Ghouls 'n' Ghosts

by Andrew R. Threlfall, Ben Jackson, John P. Tatlock, Mike Follin, Peter Gough, Tim Follin, Ian Naylor
U.S. Gold Ltd
Sinclair User Issue 93, Dec 1989   page(s) 46,47

Label: US Gold
Author: Capcom
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter

Hell is a lonely place, The tormented screams of lost, dark souls echo in the void where hope is but a faded memory and pain is the currency in which all debts are paid. The Horned One, warped in his power and alone in his misery, waits only for the day of reckoning when the dead shall rise and the final judgement will be theirs.

And what has all this to do with Ghouls N' Ghosts. Well not a lot except that we should try to set the scene, for what is a thoroughly evil program with some wicked and well tasty programming.

For the sake of accuracy, for all you arcade freaksters out there. Ghouls N' Ghosts is US Gold's conversion of the Capcom arcade classic of the same name, (which in effect is Ghosts N' Goblins II). In it, you must fight your way through five levels of nastiness in order to rescue the princess and live happily ever after in Surrey where you retire to write your memoires. Play begins with you suitably decked out in your designer Pierre Cardin metal vest, resplendent in your butchness and waving several feet of cold steel that should serve you well for any open head surgery that you might like to try on a passing zombie.

And here comes one now, pushing it's way out of the ground. "Are you a private or National Health zombie?"

"Grunt!" He must be National Health you think as you make your first (and last) incision straight through the neck. There, that's cured his headache permanently.

To show their (un)dying gratitude, sometimes nasties will bequeath you another type of weapon. These vary in type and include water, an axe, sheridans etc. Each has its own advantages and weaknesses and each one, when walked over is swopped with the current weapon in use.

Now and again, you may get hit. The first successful attack completely relieves our hero of his armour, but he will battle on clad only in his tinfoil vest and knickers. Needless to say, the next hit is "Goodnight, good knight!"

There are some big chests (titter), which contain some goodies: replacement suits of armour and even super armour which when powered up, releases a devastating charge which will kill any nastie that gets in the way of it. Open them by attacking them with whatever weapon you have to hand but beware! Sometimes they hold a spell that, unless destroyed, will turn the hero into a duck (with NO weapon) or an old crumbly complete with walking stick and associated slowness.

There are 5 levels to Ghouls N' Ghosts and there's a hell of a lot in it. How'd they get so much in? I reckon they must've rammed it in with a large wooden pole.

The first stage of the game didn't strike me as wonderful with the small hero graphic sometimes getting lost with the yellow walls but on later levels this criticism disappears and the large scale monsters are very good, in both graphics and size with later levels showing some good uses of colour and making for what is a game that could be played for ages, by all ages.

Graphics: 78%
Sound: 80%
Playability: 82%
Lastability: 88%
Overall: 82%

Summary: A great game, well converted and vast in size.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 120, Feb 1992   page(s) 40

Label: US Gold
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £3.99 Tape
Reviewer: Steve Keen

Ghouls and Ghost was a brilliant arcade coin-op yet it's a classic example of a game that does not transfer well to the Spectrum.

In fact the game has been knocking around the home computer market for some time now and if you compare it to the competition of today it fails dismally.

It's a simple shoot 'em up affair involving the brave deeds of a knight. The levels change throughout the game, but my prediction is that you won't get much further than the first graveyard scene. If boredom doesn't kill you frustration will. The enemy, vampires, bats and skeletons etc come at you from all angles, even out of the ground, and are extremely fast so if you miss one there's no use trying to run 'cos these guys shift it.

Don't misunderstand me if you have the ability, time and patience Ghouls and Ghosts could be a great game; graphics are colourful and detailed, if a little small, and sound and gameplay adequate. Unfortunately I'm no Mother Teresa and will have to let it pass, but someone out there could do a blinding sequel.

Hey Farty! Ghouls and Ghosts is great! O.K. the graphics are a bit on the small side, but there's a lot to do if you're up to the job and I certainly am! I'd have given it a mark of 84% 'cos it just lasts and lasts.

Overall: 71%

Summary: Call me Farty Farty Snarf Blast, but this would make big Al choke on a bagel. It's just too hard and fast and I haven't the patience to spend all that time dying.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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