Ultimate Ghosts'n Goblins


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 10

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 9


Once into the first stage of Ultimate Ghosts'n Goblins, a remix of the franchise's classic theme begins rolling along to the action. Even if the gameplay was off, this initial theme is orchestrated well enough to bring a tear to any retro gamers eye. As in the Goblin's series typical ways however, crying only adds another aspect to the game that could kill you.

ultghosts1psp.jpg (47038 bytes)Uncompromising in its difficulty, this fully new entry revives Sir Arthur in his battle against the undead. After all the quests, all the kidnapped people, and all the zombies slaughtered, Arthur still hasn't learned how his static jump has led to so many countless unneeded deaths. This one gameplay mechanic is the soul of the series.

It's easy to write it off as bad design when tossing your PSP through a wall after falling to your death in stage four 18 times in a row. When used properly, it's sheer gaming beauty. It requires intimate knowledge, pinpoint accuracy, and sharp senses to pull through any of these stages. To flinch even slightly on the design side would be a disgrace to the fondly remembered titles that inspired this modern classic.

Fans will undoubtedly feel at home. Not a single reference has been left out. In the first stage alone, you'll fall victim to shifting landscapes, sorcerers turning Arthur into one of many alternate (and weak) identities, new armor, wild weapons, and hidden treasure chests. The game's purely 2-D gameplay makes deep exploration possible, but only for those skilled enough to pull it off. Hidden items here seemed to be placed by the Satan of game design himself.

As is the norm for any game, the secrets can be skipped, and the game can still be enjoyed thoroughly. The added weapons, especially in the case of the whip, give Capcom's latest a unique, stand out feel from its predecessors. Multiple shields play a role, allowing Arthur to take a few hits before going down. Magic proves to be a powerful ally as well.

Aside from his trademark jump, Arthur has worked out a few new physical moves too. The ability to grab onto ledges means the developers can add even larger chasms to jump across. His new dash can make this easier, but with constantly regenerating enemies, finding room to use it extensively only adds to the challenge.

ultghosts2psp.jpg (43630 bytes)Three difficulty settings make plenty of excuses for your complete lack of skill. The novice level hands out hits and live like candy. Still, completing even the early levels on this setting is enough of a challenge to harden the experienced side of the audience. It's worth seeing it all too, as the strict 2-D plane allows for stunning images to roll across the screen, vibrant in their color and technical artistry.

If Ultimate Ghosts'n Goblins is what you expect it to be, this is one of the PSP's standouts for the holiday season. It lives up to its name as a flawless sequel. If you've never indulged in one of gaming's best, it doesn't matter where you start, whether here or back on the NES. You'll be dead in a few seconds either way. If that's what you find enjoyable, it doesn't come any better than this new PSP benchmark.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Sunday, November 12, 2006 11:43 PM