Retro Review: Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts

Released 1992

Platform: Super Nintendo

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Games like Shovel Knight and Rogue Legacy are massively popular and have been critically and commercially successful. People love the throwback to 16-bit graphics, rock hard gameplay and the general sense of nostalgia that they evoke. Essentially they are modern takes on games that were popular in the 90’s and they owe a huge debt to games such as Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts.

The Ghosts ‘n Goblins series can be a confusing one mainly because of the slight variation of the name with its sequels. The first game I played in this series was Ghosts ‘n Goblins released in 1985, which I owned on the Spectrum. This was followed up by Ghouls ‘n Ghosts in 1988 and then Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts in 1992. See, not confusing at all!?

To add to the confusion these three games pretty much all look and play the same and they all share one thing in common; they are harder than a steel reinforced, concrete wrapped diamond!

You play as Arthur trying to save your princess from the forces of evil. The action takes place as a side-scrolling platforming shooter, where you initially start off with a lance which you throw at zombies, rabid dogs, and other monsters. There are other weapons which you can find including a bow and arrow, axe, and my personal favourite the quick and deadly dagger.

Although the game is tough it isn’t completely sadistic as you wear armour to protect you from enemy attacks. If you take a hit, then your armour is destroyed and you are forced to run around in your boxer shorts. One question that has always puzzled me is where does Arthur keep his unlimited weapons wearing only his pants!?

It’s not the end of the world if you do lose your armour as there are chests which contain new suits to help you in your quest. Green armour extends the power of your weapon and golden armour gives you a super powered charge attack which decimates all of those with evil intent.

To add to your challenge there are parts in the game where you must accurately time your jumps. To aid you with this you have a double jump, which to say the least takes a little bit of getting used to.

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is my favourite game of the first three in the series. It has great colourful graphics, with some subtle use of the patented Super Nintendo Mode 7 3D effect, and features excellent music which suits the spooky tone of the game. Importantly for me it has that Capcom magic which I loved so much when I was a kid.

Graphics – Some subtle uses of Mode 7 which adds depths to the colourful and detailed sprites and animations. 7

Sound – Excellent music which captures the tone and mood for a spooky adventure. 7

Playability – Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is still a really fun game to play which is testament to its quality especially considering it is nearly 25 years old. 7

Re-Playability – Your patience will be tested and you may end up breaking a few controllers but, I still had a great deal of fun. 7

Overall – Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts isn’t a classic game but, I still think it has some of the Capcom magic that I used to love as a kid and is well worth checking out.  7

For a more detailed review of the game, please check out the lovely YouTube video below, featuring me playing the game on my Super Nintendo.

Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With and The Same Coin).