A side scrolling platformer originally released on the SNES; it has also graced collections or downloads on the PSX, PS2, Xbox, GBA, and PS3 to name a few. What really boggles my mind is WHY? I had a friend when I was in grade 8 who didn’t have an SNES, but bought this game so he could come over and play it at my place because he loved the game so much. I didn’t really like him, and I also didn’t really like this game. Nonetheless it is one of Capcom’s best selling games ever.
It’s a ridiculously, stupidly, hard game. If you have enough patience to make it to the end of the game, you have to play it from the beginning again with some bracelet in order to make it to the end. The game is unforgiving, controls terribly, suffers horrible slowdown, and I hate it.
You’ll see this more than you’ve ever seen in your life.
You play as Knight Arthur who must rescue a princess from some demons who have kidnapped her (probably again since there were previous Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts games). Emperor Sardius is the one that has kidnapped her and also the jerk that you must destroy with some bracelet on the second playthrough to get the real true ending.
As you start the game, you are given an ordinary suit of armour which doesn’t stop a damn thing. You get hit once and it just shatters off your body and you’re running around in your boxers. Your boxers offer just as much protection because you’ll die after another hit.
If you lose your awesome armour, treasure chests usually hide a set for you to put back on. You can also upgrade your armour along the way. Bronze will let you add some magic to your weapons; Gold will allow you to charge a special attack and gives you a shield which blocks one attack. Finally, the third upgrade is a moon shield which will let you block 3 attacks and reduces the time required to charge your special attack. I didn’t get any of these due to ultimate frustration.
There are also multiple weapons which was my favourite part of the game. There’s the lance which goes straight ahead, there’s a scythe which is much slower, but I believe it does a double hit (useful for bosses). My favourite is the cross bow which shoots ahead and up at an angle. It’s also kind of useful for a boss because if you’re up close you can get a double hit in. There are more weapons than that, but I never got that far in the game.
Speaking of bosses, they’re fairly easy. At least the few that I got to. Their attacks are not difficult to predict and avoid, and I found that the crossbow did an exquisitely decent job of knocking them out quickly.
The game features some neat gameplay controls. For example; you can double jump. However, once you’re in the air, you cannot change which direction you’re going (you can change direction if you initiate the second jump, but then it’s harder to tell how far you’re going to go). For example if you’re trying to jump to another platform in water, if you don’t judge it right from the first jump, you’re not going to make it. You can spin around and shoot in the other direction in the air, but where you’re going to land is already determined and there ain’t no way around that.
You cannot make it to the top of this pillar. I cannot express how frustrating that is.
Some of the level designs are cool as well. There is a pseudo 3d spiral up a tower (which uses a mode 7 effect to make it happen), and also levels that change orientation. You hop into these platforms that form a cage around you and the entire level rotates.
Maybe it’s just more fun on the arcade, or maybe watching your friends play it. But it’s not one I enjoy. Its difficulty blasts past difficult and frustrating, but I suppose if you ever do get the true ending, you can go around with some bragging rights.
Until next time!