Developer: CAPCOM
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.00.00
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

If you once owned an NES or even an SNES, you probably played some variant on Capcom’s classic Ghosts’N Goblins. And if you did play it, I’m 99% sure that you became very angry very quickly. Ghosts’N Goblins always seemed like an innocuous, cartoony little game up front, but once started it dealt out death upon death upon death. In fact, I gave up on it without, I think, ever even reaching the end of one level. Not only was it a tough game, it was frustrating, and, for me, not very fun.

Jump forward 20 or so years, and Ghosts’N Goblins has made the transition to the iPhone, this time as Ghosts’N Goblins Gold Knights II. If you’ve played one of its predecessors, you know what to expect here, but I am delighted to say that the learning curve of this new game, while not exactly easy, is definitely more accessible. You’ll still get frustrated, no doubt, but your frustration won’t take on quite the mind-numbing rage quality it did in 1985. For that, we should all be grateful.

True to its roots, Ghosts’N Goblins Gold Knights II is a side-scrolling shooter. Unlike most of the other versions of the game, however, you can choose to play as either the classic Arthur character (who brandishes a number of different ranged weapons throughout the game) or Perceval (who has access to a fairly powerful dash attack). You can also upgrade your character via in-game purchases, but I left this option alone. It seems to me that you should be able to play and enjoy the game without having to pony up more money

Graphically, the game features some of the same character animation you’ve seen before, at least as far as Sir Arthur is concerned. Running, jumping, and, yes, losing his armor are all animations that have been around for a few decades, and they stay true to their origins here. Enemy models, however, are rendered in 3D and the change is a pleasant surprise, though it does not affect gameplay in any way. Still, it’s nice to see some improvements made to the old formula. Likewise the sound effects and music are much the same as they have ever been, though the iPhone is able to generate higher quality symphonic music as an underscore.

Finally, I have stated again and again in reviews my dislike for virtual control pads, and this game is no exception. While the controls (if you can make sure you have your fingers in the right places) are responsive enough, Ghosts’N Goblins Gold Knights II is one of the first games I’ve come across that actually places the virtual controls too far in on the screen, effectively obliterating a large portion of the playing area when you are playing. Why improve the game’s mechanics and play only to make players fight their own fingers to see the game? It defies logic.

In spite of this, I liked playing Ghosts ‘N Goblins Gold Knights II. It was enough of a throwback to remind me why I liked old school games, but forward-thinking enough to make up for those old games’ shortcomings. And at least I’m not screaming in frustration every time I play.

Posted in: Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,