without meeting certain conditions. Of course, gallant accomplishments will be well rewarded!
A Series First! Intense Two Player Couch Co-op!
On top of single player mode, which focuses on the fun of hunkering down and overcoming challenges alone, Arthur can be aided in his quest by support characters, the Three Wise Guys. This gameplay style makes for an intense two player co-op experience—a first for the series.
Co-op play on the Nintendo Switch is possible by sharing one Joy-Con with a friend.
Note: Local co-op only. Online play is not supported.
The Three Wise Guys are the ancestral guardian spirits of our hero, Arthur. They can be called down from the heavens to aid him with their distinct magical powers.
Player 2 can join Player 1 in the fray at any time* and swap between the Three Wise Guys on the fly. Change characters to match the needs of any given situation and help Arthur on his journey through the Demon Realm! *When Player 1 has turned on the 2 Player Settings in the game's menu.
The Three Wise Guys, floating through the air in their ghostly glory, can each use a different magic power as well as attack with projectiles. If they take enough damage from foes, they'll revert to their spirit form and retire from battle for a short amount of time, after which they'll be back for more. Don't worry, there's no limit to the amount of times they can resurrect!
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How co-op came to Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, out on PS4 June 1
Capcom discusses the origins of the legendary franchise’s new side-scrolling co-op characters.
Get ready to challenge again ! The noble knight Arthur sets out on a new adventure to rescue the princess from the Demon Realm in Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, coming to PlayStation 4 (and backwards compatible with PlayStation 5) on June 1.
Some 35 years ago, the first Ghosts ‘n Goblins made its grand debut in arcades. Few players knew what would await them as they dropped that first quarter into the machine, and fewer still could have guessed that beating the game would set them up for a ghoulish surprise; the game wasn’t over until you completed it a second time after a brutal second loop of the game.
The hard-as-nails legacy of Ghosts ‘n Goblins has earned the franchise a reputation for its difficulty over the years but for this entry, we’ve kept the challenge while making the game far more accessible. Not only are there multiple difficulty modes that cater to players of all skill levels, we’ve also included a series first: two-player local co-op.
To shine a light on the decision to give this traditionally single-player experience a two-player twist, we spoke with the game’s Chief Producer, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi (a.k.a. “H”). Best known for his work on the Resident Evil franchise, H was kind enough to speak with us about how this mode came to be.
“The local co-op mode was an idea that existed from the earliest stages of the development phase, and was brought up by Director Tokuro Fujiwara,” says Mr. Hirabayashi. Long-time Capcom fans may recognize that name – Mr. Fujiwara was also the director of the original Ghosts ‘n Goblins, and returned to direct Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, as well.
“The first time the format and goals of this mode were presented by Director Fujiwara, I felt that it was spectacular and I wanted to make it happen, ” says Mr. Hirabayashi.
When you consider how long the franchise has been a strictly single-player affair, it raises the question: What made this the right time to add co-op?
“This IP has been loved by many players for over 35 years, and those who played the earlier titles may now have kids of their own,” explains Mr. Hirabayashi. Mr. Hirabayashi recalls that the entire dev team was excited by the idea of co-op mode, hoping this addition would allow the game to transcend generations and offer a great way for long-time fans to share this arcade-style experience with their kids or even family and friends who may be new to platformers.
“Of course, it was a challenge for us to prepare this mode, as we knew there were going to be certain expectations since this is the first title within the series that supports this kind of gameplay,” says Mr. Hirabayashi. “Overcoming the difficulty the game provides while having fun playing and communicating with your friend or loved one is a brand new concept, and we weren’t sure how players were going to react to this.”
Despite these concerns, Mr. Fujiwara seemed confident in its inclusion and the joy it would bring to players both young and old.
“When Director Fujiwara first explained the concept of this co-op mode to me, I remember imagining how much fun it would be to enjoy this game with my child,” says Mr. Hirabayashi. “I was very excited about it!”
Of course, Ghosts ‘n Goblins is known for its difficulty more than most other games of its time (and even games today), and the team considered that factor, too.
