Ghost ‘n Goblins: Resurrection is a game that time has forgotten and that aims to take players into the heyday of Super Nintendo, where visual beauty meets brutality of the game, dazzling and pummeling in equal parts. The pile of Resurrection corpses piled up during my playthrough made me swear like a sailor, and yet I walked away and sang its praises as one of the best setbacks I’ve ever played.
Legendary hero Arthur and his more famous pair of boxer shorts are re-lit, pitted and chewed from a cave of teeth, much to the chagrin of the player and to the delight of the designers at Capcom (led by Tokuro Fujiwara) who created the original Ghost in 1985 n ‘Goblins game and the SNES sequel). You can almost hear the latter group say “Gotcha!” After every death the player didn’t see coming. While the level designs may be nostalgic in their character movement and action dynamics, they are incredibly clever and constantly changing, leaving you in constant panic in a fun and terrifying way.
Skeletons rise quickly from their graves as Arthur moves forward, and there is always some sort of aerial threat that will push him into a pit. The action requires fractions of a second reflex, but even more requires memorizing hostile patterns and placements created by dying. An advantage can be gained from Arthur’s weapon of choice, whether it be the quickly thrown daggers, the spreading fire of holy water, or a handful of other useful tools that any enemy can do short work with. The action is simple in scope; You just jump and shoot in four directions, but it feels incredibly dynamic, so everything you do feels nifty.
All levels offer very different challenges in which the same moveset is used well, but the players have a certain freedom of choice as to how they go through it. From the beginning of the adventure, you have the choice between two levels, which either allow a shorter playthrough or offer the opportunity to return to missed stages to absorb new horrors and earn more Umbral Bees. This oddly named collectible is a form of currency that can be used to purchase useful spells, such as: B. the ability to turn any enemy on the screen into a frog or rain the lights. The wealth of skills is well worth the effort as some can be game changers at certain stages, much like the right weapon for a boss in Mega Man.
The entire game can also be played cooperatively, with the second player controlling a trio of ghosts called Three Wise Guys who can be swapped out on the fly. Each of the boys helps Arthur in different ways, like being able to create a protective shield or lifting him over a gap. It’s a cool co-op idea that helps make the game less difficult. While the second player does not experience the core game, he can still play an important role in the outcome.
Even with the help of a friend, the game will quickly alert you that if the situations are too difficult, you can decrease the difficulty. If that doesn’t produce results, you can turn on a magic metronome to slow the pace of the game to a crawl. This gives you a hell of a big advantage in lancing enemies, securely tying up crumbling stairs, and grabbing Umbral Bees that may zip past you. If you feel that the game is too easy, the metronome can also be used to speed it up and make it more challenging. If you just want to see the entire game with no worries in the world, the lowest difficulty level can get you right back to where you die, although playing that way removes some of the late game surprises.
After the boss has been killed, players can restart their adventure for a slightly rearranged playthrough. This in turn applies to the roots of the series with transformed phases and new challenges. This is a great reason to have another fantastic game playing, and it also gives the player an opportunity to acquire every skill.
As much as I enjoyed getting my butt off Resurrection, one of the best parts of it is the visual design. It looks like a picture book drawn and colored with pencils that bursts every moving element. Yes, some of the classic enemy designs are pretty uninspired and the worlds are pretty plain in detail, but together they jump off the screen and frame the action perfectly.
Ghost ‘n Goblins: Resurrection is a game that will make you try to try again. If you don’t have what it takes to make it, solutions have been built in to help you make further progress. I didn’t think I needed another Ghost n ‘Goblins game, but Capcom proved me wrong, and now I want more.