Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins

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Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins
Game: Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins
Platform: PSP
Studio: Capcom
Rating: 7/10

GAME DESCRIPTION: In Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Arthur’s heroic battle with the underworld was finally over and the entrance to the realm was sealed. So he thought. Time passes and unknowing to mankind, the dark lord has awaken from his slumber and kidnaps the princess in an effort to conquer the human world. Arthur must set off for the evil forest, the gateway to the underworld, to save the princess from imminent doom and keep the devil as well as his minions at bay. The excitement and intensity of the forerunner continues as our armored hero takes on this new challenge for the sake of humanity.

With the use of a 3D graphics engine, the Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins world comes alive as effects, cutscenes, backgrounds and animations are given more depth and richer detail. Retaining the classic design of the series, several new facets have been created including a broader range of motion and control techniques. Now our hero has the capability to dash, double-jump, shoot up or down in a vertical fashion, grab onto ledges, etc. A new leveling system allows gamers to build up Arthur’s skills for more powerful magic abilities and attacks. With the addition of extra lives, death doesn’t mean starting from a check point but rematerializing where they left off. Also new to the series is the inclusion of three difficulty modes that will suit every experience level: Novice, Standard and Ultimate. With the introduction of these all-new settings, a wide range of players can now fully enjoy Arthur’s daring and unique world.

No longer just a linear experience, Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins has plenty of branching sub-missions that will encourage players to explore their surroundings for a more open-ended experience. Gamers can save their progress along the way and revisit cleared stages at anytime to expose unexplored paths, concealed items or weapons to help conquer the challenges that lie ahead.

Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins boasts the following features:

* New features and upgrades for the series –
o New 3-D characters and environments enrich the side-scrolling adventure!
o New weapons, magic and armor help Arthur overcome difficult challenges
o New and improved moves for the heroic Sir Arthur:
+ Double-jump in mid-air, grab onto ledges and much more
o New save feature allows gamers to revisit cleared stages at anytime
o New level-up system for more powerful abilities and attacks
o New difficulty settings that provide their own unique challenges for every gamer:
+ Novice – An easier mode for those not familiar with the series
+ Standard – The default setting for those wanting a challenge
+ Ultimate – A setting reminiscent of past Ghosts ‘n Goblin titles
o Extra lives mean starting where players left off and not at check points
* Expansive environments – Five main stages, each with multiple sub-missions, hidden paths and bosses to conquer

PLAY: Ultimate Ghost ‘N Goblins is a fun way to hack and slash your way through a day. Most of Ultimate Ghost ‘N Goblins is making your way through the levels fighting monsters—or course the usual ghouls and ghosts. From the name Ultimate Ghost ‘N Goblins you can easily figure that it will have a spooky with a Halloween feel and medieval flavor with your knight in ruffled boxers.

Ultimate GNG doesn’t stray far from the original platform game—the PSP version is a platform game that is linear and whether the new breed of gamers will enjoy it or not is hard to say. Most young gamers are used to being unrestrained by their video games and this is a game designed like most of the games us older folks played in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. What will keep all gamers interested is the level of action.

The level of action keeps you moving along and content which helps distract the player from the linear design of Ultimate GNG. Your weapons are a dagger, lance, scythe boomerang, and very cool crossbow that shoot three arrows—and more. The deeper you get into the game the better the weapons—as well as the ability to double jump.

GRAPHICS: It would be a bit unfair to say that Ultimate Ghost ‘N Goblins is a great looking game—then again what do you compare it to? Do you compare it to previous versions of the game to games that are currently being released on the PSP? Ultimate Ghost ‘N Goblins is a cartoonish and doesn’t try to have any semblance of realism like Madden. The style of the characters and levels are nicely detailed and run at a great speed without any glitches.

SOUND: This is the best sound of any version of the game—however in comparison to modern games it is fairly sparse.

FRANKLY: Ultimate Ghost ‘N Goblins is six levels deep and unfortunately it doesn’t take long to finish. We were able to chug through it in under six hours—with a break for lunch and snacks. On the plus side—in the easier levels its fun for kids around the age of 10+. They could eventually beat Ultimate Ghost ‘N Goblins but it would give them a lot of gameplay without getting too hung up in a section.

+ Richie Wright

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