Our Rating: 8.5/10
The legend has returned, 15 years later, and from the hands of its original creator, Tokuro Fujiwara. The Ghosts’ n Goblins series was born in arcades over 30 years ago, and has always been known for its hardcore difficulty… and for the nice boxer shorts that the protagonist, Sir Arthur, always wears under his armor.
This kind of remake/reboot collects mechanics, settings, and enemies of Ghosts ‘N Goblins and Ghouls’ N Ghosts to create the definitive adventure of Sir Arthur, which begins, as usual in the franchise, with the kidnapping of Princess Prin Prin.
The story has the simplicity worthy of fairy tales (and Mario’s adventures). The princess is kidnapped and our hero will face all kinds of monsters, demons, and evil creatures to rescue her. No dialogue, no mess.
GAMEPLAY and DESIGN
Anyone who has played any game in the series certainly knows that the franchise is no walk in the park. Ghosts’ n Goblins has a very high level of challenge. It is a true test of skill and resilience for players. The good news is that while it maintains the challenge level typical of the series, it also brings more accessible levels of difficulty.
Playing on Page, the lowest difficulty leaves some elements out (like the shadow versions of the levels, for example), but allows the player to reach the end of the campaign and save the princess. There is a real ending that can only be seen on the highest difficulties, but it is still interesting (and inclusive) to be able to enjoy the (almost) entire game on the lowest difficulty.
Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection has a total of 7 levels, but you only need to play 5 of them if you want. The first two bring forks, you decide which one you want to play. Playing in the lowest difficulties, Sir Arthur loses his armor in pieces. In short, he accepts about 4 hits before he dies. In the highest difficulties, in the first attack suffered, he loses his entire armor, leaving only his underwear.
The gameplay is essentially the same as it has always been. We can run, jump and crouch, and all weapons are focused on throwing: spears, knives, shurikens, bombs. Even the hammer, which is the most unusual weapon, also fires a shock wave, which serves as a projectile.
The biggest change in terms of gameplay is the spells. Little fairies can be collected and exchanged for powers and abilities in a skill tree (which is, literally, a tree). There are very creative spells added to the game. From a huge jellyfish that petrifies enemies for a few moments, to turning Sir Arthur into a rolling stone to run over enemies!
Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection is a game full of secrets. Attacking certain points in the scene can cause secret chests to appear. The paths leading to the dark phases in the highest difficulty are very well hidden. It is quite normal for us to discover them “unintentionally” while playing. All the scenarios are based on classic locations, but with twists and turns that will surprise both newbies and veterans of the saga.
As soon as you start playing, you can choose between entering the classic Ghosts ‘N Goblins graveyard or the guillotine-strewn ruins of Ghouls’ N Ghosts. You will find zombies, carnivorous plants, ghosts, sorcerers, and of course, the bloody gargoyle Red Arremer. Even more, deadly and elusive than ever.
Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection has a local coop for two players! Playing in pairs, the second player can control some ghosts with different abilities. They can fly and move freely around the scene, helping destroy enemies and collect items.
The GOOD, the BAD, and OVERALL GAMING EXPERIENCE
The game features some old-fashioned nonsense that can be annoying and can be especially frustrating in the highest difficulties. For example, when Sir Arthur takes damage, he jumps back. This little jump will make you fall from chasms, thorns, and more. Another annoying thing: enemies just keep coming. On each screen of the game, the respawn of enemies is virtually infinite. So the secret is never to stay in the same place for long.
In addition to tons of common enemies, each level brings a big boss to the end. The bosses here are extremely challenging, and the battles take place in different stages, which gradually become more difficult. The biggest advantage of playing in Page mode is that you can resurrect where you die. In the other game modes, you will return from the last checkpoint, but as the stages are long and there are only about 3 checkpoints in each, dying means having to reject long (and difficult) stretches.
Demonstrating the versatility of its engine, Capcom produced Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection on RE Engine, and the result is just incredible. The look of the game looks incredible. There are a lot of cool things happening in the scenarios, which change and transform in real-time.
The art direction modernizes the classic look but has a lot of respect for the original material. Virtually, all enemies are updated and/or reinterpretations of classic enemies. But here comes pixel art, with the new look of a fairy tale book.
Anyone who enjoyed the old game will enjoy seeing so many monsters in this new version. The animations are a little “hard”, but I think this is purposeful to maintain the series’ characteristic style. Mechanically, the gameplay flows well – but I think there was a lack of a command to jump down (on lower platforms).
The soundtrack follows the same line of the visual. It is updated, grand, and yet very familiar. Many sound effects play with the player’s nostalgia. It increases the feeling that Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection is not only a new game but a game that knows and respects its origins. Capcom did an excellent job of updating the game’s aesthetics, without compromising its level of challenge and identity.
This is not a game for everyone. The level of difficulty can scare even the Souls-likes fans. Those who enjoyed the dark adventures of Sir Arthur 30 years ago, will enjoy killing the noble samba-song rider.