Guest Blogger: Todd M @The Top Loader
I died. Please hold back the tears because I'm playing Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts on the Super Nintendo and it happens all the time, so if you truly know how this ends you know I will just dust myself off and try it all over again. On your feet soldier because remember you are Arthur a knight in all that shining silver, green or gold armour and you don't want to be left with your pants down with your undies exposed when this first level beats me to the ground because you must face your demons when traveling to Lucifer's realm if you want to keep the peace and order to prevent another system break down. The town is now reconstructed but I still have a purpose in this new life because a demon just broke through the glass and snatched the princess mid flight. I've never felt so alive when I get up and running as Arthur sure seems like he is going to do lots of jumping, just be careful if it all starts to slow down because sometimes there is way too much chaos on screen going round. I don't blame the game - I blame the system - because it can be hard to handle when all these enemies come at me from all angles, but hey .. who am I kidding? It's not that bad even if the processing is in over the Super Nintendo's head, this console has given me so many good times before and I can already tell that these Ghouls n Ghosts are going to give me some more.
Every time I went to my local Video Flicks rental shop I always had to hire the mighty Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts. We always hired two games because the second one came at a cheaper price, not that we had much money to hire out games but we didn't want to waste an opportunity if it was only a little bit more. I could never finish the first level yet I rented it every single time anyway - and I don't know why - since it always gave me so much grief. What it all comes down to is I really had to get better at the game and like the controls it seems to be just that simple. This game asks for nothing less than perfection which I fear will be too much for some people to handle as I often wonder if the creators of this game had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is something I am all too well familiar with, but do you know what temporarily stops that? - Two taps with my right hand - but in this game case it's two taps with the B button that will really help with A & Y at your side to really fire off some support. Double jumping has both saved me and killed me at different times as you cannot change the trajectory once you go into the motion, it's a double edged sword that can get out of control and just like my obsessively compulsive tendencies I hope it won't be my eventual downfall.
But enough with all this double dribble as you run through the stages my advice is do not try and destroy everything on the screen because this isn't a game for kill streaks, do what you need to do to move on and worry about what is in front of you and not so much what is around you. The learning curve is steep so pay attention as the layout of the land doesn't always hold its retention. Zombies, flaming skeletons with Weredogs are all in your path and unfortunately Gandalf is not here to help as these wizard's shall make it hard for you to pass. I like how every part of this game always seems to be perfectly laid out, the weapons might change but the placement of the chest are always the same.. just try and avoid the flame. Throw a slow spear or a fast knife but that double angled crossbow feels just nice because throwing a controller won't help as I finally have an axe to grind because twenty years laterI finally get my peace of mind, as I walk the plank and take Arthur to the sea and find out if that second stage was worth the wait. Aim your jumps carefully because just like good comedy its all about the timing and you don't want to miss your landing otherwise you might miss the punch line. Floating like a butterfly seems like how it is meant to be because it always seems to end up underneath me as I see the lightning strike while looking out for the fish that come out from the sea.
Falling down from the surface I think it's now time for a sea change as I end up in the flaming pits of hell. Knock knock knocking on the opposite end to heavens door as I walk on through I do like what they've done to the place but since I seem to see a lot of red I get the feeling I'm not quite welcome as I manoeuvre around this liquid lava, so I will have to take it in my stride to get passed these Red Arremer Demons waiting on the other side. Running through these towers I see gargoyles on my quest because as this Vermillion Horror continues it never seems to end. Entering this room full of spikes I find myself in every oops upside my head direction so grab hold of something otherwise this is a pit fatality just waiting to happen as it will surely end up making you dead. Moving platforms in this belly of the beast was one hell of a ride as I barely made it outside this living hell alive. Blowing off some steam I've decided to take the scenic route to vent where the wilder beast Woo's have chills on their breath but I unfortunately I can see this uphill battle has arrived with the remaining last stages to grind and this sure looks like one huge mountain to climb. It throws me back when I am greeted with an avalanche of attacks as everything comes snowballing in but don't worry its nothing I can't handle I just hope my head doesn't end up on some demons mantle. Putting my rhymes to the side for a moment I don't know if these levels are getting easier or if I'm just getting better, I don't like to toot my own horn but .. honk honk. They do seem to be getter shorter as I run the last leg while climbing this vertical cliffhanger I reach out for the top spot as I am finally pushed to the edge only to find out this wasn't the true end..
Frustratingly waiting for answers I'm getting anxious as my inner fear starts growing when I realize the game has reset and I have to do this all over again. These demons are taunting me as they seem to be standing in my way as they swoop down low I hit the ground when my obsessive compulsions also come into play. My idol hands are twitching, I'm losing control as I start to slip. I can't sit still, I'm pacing. Holding on for dear life with each step I take. Are the levels getting harder or am I getting worse? Is this room getting smaller because these lights sure seem brighter and my frustrations do not help my anxiety as I desperately hold on to the reality when it all starts to sink in. My movements need to be tighter as I can't misstep on my second time through since my focus is drifting because stepping on the cracks in my path is something I simply cannot do. Forgot the princess save yourself. I don't know how much more I can take because my limits are pushed as I feel the heat when I get tense from the pressure of this intensity as it is getting to me when I fall into that deep dark hole I am at wits end of this rope as I don't know what to do but I see a small bright light asking if I should continue - On your feet soldier - this isn't game over because this is not how it supposed end, go deep, search inside and what do you find .. a hidden Bracelet to help you end Demon Emperor Samael's rule but hurry the clock is ticking and there is work to do and this big boss sure looks like he aint the type to pay for double time anytime soon.
The hardest enemy in this game is your own patience, something I've had to deal with a long time because as I went through the stages I clearly also went through the motions. Beating the levels then finishing the boss will take multiple attempts but fear not because failure is the true path in finding the key to this games success - if that makes any sense. As the final screen appears it tells me - "..the end ?" - Well it bloody better be because I don't think I could do all that again. If I was to play devils advocate I would say this is either the perfect game for me or it's a game I should bury in the back yard with a cross on top as I should have completely avoided it all those years ago at the rental store. Either way it doesn't matter because now I can say I beat the game .. this is something I don't mind saying twice - I beat the game. I had such a good time, couldn't you tell ? My guess is most people won't see what this game truly offers, but that's completely understandable because I've been there myself. Renting it out so many times all those years ago I could never finish it, sure there has been games I couldn't finish before - I mean I grew up on a Commodore 64 - where games were built never to be beaten. But, this was game was different because I could never beat the first level.. wait, what! Is that why I had to hire it out every time ? - Is that why I've had this obsession with this game for twenty years ? - because I could never truly let that first level go?? Well, I can finally rest at ease as I breath some new life because now that everything has come full circle I feel so alive since it has all come together for this fitting end but for all this to truly make sense your just going have to read it all over again.
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Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
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