SNES A Day 22: Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts

super_ghouls_n_ghosts_us_box_art

Approximate Release Date: November 28, 1991
Genre: Platformer
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts was the first scary game I can remember playing.

I got it very early on in the life of the Super Nintendo, so I was probably 5 at the very oldest. But the game has such an oppressive atmosphere. You will die when playing Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. A lot. It’s probably easier than the NES prequel, but it’s still incredibly difficult. And when you get hit once, Sir Arthur’s armor falls off and you’re in your skivvies. When you get hit again, you turn into a skeleton.

That’s what freaked me out. Your bones fall to the ground, and your skull’s mouth drops. That’s very scary to a 5 year old.

But I never got very far in Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. It’s a hard game. It’s unforgiving, the controls are sluggish, there’s a ton of slowdown when multiple enemies are on screen, and the enemies are constantly respawning (sometimes underneath where you’re jumping to!). The fact you can’t control Sir Arthur’s momentum in mid-jump is a design flaw of platformers that should have died off by 1991. And this is yet another early Super Nintendo game that suffers from horrendous slowdown when too much is happening on screen.

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is very much designed as a quarter-sucking arcade game. But that’s not good game design. It’s abusive to the player; designed to maximize profits rather than making a balanced game. Only play this if you value unnecessarily difficult games.

At least the opening is great, though.

Tomorrow: Since we haven’t had a side-scrolling shooter in 12 days, Darius Twin fills the void.

6 thoughts on “SNES A Day 22: Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts”

  1. Let me commend you in your great taste in games – top stuff! Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is incredibly difficult but worth making the effort to get to the end. Looking forward for you to cover Darius Twin.

  2. I remember playing this game when I was about 7 or so, and I too found it to be relentlessly difficult. I never ran into this game again until recently, and for the life of me I couldn’t remember the game’s name. Maybe I should give it another spin now that I’m older, so maybe I’ll have a shot… Or maybe it’ll just devastate my self-esteem, once again, by beating me. 🙂

    1. You might do worse in your old age! 🙂 It’s amazing the patience we had as kids to work through these super difficult games. I don’t have that level of patience anymore, myself.

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