Ghosts ‘n Goblins

If you like ridiculously hard and unfair ’80s games, then this will be right up your street, as they say.

It’s your standard NES game setup – you’re a knight who needs to rescue a captured princess and to do so, you need to travel through a variety of side scrolling levels. The only thing is that the number of enemies you’re bombarded with is huge and it never stops. Even the very first level will take very many tries to complete.

You play as Sir Arthur, who has to be the most pitifully weak knight who ever lived. If an enemy so much as touches him, the armour comes flying off his body, leaving him naked. If an enemy touches him a second time, he’ll be reduced to bones. He has a small little jump (which can never be used as an attack) and he can weakly throw weapons in front of him to fight. Really, he’s pathetic… but, in a way, that rather endears me to him. Despite being useless, I do rather like Sir Arthur.

And it’s not just Arthur who endears me, but all of the monsters and the world itself. Even though ghosts, zombies and half a dozen other things were always coming at me from all angles and I didn’t have adequate control over my character in order to be able to avoid them, I found the overall atmosphere to be quite charming. It’s a spooky scary world of monsters and ghosts which doesn’t take itself too seriously, so against all odds, I find myself enjoying it.

So, to clarify, the storyline is without depth or anything of interest, the controls are bad and your character is excessively weak, the difficulty levels are really high and I didn’t mention it before but the sound effects are bad and the graphics are unappealing (even for a NES game)… and yet I think of it fondly. It’s a fun and silly thing to mess around with if you have a few minutes to spare and if you love insanely hard gaming challenges, then you might just adore every second of it.

Rating: 6/10

Buy it here.

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