Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection Review

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is the latest attempt to bring an iconic franchise back into the spotlight, aiming to modernize the formula that made the original Ghosts ‘n Goblins so successful back on the NES. For the most part, the game succeeds in what it sets out to do, but longtime fans of the series may find themselves reminiscing about the classic game by the time the credits roll. The elevator pitch for Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is as simple as they come. Players take on the role of Arthur, a gallant but dopey knight who tries to save his love, a princess, from the evil hands of a demon lord. What stands between him is an army of monsters and platforming challenges, brought together to create the meat of the video game. For the most part, the basic platforming and combat aspects of the game work well, especially in the first two zones. Fighting the hordes of zombies, skeletons, and other monsters that spawn on the path to the game’s final level is often felt in Ghosts ‘n Goblins and its SNES sequel, Ghouls and Ghosts. It doesn’t push the platforming genre forward, but there’s beauty in its simplicity. Arthur is fighting zombies As a new take on a NES/SNES franchise, however, players can expect some brutally difficult levels, especially depending on the chosen difficulty setting, of which there are four. Each difficulty setting changes the number of hits Arthur can take and makes some changes to the respawn system, with the highest difficulty, Knight, essentially copying the winning parameters of the original. Those who opt for Knight are in for an experience worthy of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins name, while the lowest setting, Page, is good for those who just want to work on the platforming sections. Of course, Capcom has added some new elements for players to enjoy. In each zone, players will find Umbral Bees, usually obtained by quickly completing a challenging platform section of a map, or placed in some other hard-to-reach area. Umbral Bees allow a player to unlock new abilities from the Umbral Tree, which is essentially a perk system. There is a wide range of what these abilities do, from abilities that turn enemies into frogs to additional weapon slots. The Umbral Tree is the most refreshing addition to the game and by far the most important. Not only does this encourage players to replay levels to find more Umbral Bees, but the abilities make the game feel more modern without ruining the core experience. It’s not necessary to use them for any purists out there, but they’re probably fun to use, especially where active spells are concerned. Arthur fights in the cemetery Those spells don’t have terrible cooldowns, and some of them are capable of clearing the screen of monsters in one pitch. Without context, that’s not impressive, but too many enemies at once is a death sentence when the platforming and combat challenges come together, which is often the case. Aside from spells and abilities, there are many weapons available to players, many of which were featured in the original games. Not all of the weapons available are noteworthy, and more often than not, players will likely find themselves looking for Arthur’s spear, Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection’s most versatile weapon. There are a few others that have appeal, like the blue flame weapon that can take out grounded enemies in an instant, though using it against floating enemies is annoying. The hammer is also satisfying, sending out a slight shockwave that can chew through enemies. However, like everything, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection has its share of issues, though their severity will likely depend on what players are looking for out of the game. The most immediate downside is that the game lacks even an ounce of the charm of the original. The art style is somewhere between trying to recreate the classic visuals and adding a modern feel, but failing to do either results in a game that just looks cheap. Recent games like Shovel Knight prove that 8-bit and 16-bit graphics can still be attractive, so the decision to stay away is a bit confusing. Arthur fights the cyclops Ghosts ‘n Goblins also struggles when it comes to sound design. Flying enemies tend to make a subtle chirping sound as they pass by, but that sound is quite annoying. The music doesn’t necessarily detract from the experience, but it doesn’t add any value to it either. Some platforming challenges overstay their welcome, so much so that they make it worth playing the game on Page difficulty, if only to get down on the timing of certain jumps. Page difficulty allows players to respawn wherever they die as opposed to returning to a respawn flag or the start of a zone. Unfortunately, things start to fall apart after the second zone, as uninspired boss fights and lackluster platforming segments combine to create an underwhelming experience. Plus, the boss fights never go beyond “passable,” until the end. All told, the nostalgia rush of revisiting a classic game is enough to make Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection a worthwhile experience, but poor game design decisions could have sent the NES out Classic to some players to enjoy the original Ghosts ‘n Goblins instead. It has its own unique concepts, but it can only take you so far. Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection was released on February 25, 2021, for Switch. Today Technology was provided with a code for this review. MORE: 10 Classic NES Games That Look Amazing Now

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