Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins
Japan's finest knight returns to the battlefield at last.
Preview by (Email)
June 27th 2006
The Basics: Arthur's back! His princess has been kidnapped again! He's still trapped in 2D planes! God bless the king.
What we think: As a humongo fan of the original series (up until after the final level when you're forced to repeat everything on difficulty set to 11, at which point, god damn, they're the worst games ever), Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins probably won't disappoint. Judging from the E3 demo, it doesn't look like it'll hold a candle to Ghouls 'n Ghosts partially because it feels much floatier and much less precise, though that can be said to just about every fancy pants rendered game. Even though it remains on a 2D plane, everything is in 3D so you can affectionately call it 2.5D.
The mischievous humor of the game still carries through however. There's still the silly Medieval Halloween music, and goofy ghouls and flowers popping out all over the place. Normal mode seemed a bit easy, preceseily made for whiners like me who hated being forced to play through the game a second time to rescue the princess. So on my second playthrough of the demo, I maxed the difficulty and it'll make even the most hardened Capcom crusader cry. Ghouls, zombies, and crazy vultures are everywhere, and every foot will seem like a mile.
Ultimate is more insistent on being a platformer than before. While originally the absurd platform jumping was saved for the later levels, Ultimate has much more floating platform and instant death pits right from the outset. In the first level (set in a creepy little forest and plain) has a variety of swamp pits that Arthur has to navigate over with platforms running around and about. Heroes patient enough to ride the platforms will find treasure chests at the top of their cycle, which still have to be broken to reveal their weapons. Luckily, Capcom was wise enough to power Arthur with a double jump so there a bit more manageable.
I'd have to say that Capcom made the right choice here. If you post on any reasonable message board, posters have been going nuts about how gorgeous the game looks and praising Capcom on keeping the 2D spirit alive. That's true, but be warned that it won't come anywhere near the perfectly honed originals. But shhh! It's still good, and assuming they don't use their PSP for naughty emulation purposes, this will be one of the best 2Dish games on the PSP.