“From the beginning, the concept of the co-op mode was to provide a brand new experience unique from the single-player mode so there wasn’t a strong need for it to be balanced in comparison to the difficulty of the standard experience,” says Mr. Hirabayashi. “The aim of this mode is to get two players to have fun cooperating together to overcome a challenge, and the balancing of the difficulty was not a big priority.”
In other words, the goal for this mode was not to create an experience that would be challenging for two players, but rather to make the game fun for two people to enjoy it together. It brings a different feel to the game while not taking away from the solo challenge that it offers.
“With this in mind, we designed the support characters to be flexible in terms of their functionality, and helpful when it comes to assisting Arthur,” says Mr. Hirabayashi. “We hope that when players experience this mode, they can loosen up and have a fun time talking and working together.”
Speaking of those support characters, there’s three in total: Barry, Kerry, and Archie. As their names might suggest, these spirited assistants each serve a different purpose when it comes to aiding Arthur. However, they aren’t just helpers – there’s a bit of story there, too.
“The Three Wise Guys are Arthur’s ancestors, and, considering their role of being assistants who helps him, we thought this was the most appropriate way to include them,” says Mr. Hirabayashi.
Considering they’re his ancestors, you might want to take a closer look at their mannerisms. “Each Wise Guy has their own unique design, but if you look at them carefully, don’t you think they look a bit like Arthur?,” asks Mr. Hirabayashi.
Aside from their designs, special attention was also paid to how each one plays. Each of Arthur’s ancestors boasts their own unique skills, adding a new layer to co-op gameplay.
“An important thing to note is that the functionality of the Three Wise Guys are different from what Arthur is capable of doing,” says Mr. Hirabayashi. “Our intention was to provide a brand new experience that the single player mode can’t deliver on, and give the players a way to expand on the fun ideas that are only available in co-op mode.”
Funnily enough, Mr. Fujiwara seems to still have a bit of a mischievous approach when it comes to game design – even for elements of the game that should be friendly in the hands of two players playing side-by-side.
“From the beginning, we’ve been talking about this as a co-op mode, but the Director has always been expecting there to be certain players who will think of fun ways to play this mode that aren’t necessarily ‘cooperative’,” says Mr. Hirabayashi. “For example, Kerry is a character who literally carries Arthur around, but that doesn’t always mean he’s going to place Arthur on solid ground. A co-op partner with a mischievous spirit may ultimately become a hindrance, making the game feel more like a single-player mode with another troublesome enemy that gets in your way!”
True to Ghosts ‘n Goblins, even having someone else join you in co-op can still be part of the challenge. Turns out there are some things worse than a Red Arremer, and they might be sitting right next to you on the couch. Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Hirabayashi envisions people finding their own ways to enjoy co-op in unexpected ways.
“We designed the support characters this way on purpose,” says Mr. Hirabayashi. “A fun way we thought players could enjoy the game is for players controlling Arthur to try to complete a stage under a certain amount of time, and for the ‘support’ character to keep him from accomplishing his goal.” For seasoned veterans playing with newly christened knights, coming up with unique ways to use the co-op mode is a great way to find new and fun ways to enjoy the game together.
I’d like to provide a huge thank you to Mr. Hirabayashi for taking the time to answer our questions about the co-op mod.! And co-op isn’t the only way to enjoy the game. With multiple difficulty modes, you’ll be able to enjoy the game at a pace that’s right for you and explore everything that Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection has to offer. After all, it wouldn’t be a GnG game if the game ended after the first playthrough, right?
Be sure to grab your throwing lance and a co-op buddy to play with – or against – and get ready to challenge again when Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection launches on PS4 June 1!
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About this item
- You're Arthur, the top swordsman in the land; you must rescue Princess Guinevere; hack and slash your way through all kinds of ghoulish beasts; watch out for the hex; level after level of challenging swordplay
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As Arthur, the greatest swordsman in all the land, you are well respected and held in high regard by all who know you. When a nefarious creature kidnaps Princess Guinevere, you take it as a personal challenge and vow to save the fair princess exacting revenge on her captors. In SUPER GHOULS öN GOBLINS, you'll face an army of vicious creatures and vile beasts as you battle through level after level of sword-swinging action. Along the way you may become hexed and end up as a baby, a duck, or even a skeleton but you'll always have a weapon, so even then you'll be able to slash your way through your foes. If you can rescue Princess Guinevere from the Phantom Zone, you'll solidify your reputation as a hero and be adored by an entire kingdom!
