Pixel8Games
CONTACT
Contact Us About
PLAY
Wordsearch Card Wars
GAMES
Comparisons Reviews
HOME
or

* Sign up at the main banner

or
Pixel8Games
"Putting it all into retrospective!"
Ghosts 'n Goblins

Please log in above to like this game...

<
>
x

Ghosts 'n Goblins

Elite (1986)

Synopsis

In this heroic and dashing tale you're the brave knight on a quest to save the enslaved princess whilst fighting off night-stalking evil. The pursuit of her captor will be a clear case of 'better the devil you know'.

I see dead people!


Graphics

Pros:

The graphics are closer to the arcade original than a Remington!


Cons:

A little bit of sprite flickering, but it's nothing to get your knickers into a twist!





Sound

Pros:

Crank your volume dial straight up to 11, cause you're going to Heaven!


Cons:

Nothing to report here, move along now.





Gameplay

Pros:

The tough difficulty level is offset by some great graphics and music.


Cons:

The great graphics and music may not feel like enough to offset the tough difficulty level!




Graphics

Pros:

It's not completely hideous to look at.


Cons:

But it should have been so much better. Screen scrolling isn't particularly smooth





Sound

Pros:

Well, at least there is some music, I guess.


Cons:

However, it sounds like it was supplied by Margarita Pracatan.





Gameplay

Pros:

If you like a harsh game then you're in the right place.


Cons:

Banging your head against a brick wall surely couldn't be this painful.




Graphics

Pros:

Good background detail, nicely animated sprites.


Cons:

Serial colour-bleed and two-tone colours doth not make you stand out in a crowd.





Sound

Pros:

There are some beeps and shrill tones.


Cons:

Arthur's constipation woes sound like they're over when he jumps.





Gameplay

Pros:

It won't be a pushover trying to complete this game.


Cons:

Sometimes it feels like you're getting stuck between a grave and a hard place. The jump and up keys are separate, which becomes surprisingly confusing.



The Dead of Knight!




In an era where the most popular TV romance consisted of Linda Hamilton making out with an underground freak (Beauty & The Beast), and the movie world was leading us to believe a man could fall in love with a shop window dummy (Mannequin, 1987), many 8-bit computer games of the time were still generally following the more traditional tale of the heroic lead saving the oppressed captive.


Bernie Clifton goes in for the ride!

Take the early "rescue the damsel" game, Donkey Kong, as an example. You have a guy (Mario in his first outing, by the way) climbing numerous levels of abject danger, avoiding falling and rolling obstacles to reach the monkey-manhandled maiden. Yes, ok, so the huge ape throwing barrels at our man isn't quite Romeo & Juliet, but you see where I'm coming from. It was the usual case of boy meets girl, they fall in love, and then an unusually random act of wanton lady-kidnapping by some oddball creature occurs.


Ghosts 'n Goblins follows on from the time-honoured tradition of selfless heroics with our champ heading off to save the helpless dame. It's a story you could perceive as being Robin Hood garbed up in a suit of armour on Halloween, but all the while insisting that everything he plunders is "finders, keepers".


Getting the bird!

Our steel-armoured hero, the suitably named 'Arthur', runs across the perilous landscape jumping over graves and initially spearing the evil dead with his throwable lance until he can gather further weapons that the undead drop as a consequence of their demise. The alternative weapons consist of a lobable axe and torch, plus a throwable dagger and shield.


From the outset, on each version under review, the difficulty level is really tricky for a noob. I say this because I've watched the game being completed within around 5 minutes. It is quite tough, though, if you aren't familiar with how to time your moves, plus not knowing when and where a sprite might appear out of the ground from where you're standing. There's also a fair bit of consideration and planning required to ensure that you're never boxed in between multiple foe for a maddening death.

It can be disheartening fearing the amount of game time you'd need to put in to evaluate all of its intricacies

On the Amstrad, this isn't such a problem. The devil-spawn spawns itself out of the same patch of ground apparently ad-infinitum after you've wasted its predecessor. It's one of the great annoyances of this interpretation of the arcade classic. As soon as you shoot one dead, another appears, so how are you supposed to move past it? With great difficulty, my friend. With great difficulty.


Perhaps the only amusing thing in the Amstrad rendition is the way in which our man's shiny helmet bobs up and down as he paces along. [Phone call to solicitor]: "We're allowed to keep that line in aren't we? Is it good to go? Yes? Brilliant!" Unfortunately, there's a slight humourous detail lacking on the CPC's GnG, and that's where Arthur is normally reduced to his undies having lost his armour when he gets struck by a ghoul on the first strike out of two. Here, Arthur simply collapses into a pile of bones on the first strike only.


The Spectrum is also not without its own set of problems. From the moment you begin, you'll wonder where Arthur is because he's the same colour as the background. A few waggles of the joystick and you'll see a black outline, almost human shaped, struggling to gain your attention. And from there it's similar to the remaining platforms as you try to keep clear of tight areas that suddenly become polluted with zombies, crows, toxic-lobbing plants and other nasty adversaries to hem you in.


Alan Sugar in a grave meeting!

Lastly to the Commodore 64 and, at last, a version that has the look and appeal of the arcade original. Obviously, it's not an exact replica in terms of gameplay, graphics and sound, but it's by far the closest. Unfortunately it still retains the difficulty level present on the other platforms, which is this game's overall downfall as far as I'm concerned. And that's a shame, because it can be disheartening fearing the amount of game time you'd need to put in to evaluate all of its intricacies. If a gradual build up existed to balance out the game's difficulty, then this would most certainly have lead to a more enjoyable experience and lessened the impediment to play. Unfortunately, as it stands, this level of sophistication was never really associated with most 80's video games!




Graphics

By far the most realistic rendition of the arcade original lies with the Commodore 64. The CPC version appears to have been designed for preadolescents, and its horizontal scrolling is jerky. On the Spectrum, when everything on the screen is one shade of blue, your concentration better be on point.


Sound

And this rating is solely for the Commodore 64's fantastic music. Elsewhere it's like water torture (just don't tell Mr Trump)!


Gameplay

I don't mind tough games, but I prefer to be eased into the difficulty rather than having to battle through a series of frustratingly rapid restarts from the outset.


Overall

Stick with the Commodore version if you want to reminisce the days of playing Ghosts 'n Goblins in the arcades, because vague memories needn't be clouded by the second-rate imitations found on the CPC and Spectrum.



Please log in above to comment on this game

Comments

Platform Winners

Overall Ranking

53

16th Place

Our lowest rated game of 1986

Our 5th best platform game

Screenshots

...click here to enlarge

ROMs

Amstrad: download
Commodore: download
Spectrum: download

Video Review

Pixel8Games'pick of 1986

Similar Titles