A classic platformer with a hardcore difficulty level!
First, I'd like to announce that this is my first review ever, on any gaming site. And, to celebrate, I'll be reviewing my favorite game of all time: Ghouls 'n Ghosts.
Princess Prin Prin's soul, along with many others, has been consumed by the evil Loki! Now it is up to the brave knight Arthur to defeat Loki, and restore the souls of Loki's victims. This also includes Arthur's lover, Princess Prin Prin.
OK, so the story isn't so original, but it works.:)
To defeat Loki, Arthur must conquer five unique levels, all with their own difficult obstacles which set them apart from the rest. Trust me, when I say difficult, I mean it. Every time the game gets a chance, it will try it's best to pulverize you. The learning curve is quite steep, and chances are, when you start playing this game for the first time, you'll be seeing the continue screen a lot.
But, as strange as this sounds, the difficulty is what makes this game so enjoyable and addictive. The game wacks you in the testicles for even the smallest of blunders, but you keep coming back for more. This is what the Ghouls 'n Ghosts (or Ghosts 'n Goblins) franchise is infamous for.
As you progress through the game, you can pick up different weapons to help you along the way, which include throwing knives, axes, lances, a sword, a chinese star looking thing, and holy water (which some people call the blue torch.) All of these weapons are useful in some way or another, and each has it's strengths in certain situations. The best overall weapon, in my opinion, are the throwing knives. They're the perfect combination of speed, range, and power.
You'll also find treasure chests scattered throughout the game. If you bother to open them, you can find weaopns, armor, and evil magicians which try to transform you into an old man or a helpless little duck. Most of the time, you'll find a magician... so if you're unsure, leave the treasure chest alone. When lucky, you'll find armor, which will help keep Arthur alive longer.
For one of the first Genesis games to be released, the visuals are quite impressive. As you explore the game's five worlds, you'll be spooked by the game's creepy environments and demonic creatures. It all looks pretty, and there are some nice details, like the way your cape moves back and forth when wearing the golden armor. The only problem with the graphics are the times when the sprites vanish for brief moments, and the framerate drops, but this is all acceptable, because nearly all of the Genesis launch titles had these problems. Overall, it's a pretty game, and it pulls off it's eerie style perfectly.
The game's music is probably more impressive than it's graphics.
Every world has it's own chilling, but catchy tune. Even the boss fights all have their own soundtrack. And to top it off, the music in the first world is one of the most recognizable tunes in the gaming industry.
This is an old school platformer at it's best. It has difficulty, charm, and it's extremely addictive. It's hard to master, but this is what gives it so much replay value. If you haven't played this yet, I highly recommend you to go to a pawn shop and get this game for 5 bucks. You can also download it from the Wii's Virtual Console for only 800 points.
I give it a 5/5.