Jeremy's Reviews Blog

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ultimate Ghosts n Goblins (first scratchings)

During the NES-SNES era of consoles, I was more into PC games. So I missed out on the original Ghosts N Goblins, or for that matter, most other 2D Platformers.

You play a knight named Arthur, who has to save a princess from some sort of evil guy.

It's 2.5D, which is basically a cute way of saying it plays like a 2d game, but features 3d graphics.


Simply put, like most 2D platformers, the idea is to go from one side of a large scrolling map to the other, while navigating various obstacles and defeating or avoiding enemies.

Arthur doesn't run very fast, and he jumps somewhat awkwardly. He's pretty good with weapons though. Just what weapons he uses depends on what you pick up, but most of them are thrown.

At start, he can just jump once, but early one he picks up a magical device which will let him double jump - that is, jump, and while still in the air, jump again. He mostly obeys the laws in physics in not being able to change direction or alter his course once he had jumped, so you better be sure where he's going is clear. Once nice thing is that he can grab hold of things and hang from them - cliffs, chests, etc. So you don't have to make a perfect jump.

Like most proper Knights, Arthur wears armor. This means that he can generally take a varying amount of hits before dying. Just how much depends on the difficulty level. You can also pick up more armor along the way.


This game is gorgeous. Very colorful, with rich and vivid graphics. Lots of little details, too. One of the nice things about the PSP is how sharp the screen is, and this game really puts that to good use.

To put it mildly, the screen is always busy with a large amount of enemies and often, moving terrain. And parallax scrolling and an animated background. But despite all that, I haven't noticed any slowdown at all.

Final Thoughts:

There are probably two schools of thought on updating old games. Should they stick as much as possible to the original gameplay, just updating graphics, or should they overhaul everything, including the gameplay (like say how Castlevania was turned from a 2D Platformer into an Action RPG)? Neither is really right or wrong.

If you like the old school gameplay, then you should love this game. The only real complaint I can see is the length. It's not a super-short game, but can probably be finished in about 6-7 hours.

However, I think mainstream gamers might not like this game. Most notably because of the difficulty. Even on "Easy", it's not an easy game. And you are thrown right into the action, no tutorial, no explanation on how to fight or use magic.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dead Waves (DVD)

This is a recent-ish (2005) Japanese horror movie. It's about a TV show which does stories on the paranormal, including a lot of people who are supposedly possed by evil spirits or demons. The story picks up with them doing a story on a possessed girl. (I think she's the one possessed, maybe the whole family). They go and film a sequence, which isn't too spooky, just looks like a crazy girl screaming.

Then there is a run in with a doctor, who is upset with the main protagonist (he's sort of the 2nd of command on the show, I'm not sure what his actual title is) because he feels that the show is really just exploiting mentally ill people. The protagonist denies this, but not very plausibly.

It then follows the family and the main protagonist for a while. Is it a real case of possession, or simple mental illness? (Not unlike The Possession of Emily Rose in that regard). This puzzle goes on for a while, then sort out of nowhere, the doctor comes back to the protagonist with some interesting data about whole people are killing themselves while the show is being aired live. This is the so called "Dead Waves" of the title.

Anyway, from that point, it gets kinda weird. I had trouble following what the heck was going on. And the ending, well, that made no sense to me. Sort of an interesting movie, though. Not scary, really.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Well, I guess complaining works...

Scary that that title was remembered by Firefox (so I must have used it before). But finally came through with a refund. Whew.