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Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection (Simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Traditional Chinese)
- Offline play enabled
- 1 - 2 players
- Remote Play supported
- PS4 Version PS4 Pro enhanced
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Watch as this nostalgic yet completely reimagined storybook world unravels before your very eyes. Taking cues from both Ghosts 'n Goblins and Ghouls 'n Ghosts and giving birth to something entirely new, Resurrection is a title worthy of its name. Don't be fooled—this picturesque storybook world, while gorgeous, is a love-letter to the original titles and maintains the same punishing gameplay that fans have come to expect. So go on and test your mettle, for the gauntlet has been thrown! Story A long time ago... In a far off land our tale begins, its beauty matched by none. The knight, Arthur, and the princess there, bathed in midday sun. ...but suddenly something's amiss, the town is up in flames, a cloud of darkness does emerge, the palace it does claim. The shadow then extends its reach, to the Umbral Tree divine. Its color fades, its vigor drained by powers most malign. And with this chaos wrought, the Demon Lord plays his vile hand. While Arthur's back is turned, the princess he kidnaps as planned. In haste does Arthur don his armor, to save his maiden fair. To the Demon Realm he does depart, so demons best beware. Gameplay Just like its predecessors, Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection makes use of simple controls that anyone can enjoy. Use them to your advantage as you fight your way through weird and spooky stages filled with unique enemies in this enchanting world brought to life with modern technology and game design philosophy! Ghosts 'n Goblins is, well, hard. Its unyielding difficulty has been a defining characteristic of the series, and Resurrection pays respect to that legacy. You'll die, and you'll die again, but you'll dust yourself off and get better with every attempt as you learn more about your foes and further craft your strategy. You'll struggle, but you'll also bask in glory once you do eventually emerge victorious. That is Ghosts 'n Goblins. In Resurrection, Arthur can obtain 8 types of weapons, each with its own unique characteristics. Fell your foes with old favorites such as the Lance and the Dagger, shoot shockwaves with the Hammer to launch enemies, or send a Spiked Ball crashing along the ground to bowl them over instead! Use these—and more—to your advantage as you form your plan to progress through the Demon Realm! In addition to his large arsenal of weapons, Arthur can also learn a magnitude of magic and skills. Use Thunderstorm to unleash a hailstorm of bolts in four directions, or learn Kitted Out to increase Arthur's inventory space and carry more weapons. With tons more available, be sure to make room for magic and skills in your strategy! Make full use of Arthur's weapons, magic, and skills as you brave the ordeals of the Demon Realm to bring the princess home safely. Muster every ounce of grit you possess; you're going to need it! On top of single player mode, which focuses on the fun of hunkering down and overcoming challenges alone, Arthur can be aided in his quest by support characters, the Three Wise Guys. This gameplay style makes for an intense two player co-op experience—a first for the series. Connect two controllers to play with a friend, side by side. Note: Local co-op only. Online play is not supported. Experience the sweaty palms and white-knuckles that come with single player mode, or share the fun with your friends in a party game-like co-op experience!
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Ghosts ‘N Goblins Resurrection Review (Switch)
Brutal childhood memories.
I’m really showing my age here, but I remember it vividly and in somewhat childish terms. It was after school, on a hot and humid summer day in Hong Kong in 1993. With the a/c blasting in my bedroom and a frosty mug of grape Fanta sitting next to me, I removed the cartridge from the pristine printed box (this was a time before jewel cases and Blu-Ray cases) and inserted it into my Super Famicom . Taking a sip of my drink, I flipped the power switch and saw the CAPCOM logo flicker on the screen. I then spent the next three hours getting my 12-year old ass brutally beat down by a video game.
So far, so bad.
