ReviewsReview: Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection

Review: Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection

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Brutally difficult games are nothing new. There are an array of ball-breaking titles for you to choose from, each will make you frustrated and angry. Most of these harsh beauties are influenced or are sequels to early gaming franchises. The 80s tended to create unnecessarily tough games and the Ghosts ‘n Goblins franchise was born from this horrible cesspool. Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is a modern take on its previous iterations and is a love letter to every great aspect of these much-loved classics.

Developed and published by Capcom, this is a borderline sadomasochistic 2D platform title. Unfairly cruel at times, this once exclusive Nintendo Switch title has been given the green light for a full console release. Everyone now has the chance to rage quit, scream expletives, and generally hate life.

An army of zombies.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection made me want to cry! 

This thirty-year-old franchise was a mainstay in my household when I was growing up. I loved watching my brother playing it and dying repeatedly. I’d chuckle to myself thinking he was useless and wondered how he could be so terrible at a game. Roll on a few decades and who is laughing now? Certainly not me! The gameplay is so tough that it verges on torture and I admit failing it for the nth time made me want to cry.

Fortunately, Capcom isn’t all bad as they allowed a range of difficulty settings to be selected. You can start at the bottom and have unlimited lives and the option to spawn from where you died. Or you can up the difficulty and slowly remove the player aids. Unless you want to smash several controllers, I suggest starting low and working your way up.

If you have a friend who wishes to play, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection has got that covered too! In a first for the franchise, couch co-op has been introduced which vastly reduces the overall challenge. With a choice of three spirits to help you, you can overcome obstacles and hellish monsters with relative ease. Well, at least compared to the solo game that is.

A traditional story for an old-school series.

You control Arthur, a heroic and famous Knight. He’s relaxing with the princess after his latest endeavour and it quickly becomes apparent that something is wrong. The town is ablaze and a black cloud is forming. The fruit of the divine Umbral Tree dies and loses its colour. Worst of all, the princess is kidnapped by the Demon Lord. Arthur will not sit by in his underpants and let this happen! He puts on his armour, forms a plan, and goes after the princess who hides in the Demon Realm.

How terribly dramatic, eh? The fairytale-like theme helps to form the world you explore. The brilliantly detailed picturesque storybook land is a pleasure to traverse. You’ll face five stages of sheer hell before you rescue the princess, though I fear many will not bother as the challenge is so great. The first two stages allow you to select which path you’d like to take. After that, the game dictates the route to the Demon Lord.

Avoid the fire breath.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is all about sprites, magic, and an arsenal of weapons. 

Like all platform games, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is all about the collectables. Luckily, these aren’t merely ornaments that show how committed you are. No, they help improve Arthur temporarily and in the long run. Golden chests contain new weapons that improve your chances immediately. Ignoring these valuable assets is foolish and unwise, so collect each one you can. If you are agile enough, you can collect magical sprites that help to reinvigorate the Umbral Tree. These magical beings disappear as quickly as they appear, so you must be quick to gather them all.

The divine Umbral Tree is a game-changer as it gifts you magical powers and attributes that assist you in your adventure. You gain the ability to shoot lightning bolts, create shields, increase your inventory slots, and more. Which skill or spell you wish to equip is your choice. Capturing each of the limited sprites is the only thing standing between you and ultimate power.

Retro gaming with a modern look.

I’m not willing to bad mouth the Nintendo Switch, but allowing this to be played on more powerful machines was the right move. On the Xbox Series X, this looks incredible and runs buttery smooth. The level of detail across each stage was unbelievable, as was the variety in look and style. The eerie gothic theme is enhanced by the use of sultry tones and the fairy tale imagery supports the clichéd but well thought out story.

The audio met my expectations with a soundtrack that will meet the approval of its many fans. Each stage has an eerie song accompanying the action, and every boss fight has an upbeat, overbearing tune to match the situation. The sound effects are good with a mixture of retro noises that ties in with the original titles.

Dodge that cyclops.

Why is Arthur so God damn slow!

I’ve seen pensioners on zimmer frames that move faster than Arthur. No wonder the guy survives wars, every time one happens he ambles to the battlefield to arrive as it’s over. His meandering is infuriating and causes many deaths. This combined with the lame ability to jump, gives you a recipe for disaster. Capcom could have and should have done better with the controls. Weapons can only be thrown horizontally or vertically and attack is the only form of defence. These oversights make a tough game much harder.

For those of you who can stomach it, this has plenty of reasons to return. With multiple difficulties, couch co-op, a tough achievement list, lots of spells to find, and a shadow mode to explore, this has ample replay value. Sadly though, I’m not sure many will experience much of this because of its cruel difficulty level.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is brilliant, it’s just too hard! 

A tough game is one thing, but this is borderline sadistic and is something altogether different. There is a lot to like about Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, but equally, there is a lot to hate. If you a fan of the franchise and love its brutality, then you’ll adore this. Or, if you like extremely challenging games such as OkunoKA Madness or Super Meat Boy, then this will be fun for you as well. I recommend you buy it here, but it should come with a health warning! Grab your armour, save the princess, and defeat the Demon Lord. Do all this and don’t smash your controller, best of luck! 

SUMMARY

Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection is so tough I wanted to cry. A brilliant and cruel game that needs to be played by all hardcore platform enthusiasts. Arthur is slow, lethargic, and has the agility of a sloth. He makes up for this with magic, weapons, and spotty underwear. Have a spare controller on hand as you are going to need it.

+ Picturesque storybook setting.
+ Excellent audio.
+ Lots of collectables.
+ A selection of difficulty settings.
+ True to the franchise.
- Arthur is painfully slow.
- Unbelievable challenging.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: [email protected]

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