Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection Review: Same Challenge, Fresh Twists

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection returns this Capcom classic back from the dead, reinstating its challenging and somewhat archaic gameplay along with it. It has been well over 15 years since the release of a new mainline Ghosts ‘n Goblins title, and the 2D platforming series left its mark primarily due to its brutal difficulty spread across several levels with branching paths and cruel enemy encounters. This time around, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection offers new accessibility options, making it much easier to recommend for casual players and more accessible as a result.

Players will start their medieval adventure on a world map where they can choose one of two possible paths to take. Upon entering a level, players must side-scroll their way through uncanny and eerie locations as they defeat enemies by tossing their dagger projectile. Jumps are tight and a single mistake can end a successful attempt. Certain foes can drop different weapons for the player to pick up that can change the gameplay drastically. The initial dagger is fast and lethal but finding items like the flame will send a wall of fire towards enemies. There are a handful of different weapons players can find throughout their playthrough, although this is a game that requires multiple playthroughs for the full experience.

This title also introduces the Umbral Tree. Throughout the levels, the player will encounter colorful fairy-like creatures they can collect. These can be used on the Umbral Tree to unlock new abilities such as being able to shoot thunder out of Arthur’s body and turning all enemies on the screen into frogs. While in a stage, Arthur can charge the action button to use these abilities. It takes a bit, so players are open to taking damage as a result, but this adds replayability (& fun) to taking out combatants. Properly timing these moves can be the difference between life and death.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is broken down into four different difficulty options: Legend, Knight, Squire, and Page. Legend and Knight are recommended for veteran players who are used to the brutal difficulty of the older entries, and Arthur will take only two hits before being defeated. Once the player has died, they will be sent back to the beginning of the stage or the last checkpoint. Squire allows players to take a few more hits, but defeat will cause the same result. For the true, classic experience, Legend and Knight are the way to go, but Page is the true game-changer, as it allows players to respawn where they perished to continue playing through the stage. This is excellent for players who don’t want to spend much of their time replaying sections over and over again. Granted, playing on Page will prevent players from unlocking some of the extra content near the end of the game.

Regardless of the difficulty, there are a handful of issues that can be found across the board. For starters, this game uses a storybook-like art style for its presentation. While the art style itself isn’t unsatisfactory, it becomes difficult at times to determine what is in the foreground or background. There are instances where a hazard seemed like it was in the background, only for it to knock Arthur back into a pit. Enemy hits will also knock Arthur back pretty far, making it frustrating to make tough jumps from time to time. Occasionally, several minutes of progress would be lost by getting attacked from an off-screen bat with no way to prepare for it.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is exactly what fans of the original titles are looking for. There’s nothing quite like taking on a level, learning its patterns, and triumphing over them with practice. For those without the time to replay sections, the casual difficulties will still provide an engaging and rewarding platforming experience (and Page was the mode we played most and found most enjoyable). That means there is a little bit of something here for everyone. With a title like Resurrection, there’s a big promise being made to fans of the series – and more often than not, Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection delivers on that promise.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection will release on February 25th, 2021 for Nintendo Switch. Screen Rant was provided with a digital download code and played on the Nintendo Switch for the purpose of this review.

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