I’m a huge fan of retro games, seeing that I grew up in the time that is now considered “retro.” Luckily I kept a majority of my old games and corresponding systems so I can play them when I feel the need to. Having conquered Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls, I figured I’d be able to take Arthur on his quest to save the princess pretty quickly. Holy crap was I wrong! I chose Super Ghouls and Ghosts over the previous ones because I had heard it is the most difficult, and that is not an understatement. To date, this is the hardest game I have ever encountered, and I loved every minute of it. Most of the time when I challenge a very difficult game, I get aggravated and quit within minutes, but my failures with Arthur went on for hours, and never met once with success.
The game of course still looks gorgeous; the 16-bit graphics have aged very gracefully unlike it’s 32-bit counterpart. The enemy animations are great and Arthur’s jump looks great, even though it was a little too sluggish for my liking. The backgrounds also look phenomenal. The music, while not the best in series – the honor goes to Ghosts and Goblins – still sounds phenomenal through my flat screen speakers. I even caught myself humming along to the tune as I continued to die over and over. As I played, I found myself wondering if a game like this would be popular should it have been released today. Personally I don’t think so; gamers have been babied as the generations continue, and the crushing difficulty of this game would make most destroy their controllers.
The controls are pretty simple; one button is attack, and the other is jump with the d-pad moving you forwards, backwards, and down (crouching). The simple controls help you die less, but not that much. At every turn there is an obstacle that is attempting to end you. If there aren’t zombies constantly re-spawning, it’s huge obelisks blocking your weapon’s path. Also, these obelisks are just tall enough to make you have to do a double jump which will most likely land you into the arms of death anyway. Everything wants to kill you in this game, and Capcom wasn’t nice enough to give you many chances either. You get five continues, two lives per continue and a whopping two hits per life. And with all that they’ve given you, you have to get through eight levels of constantly respawning enemies that show you no quarter. Good luck beating this monster of a game.
I’m glad that I dusted this game off, I remember playing this and it’s predecessors when I was younger, and it was a great walk down memory lane… An irritating walk down memory lane, but a nice one nonetheless. Should you be an older gamer like myself and have fond memories of this game, picking it up again will help you relive your tough gaming childhood. If you are a younger gamer who hasn’t had the pleasure of playing this masterpiece, you need to go out and find a copy. It will be worth your time, and you’ll get to see just how hard games used to be, and how easy a majority of them are now.