Does this revival of the classic series live up to expectation?
Watch our review of action-platformer Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, available exclusively for Nintendo Switch.
Find out if this revival of the classic series lives up to the originals, or if there isn’t a place for this kind of super challenging gameplay in 2021.
Hey how’s it going guys! This is Tom from UDS and welcome to our review of Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, where we’ll reveal everything you need to know before you play. If you’re a fan of all things video games, make sure to join our Discord and of course subscribe here for more reviews and features every single week. You’re not going to want to miss it.
Utter the words ‘Ghosts ‘n Goblins’ to a certain group of gamers, and you’re bound to trigger some sort of trauma. Capcom’s classic series still has a reputation for being punishingly difficult, even over 35 years after it first released in arcades.
While the action-platforming adventures of knight Arthur were pretty prolific on home consoles during the 80s and 90s, we actually haven’t had a mainline entry in the franchise since the PSP’s Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins in 2006.
But fast forward 15 years, and the masochists who’ve been crying out for more finally have Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection. What’s even more tantalising is that it’s being helmed by Tokuro Fujiwara, director of the original 1985 Ghosts ‘n Goblins, who’s been brought back into the Capcom fold for the first time since 1996.
But will Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection be good enough to kick the pants off us, or will it leave us bone dry? Watch on to find out…
Firstly, the gameplay, and specifically its brutality will be instantly familiar to old school fans. Resurrection falls somewhere between a sequel and a remake, reworking classic stages into a new experience to great effect.
You still play as the knight Arthur, and you can still expect unforgiving enemies to respawn time and time again to make your blood pressure rise to dangerously high levels. While it’s at times preposterously difficult, it very rarely feels unfair, and it’s easy to see how this ‘git gud’ take to gameplay inspired the likes of Dark Souls and Bloodborne.
However there are some innovations added to the traditional formula. This time levels now expand into branching paths, making things less linear than before. This, as well as a slew of new weapons and magic abilities that you can upgrade as you go, gives the experience a bit of a RPG edge. I’m probably stretching the definition of RPG a little, but I mean that you get a lot more variety than what you might expect, which is very welcomed.
With that being said, there still isn’t much of a story within the roughly 5 hour playtime. But the assortment of challenges, enemies and level design still keep it from ever getting boring. And just like in ‘85, to get the true ending you’ll have to play through the entire game twice, only the second run will see you tackle shadow versions of each level, with remixed enemies and new environmental hazards to endure. While this still feels a bit like a cheap way to artificially extend the playtime, it isn’t absolutely necessary to grind through it, and offers hardcare fans an extra challenge.
But speaking of challenge, a feature which has proved divisive among some circles is the inclusion of adjustable difficulty. You can go from the stomach-ulcer inducing Legendary mode, which is most akin to the classic experience, all the way down to Page, which grants you unlimited lives and instant revival upon death.
Some might argue that these more forgiving modes don’t deliver the true Ghosts ‘n Goblins experience, but frankly I don’t have time for that kind of gatekeeping. Accessibility can only be a good thing, and if it allows a generation of younger players to more easily enjoy the game, I say go for it. Plus, as any long time viewer of this channel will know, I suck at games, so anything that makes them a little easier is all good with me.
What I’m less forgiving of is the new artstyle. In lieu of the original pixel graphics, we’re now given a gloomy, marionette style world, with gangly sprites running around like puppets. While I can see what they were going for, it reminds me a bit too much of early 2010s MiniClip flash games, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, some flash games are great. It just doesn’t have the charm of the original, which is a bit of a shame.
To wrap up, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection demonstrates that a classic formula can be revived, one might say resurrected, into something that feels fresh and exciting. Sure, not all the updates hit the mark, but it’s an absolute blast, and without a doubt the most accessible game in the series to date. This makes it a great entry point for new players, while still balancing the hardcore difficulty for veterans.
But what did you think of Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe for more video game reviews every single week. My name is Tom, and I’ll see you next time!