That was my introduction to an earlier incarnation of the game I’m about to review: Ghosts ‘N Goblins Resurrection . There are in fact many renditions of this game, but the version I was familiar with ( Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts ) was the third of the franchise and was first released in 1991. Now this new 2021 release by CAPCOM claims to be “a nostalgic yet completely re-imagined” take on their earlier versions, and they aren’t kidding. Yes, the familiar image of the bearded and Popeye-ishly proportioned hero and knight Arthur was highly nostalgic – but so was the brutal ass-kicking you receive while trying to beat this game.
Full disclosure: I revisited the 1991 game fairly recently on the SNES Mini that my wife gifted to me for Christmas, and I *finally* beat the game after a 30-odd year hiatus – but only with the help of effectively infinite lives (x45 lives, to be exact).
That caveat remained constant with my first attempt at the new Ghosts ‘N Goblins Resurrection . Playing on a beginner mode (which they call “Page” – as opposed to “Squire”, “Knight”, and “Legend” modes, which get progressively and murderously difficult) that allows you to endlessly regenerate on the spot you die, I easily died about 100 times before finishing the game. The fact that this franchise has remained notoriously difficult to beat is simultaneously frustrating and comforting because it conjures up memories of the fruitless hours I spent trying to beat the 1991 game, to no avail (it only gives you nine lives to beat the entire damn game).
The Challenging Gameplay Hasn’t Changed Since 1991
The storyline and gameplay is pretty basic, and even classic by modern standards. Your princess is kidnapped by monsters, and you traverse a series of perilous side-scrolling worlds and defeat hordes of horrifying beasts and bosses to rescue her. I like to call it the ‘Super Mario Formula’, and there’s nothing innovative or new here.
But what does make the game interesting is the sheer challenge of beating it. Even on the easiest level the going was tough for a while until I got down the timing of the jumps and attacks.
The principle reasons that the gameplay is challenging are Arthur’s movements and the movements of the enemy relative to his. Arthur is heavily armored, and he definitely moves like he’s encumbered by the weight of it. His running speed is slow and his jumps are maddeningly short, while the pits he has to jump over are wide and his enemies powerful and swift in their movement. The clumsiness of the player character’s movements often turns out to be a life lesson in greed and temptation, as you end up constantly dying while trying to reach special items and treasure chests that contain armor upgrades, when you know better than to try it with your current skill level.
In the absence of speedy and nimble player movement the only remedy is good timing, and that is tricky in most games. The fact that enemies come at you in numbers from all sides (including from above and below) will also and necessarily result in many deaths. All these challenges and limitations can be overcome once you get accustomed to the attack and jump patterns and their timing – but until then keep practicing in Page Mode.
Having said all this, I want to stress that this isn’t necessarily a complaint about the new 2021 edition of this game, because these gameplay conditions have remained constant from 1991. This game can’t re-invent itself by design and makes up for that by being challenging, and you could say that I half-knew what I was getting myself into. I stress-drank quite a few cans of grape soda while playing this game back then, but I actually kind of appreciate this challenge now as an adult in 2021.
1991 vs. 2021: Similarities & Changes
Ghosts ‘N Goblins Resurrection is billed as a ‘reimagining’ of the original Ghosts ‘N Goblins and this is evident in the character design and engineering. The enemies from the grunts to the bosses are very similar in both appearance and attack patterns, but are of course beautifully rendered in that dystopian storybook aesthetic.
There are many, many changes too; first, the extremely useful double-jump of the 1991 version is gone . That is really significant as it decreases the mobility and jumping clearance of the player character, making certain segments of the game quite challenging to complete.
Additionally, the 1991 version had 3 armors: steel, green, and gold. It was possible to execute special attacks with the green and gold armors, but even a single touch from an enemy shattered your armor, leaving you in boxer shorts and vulnerable to a lethal final hit. The 2021 version only has the steel and gold armor, but there’s one crucial difference – getting hit while wearing the gold armor reveals the basic steel armor still intact, and getting hit while wearing the steel armor causes the progressive loss of armor bits (chest/helmet, arms, legs). This effectively gives the player the chance to survive up to four hits before the fifth and final lethal hit.
Another very notable change is the extremely wide range of special attacks that can be learned by collecting ‘umbral bees’ during gameplay. Trading in a certain number of umbral bees at the ‘umbral tree’ in the options menu enables you to learn individual magic that give you well over a dozen special attacks that come in handy during hairy situations and boss battles. The complexity and visuals of these attacks are quite dazzling once acquired and executed in battle, and they can all be obtained by collecting enough of these glowing, sprite-like creatures.
