Terror takes many forms my friend, and before this October is out we face its greatest challenge, in olden days games were far less… forgiving and it’s still true to this day. Darksouls? bah I will show you true terror for today in our last October review we delve into Super Ghouls and Ghosts.
In my opinion Nintendo’s line of IPS can only ever truly be competed with by Capcoms (or at least Capcom of some time ago as right now they seem to be ignoring IPS or wrecking them but that’s a discussion for another day). The ghouls and ghost line is remembered for two things: 1. its mix of style of cartoon and horror (think slightly more cartoonish Castlevania) and 2. being INSANELY HARD. Super ghouls and ghosts is its entry on the SNES and it lives up to that (though maybe less dickish than the NES original).
You play Arthur (those who have played recent Marvel V Capcom games may recognize him) who upon returning to his beloved Princess Prin Prin, sees her get kidnapped by Satan (who never actually appears in this game bar this one bit at the start). You bravely venture through graveyards filled with zombies, through a line of haunted ships, through a lava filled ancient city, through a demon’s inner organs (no idea how that one got there but it’s a very freaky bit) through the ice woods to the demon’s castle – which are 2 separate levels bringing the total to six. Most levels are split into 3 sections: the start, an intermediary section that moves it to the next location and the final part which leads to a boss. The first level as said starts in a graveyard but then you go through a region with tidal waves that slowly erode the ground before going into an overgrown mausoleum and fight a cockatrice.
Arthur moves somewhat clunky. When he jumps the only way to change momentum or trajectory is to use the second jump so you need to plan out your movements (but then he is wearing full armour… most of the time so can’t expect him to be doing backflips). Take one hit and you’re reduced to your underwear until you can find a replacement suit of armour. You can get better suits assuming you didn’t lose it before. Start out with standard, the green enhanced and finally golden magical armour but get hit and its back to your undies and you have to start the process all over again.
You do however get multiple different weapons to use each affecting how you take on enemies, from the land that goes in a straight line, to the more multi shot dagger and axes you throw in a spinning motion. Many more till you realize the bow is the best weapon cause all weapons get better when you get to green armour and the bow then fires 3 HOMING ATTACKS (see best weapon, oh the weird magical dagger like thing may look fancy – but HOMING ATTACKS!). Get to golden armour and each weapon has different magical powers (which you will probably never use since the bow’s one is kind of useless and you should just be using HOMING ATTACKS!.)
So you got to the end of world 6, beat the 2 bosses and then the game decides to be a dick (which is where the hard part comes in). Turns out you now have to go through ALL the levels again, get to golden armour and find the magical ring weapon use it to beat the guys you just killed to face the final boss…. oh and all the levels are harder now…. or just restart use a level select code to face the final boss without doing all that as the end result is the same. (yeah that’s also what the series is known for, just when you think you’re done you have to do it all over again harder, and with a specific weapon… that is nowhere near as good as the HOMING ATTACKS!)
The game is certainly enjoyable (bar that last bit) and rewards patience rather than rushing head first like a loony. Working out where those chests are, or more precisely how to make them appear, how best to handle enemies (until you remember the bow is better than every other weapon and it becomes a job of not getting hit while the homing attacks do their thing). So if you can find a copy (I don’t think its on the SNES classic) then prepare to head through a dark magical land and wonder how the hell you got into a giant demon’s stomach.