Review: Ghouls ‘N Ghosts (Sega Genesis)

In this review, we take on the undead in the Sega Genesis game Ghouls ‘N Ghosts. We find out if this adventure game is worth playing.

This game was released in 1989. It is a port from the arcade game.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a storyline in the game itself. You are just taking on the forces of evil.

You start off as a knight in the middle of a graveyard. The main form of attack is your throwing spear. As you move along in the level, you’ll encounter a number of different enemies and obstacles. Some enemies fly around. Other enemies will run at you. A few will even bounce around. Some will even fire projectiles at you. Some enemies are invulnerable while others can be taken out with one or two strikes.

In total, you have three lives. Your goal is to make it to the end of the area. If you manage to make it to the next area, you can lose all of your lives and still respawn at the beginning of that area.

In total, there are 5 levels. The level structure splits the levels into three parts: part 1, part 2, and boss area. These are your checkpoint areas.

Along the way, it is possible to collect item. Minor items are found in urns often carried by enemies. Defeat the enemy and smash open the pot to reveal your prize. Often, these items simply add points to your score.

Bigger items can be found in treasure chests. Smash open the chest and you can get what is inside. Be warned that enemies can also lurk in these chests, so caution is definitely warranted with these.

There are two kinds of power-ups: offensive and defensive power-ups. The offensive power-ups are weapons that you can collect. Two examples of this are swords and throwing axes.

Meanwhile, the defensive power-ups are usually armor. If you are still wearing your armor, then you can collect gold armor. This gold armor can be powered up for a more powerful attack (I’m presuming because I lost it a moment after I got it). If you don’t have armor on, then you can collect the regular armor to restore your defenses.

As a general rule, you operate on a two hit basis. One hit will cause your armor to fly off. The second hit will turn you into a pile of bones, killing you in the process.

The first thing that stuck out to me is the difficulty. This game is punishingly difficult. If you manage to get skilled enough to beat the first level, the game ramps up the difficulty even further with tougher obstacles and meaner opponents. After a while, it just became too punishing to keep going with this game for me.

As a result of the high difficulty, the length became considerably short. It only took an hour or so before I had my fill of this game.

While the bosses do add a certain variety to the game, I would have liked to have seen a bigger variety in collectible items. As it stands in the game, there really is only the armor, weapons, and point power-ups you can collect. This strikes me as excessively simplistic.

Still, this game does offer a high level of action that will keep you busy. The variety of the levels themselves is also certainly there.

Generally speaking, this game is certainly up there in the difficulty. Because of the difficulty, you can easily have your fill of this game in an hour or so. As such it is also very short. The variety in the game is pretty good and the white-knuckled action is also up there as well. So, all in all, it’s an OK game.

The graphics of this game is pretty good. The characters are very nicely drawn and the foreground settings are also well drawn out. The effects of sprites breaking apart is a pretty nice touch. The only downside is that the backgrounds can be a little plain at times. They aren’t terrible, but some of them could have been better if you ask me. Still, a pretty good job overall.

The audio is OK. While the melodies in the music is pretty nicely done, the instruments are a little weak in my view. The sound effects are decent, but nothing too impressive. A decent job overall.

Overall, this is an alright game. The difficulty and length certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Still, the variety in the game as well as the action-packed nature of the game does work in its favor. The graphics are pretty decent, though the audio is only average. An OK game all around.

Furthest point in game: Tagged by the burning windmill On level 2, part 1. High score: 11,000

General gameplay: 16/25
Replay value: 7/10
Graphics: 7/10
Audio: 3/5

Overall rating: 66%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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