Also, there is a ‘Challenges’ feature, which resembles the PlayStation trophies system. This is notable as Nintendo Switch doesn’t feature a console trophies system. Specific gameplay achievements are recorded and saved as you play Ghosts ‘N Goblins Resurrection , and you can view them at a later time in the options menu.
Interestingly, there is a 2-player option in the new game, but the second player can only play an assisting role as he or she can only play as a spirit that floats close behind Arthur and assists with attacks that have a low rate of fire. However one advantage of playing as this supporting character is that the second player can float anywhere at will (it is a spirit after all). All that can be for nothing, however, as the spirit “dies” when Arthur, still bound by the laws of gravity, falls into a pit and dies. The spirit also dies with Arthur when he is killed by an enemy.
Another crucial change is the game save features, which enables you to start where you left off by loading saved games (albeit at the beginning of a level). With the 1991 version, you had no choice but to start from the first level if you turned off the console!
Finally, the 1991 version of Ghosts ‘N Goblins had 9 long, arduous levels, each with a ridiculous boss/monster to beat at the end. This version only has 7 levels so the game felt noticeably shorter, but each individual level ends up feeling longer than the older version because they’re harder to beat.
Exquisite Storybook Aesthetics
When you stop to appreciate the visuals in this game, you can’t help but marvel at the art direction and visual style of Ghosts ‘N Goblins Resurrection . The visuals and movements look like a storybook brought to life, and it is highly evocative. There is an incongruous yet gorgeous visual appeal here, showing like the pages of an old, illustrated copy of a classic fairytale novel that your parents and grandparents used to read to you as a child. So despite the dystopian gore and horror the game also appears inviting — and weirdly – cute. I imagine that the overall look of Ghosts ‘N Goblins Resurrection is what the art direction team behind the older versions had in their minds back in the 1980s and 1990s, but didn’t have the technology to bring to life.
It really was a real treat to revisit one of my childhood favorites that both thrilled and vexed me to no end. So hats off to CAPCOM for reviving a cult-favorite franchise, and if you’re familiar with Ghosts ‘N Goblins , take a trip down memory lane and give this title a try.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: Switch (reviewed); Publisher: CAPCOM; Developer: CAPCOM ; Players: 1-2; Released: February 25, 2021; MSRP: $29.99
Editor’s note: This review is based on a retail copy of Ghosts ‘N Goblins Resurrection provided by the publisher.
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Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection: how Switch modernises an arcade icon
The RE Engine powers a revitalised platform classic.
One of Capcom's most celebrated and beloved franchises, Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection for Switch is something of a treat, modernising a classic game with Nintendo's console hybrid technology, while at the same time honoring some of its most iconic moments. It's also one of the first Switch games built using Capcom's excellent RE Engine - the other being Monster Hunter Rise. While a very different sort of game, Ghost 'n Goblins showcases just how flexible the tools and technology truly can be and while this release has proven divisive to fandom, I think it's an excellent effort overall.
Personally, I love the way that the high-end RE Engine combines with hand-drawn imagery to deliver a game that looks modern but feels like an evolution of the series' 2D roots. It's a look that really grew on me as I played but it is certainly unusual at first glance. Unlike, say, the two Ori games, which uses multiple layers to build its scenes with soft, alpha edges, Ghosts 'n Goblins looks a little different. Pixel edges are visible within the artwork - so it's slightly more aliased than, say, Ori or Cuphead. However, it does reveal the rendering resolution with relative ease. When docked, this artwork is displayed at a fixed 1080p resolution while portable mode drops to 720p instead.
