Ultimate Ghosts’N Goblins – PSP – Review

It’s been
proven countless times that many video games series excel in two dimensions, yet
developers still seem hesitant to make them on the big home consoles. Well, at
least we still get them on handhelds, right? Capcom has brought a beloved
classic to the PlayStation Portable in the form of Ultimate Ghosts’n Goblins.

Ultimate G&G
plays very similar to the older ones. You play as Arthur on his quest to save
the princess from Demon Realm’s clutches. The style of gameplay is a very
classic approach, where the difficulty lies in platform jumping and enemy
placement, while the graphics and feature diversity have evolved to appeal to
the current generation of gamers.

The gameplay
is still very much like the original. Your hit points in Ghosts’n Goblins are
represented by suits of armor. Your physical appearance changes with each level
of armor you obtain, and will also downgrade each time you are attacked. When
down to your last hit point, Arthur will be in nothing but his boxers and the
next attack will kill him. However, falling into pits is an immediate death.

Ultimate Ghosts'N Goblins PSP screenshots

Luckily the
stock of lives you can have at any time is huge. Usually bosses even give you an
extra life when destroyed. Ultimate G&G isn’t an easy game by any means, so
you’ll be glad to have a nice collection of “chances.”

starts with his classic lance as a weapon, which he can throw up, down, left or
right. As you progress many more weapons start to pop up. Some have advantages
in certain situations, while others are just plain better weapons all around. Of
course the better weapons show up less than the others. Sometimes the type of
weapon you have can even dictate how well you progress in a level, making it
easier or harder than it should be.

In addition
to new weapons, Arthur can now find shields to defend himself with. Some shields
can do even more; for example, the Dragon Shield has wings on it, allowing
Arthur to fly on it for a limited amount of time.

There are
also abilities and special suits of armor along Arthur’s quest. Double jump is
one that’s learned early on, but later you can fly with a certain suit of armor
as long as you want.

Ultimate Ghosts'N Goblins PSP screenshots

If you’re
able to find the Warp Staff for a particular stage then you are able to
backtrack to that exact stage. When you complete an entire chapter you can
actually revisit the chapter without a Warp Staff, but you can only start at the
very beginning of the chapter instead of a specific stage. This is really nice
for going back to collect hidden items, since you can play older levels with all
your new abilities.

The level
design is excellent, and the graphics are crisp and run extremely smooth.
Platform placement and enemy paths create a balanced yet unforgiving difficulty.
Each level looks very different from the last, and most even plays very

Ultimate G&G
is a pretty short game, but there are hidden items in each level that
experienced players can attempt to collect. Also, the level of difficulty keeps
players from breezing through the game, since some levels will require practice
and patience. Overall I think most people will enjoy this game. Getting started
takes some time, since it’ll likely be very difficult at first. But if you stick
with it, it ends up being a very fun game.       

Review Scoring Details

Ultimate Ghosts’N Goblins

Gameplay: 8.4
The different
weapons and armor each bring a totally different play style to the table, and
players need to adjust their strategy accordingly. The way Arthur controls can
feel unnatural at first, but becomes easier as you play the game.

Graphics: 9.2 
The environments
are very colorful, Arthur’s different armor sets are extremely detailed and
varied, and weapon and enemy design is wonderful.

Sound: 9.5
The soundtrack
fits the game’s setting perfectly, and is great music on its own. The sound
effects are what you’d expect from an arcade game like this, but with the
quality that might surpass what you’d expect from a handheld game.

Difficulty: Medium-Hard
There are three
difficulty options, but even the easy mode can’t help you with some of the
difficult platform jumping that awaits you. This is a tough game.

Concept: 8.0 
The handheld
seems to be where all the 2D games go, and while I’d love to see them on home
consoles I’m at least glad they’re going somewhere other than “away.”

Overall: 8.9
The difficulty
might turn a lot of gamers off (it almost did for me) but if you give it a real
chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Ultimate Ghosts’n Goblins are a very
well-made 2D side-scroller that shouldn’t be overlooked. The hidden content and
multiple difficulties should give even the most seasoned gamer some
time-consuming challenges.