These visible edges certainly result in something that feels like a hybrid of 2D and 3D, but it looks great overall. Each stage features significant depth in the parallax scrolling with many overlapping layers. Scenery is highly dynamic as well - of course, you can expect storms with rain and blowing trees, much like Ghouls 'n Ghosts, but there's much more here including stages that break apart as you progress leading to unexpected shifts in design. It's this flexibility that allows for some of the most ambitious level designs in the series' history while still building off the original designs. There's equal love for Ghost 'n Goblins and Ghouls 'n Ghosts here to the point where you have your choice of intro levels which pay homage to each of the series titans in turn - they're much longer than the originals but retain many of the same beats. It sets the stage for the modernising work that persists through the entire game and I feel it's a fantastic way to approach the design - it's mostly new in terms of layout but it recalls so much of those classics and looks beautiful doing it.
The control system is based on the second game, that means there's no double jumping but you do have multi-directional attacks. To put it bluntly, Arthur requires commitment - the timing of every jump is so crucial to success and it feels just as rewarding learning the game. The series is well known for its brutal difficulty and the necessity to learn - and it's just the same here as it was in the originals. Animation is possibly the most divisive element of the game. Essentially, characters animate almost like puppets with tweened limbs flopping around. I believe this style of animation is where comments suggesting it looks like a Flash game are coming from and I think I understand that - the concept is similar. However, I feel that's selling the animation work here short here - it's simply the approach Capcom decided to take in modernising the game while still delivering a recognisable experience. The same goes for the control as well - it's responsive but the style of animation combined with the slow movement speed is proving divisive.
But it's the use of the RE Engine technology that I find especially interesting - dynamic lighting creates far more interesting effects, while gameplay ties into the graphical innovation. One stage sees you snuffing out candles, making it much more difficult to see enemies - but it's essential to do so as the flames cause damage. It's an example of an effect that just wouldn't have been possible back in the day. I was also taken by the subtle camera work. Essentially, the camera zooms in or out depending on the scene leading to a very dynamic side view of the action. It looks excellent in motion and works well in perfectly framing the action.
Performance? This is an interesting topic as the series hasn't always been known for smooth frame-rates. The Super NES game was often very slow while the PSP game was capped at 30fps. With this new Switch game, however, 60 frames per second is the target - as it should be - but it's not without flaws. By and large, the game does manage to reach the target frame-rate the vast majority of the time but it's not 100 per cent stable, particularly when taxing weather effects or flame dominate the screen, where you can drop to 50fps territory. The other performance metric we can discuss is loading times - but that they are relatively brief and inoffensive. You also restart quickly upon death - I only mention this as long loading times could have spelled disaster for the game due to how often you're likely to die while learning the game.
Overall, Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection is an interesting release. RE Engine performs well but at the same time, it's a step down from the nigh-on flawless Mega Man 11 in terms of overall consistency. The presentation is beautiful, I feel, but also divisive - which is also true of the game itself. I know some fans have been disappointed by the game while others absolutely adore it. Personally, I love it. While I still prefer the second arcade game and perhaps even the Super NES rendition, I do feel this is a solid entry. The team clearly understands what makes these games tick and delivers an exceptional set of stages to play through. I also appreciate the difficulty selection. This is a tough game - really tough - but each difficulty setting scales in a way that anyone should at least be able to have fun with it.So while it's not perfect, I do feel that this is a game that stands proudly next to the likes of Bionic Commando Re-armed and Mega Man 11 in how it brings a classic franchise back on a modern platform. It's difficult but rewarding and I know I'll be playing and replaying it over the coming weeks.
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Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts Review
Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts is a tight game that experiences a few technical difficulties along the way.
By Trevor Rivers on September 18, 2002 at 2:10PM PDT
Compared with most games currently available on the Game Boy Advance, Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts is like a fish out of water--or a man out of his time. In its original form on the SNES, the game was very difficult to begin with. Most longtime gamers would agree that the average difficulty level of games has dropped since then, and as a result, the extreme difficulty of Super Ghouls 'N Ghost sticks out like a sore thumb in this new GBA port. Many people will consider this game to be downright impossible, or so near it that completing the game just wouldn't be worth the time and effort. As such, Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts can't be recommended to just anyone, despite the fact that it's a very good game overall. Those out there who've played the original version and are looking to take a trip down memory lane will find the original mode to be exactly the same as the SNES version--complete with severe slowdown in the same places. They'll also notice that a save feature has been included, as well as an arranged mode, which mixes in levels from the arcade game Ghouls 'N Ghosts.
Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts is above all else a platformer. You assume the role of Arthur, a king who's unfortunately been usurped by a band of demons, who have stolen his bride as well for good measure. Upon embarking to reclaim his love and his land, Arthur finds that the world has been twisted into some nightmarish dreamscape that often changes on the fly. The very ground you walk on in the first level is constantly rising, dropping, or being washed away by waves. Other environmental hazards in the later levels include avalanches and even a stage that locks Arthur in a cage as the entire level rotates around him. It's all very creative, and it's quite beautiful in many places. Unfortunately, the game tends to slow down quite frequently, especially when multiple sprites gather onscreen or when some of the environmental craziness takes effect. Interestingly enough, the arcade levels included in the arranged mode slow down just as much--even more so in some spots. There really is no excuse for the amount of slowdown you'll encounter in the game.
At any moment, there will be a multitude of enemies spawning all around you, and dispatching them using your various thrown weapons is easy enough in theory. Arthur has a number of them in his arsenal, though he can carry only one at a time. Weapons are picked up as you progress by cracking open treasure chests or obtaining them from fallen enemies. Arthur's only defense is his armor, which can be upgraded by finding more advanced suits, which in turn improves the characteristics of your weapon. The highest level of armor also grants you a super attack that can be charged up and unleashed. These attacks differ according to the weapon--for example, the dagger's super move is a fiery dragon that circles the screen dealing out damage, while the super move for the crossbow merely reveals any hidden treasure chests nearby.
Another aspect of the gameplay that bears mentioning is the fact that Arthur can double-jump to access hard-to-reach places. The levels in the original mode were laid out with the double jump in mind. However, enemies are constantly spawning, so oftentimes you'll find yourself flying through the air toward certain death. Once the second jump is initiated, there's no turning back, and this can be quite frustrating when you find yourself a victim of some random spawn or other unforeseen consequence. Arthur can die instantly in some instances, and at best, his armor can absorb just one extra hit. Something else to consider is that in Ghouls 'N Ghosts for the arcade and Sega Genesis, you had the ability to fire your weapon upward. Here you have no such ability. Conversely, you didn't have the double jump in the arcade game. So the arcade levels in the arranged mode seem a bit odd in this game, considering that they were designed with a different set of gameplay mechanics in mind.
As mentioned, there are two modes available in Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts. The first is a straight port of the original SNES game that is true to the original in every detail, with the exception of a newly revamped intro. The second is an arranged mode that diverges into three paths upon completion of the first level. Which path is open to you depends directly on which armor you've completed the level with. The lowest level of armor drops you to the lower track, which is essentially the original mode with the difficulty kicked up to expert levels (completing a stage with no armor at all will produce the same result). Surviving the first stage with the second level of armor--the green plate mail--will send you down the second path, which is composed of the levels from Ghouls 'N Ghosts. Finally, arriving at level's end with a full set of gold plate mail opens up the third path. This third path is a much more difficult rendition of the original mode, and it includes a few tweaks and fixes that will go unnoticed by all but the most die-hard of fans. Having the gold armor also allows you alternate levels on the three tracks, while having the green armor allows you to alternate between the first two, so these options should extend the life of the game.
If one attribute of the game stands out more than the rest, it's the sound. The music in the game is very well done and quite catchy. Each level has its own track that is well suited to the environment that you find yourself trying to overcome. It should be noted that the recent game Maximo: Ghosts to Glory for the PlayStation 2 was inspired by Ghouls 'N Ghosts--as well as by Super Ghouls N' Ghosts--and the soundtrack of that game consisted of remixes and variations on the Ghouls 'N Ghosts themes. The music was quite good in the PS2 game, but the original tracks contained in this game are purer, and they're also proof that the cartridge format really doesn't restrict music quality. The crisp sound effects combine with the music to make for a game that sounds superb.
All told, Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts for the Game Boy Advance is a tight game that experiences a few technical difficulties along the way. It's too bad that the developers didn't take some more time with it to solve the slowdown problems, but as it stands, the game is quite enjoyable if you have the patience to deal with the high level of difficulty. Those who are looking for a straight port of the original along with a few extras thrown in won't be disappointed, either.
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