Tag Archives: DuckTales


games i regret super_ghouls_n_ghosts

Starting out, I had only a few games for the Super Nintendo, my first home console. Back then, unlike today, games were scarce and limited, gifts given to you by loved ones every X number of months or purchased via the savings you had from doing daily chores over the summer, and so you played what you had, over and over and over, because they were the only digital entertainment you had. Hopefully your friends had different titles to try out. Well, you also played Super Mario World, Super Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past over and over again because they were fantastic, constantly surprising and rewarding, beyond fun to this day. More to the topic at hand, I played Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts over and over again because it was frustratingly difficult.

You control the knight Arthur, who is entrusted to rescue the princess from a bunch of evil demons. Yup, game plots back then were as straightforward as they get, often with men saving a woman in peril, whether that man was a plumber, young boy, or legendary warrior. Anyways, Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts‘ antagonist is the Emperor Sardius, who has kidnapped the princess in order to obtain the whereabouts of the Goddess’ Bracelet, the only weapon in existence capable of destroying himself. Kind of like a Horcrux, I guess. Hmm. I didn’t know about that last tidbit, but seeing as I never got really far along in this mighty quest, that makes plenty of sense.

For those that know not, Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts is an action platformer, with a good focus on both action and platforming. Health is represented by Arthur’s suit of armor, which can be upgraded a bunch of times. Whenever an enemy deals damage, the armor lessons, falls apart, all the way down to having our heroic hero running around and tossing lances in only his boxer shorts. It’s humorless, but works really well to visually show how much more damage you can take before buying the farm. Oh, and Arthur can double jump, which was not as common as you think back then. Other than that, it’s all about moving and reaching the end, killing every demon or demon-created enemy in your way.

The big thing I remember about Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts is that, just like in DuckTales, treasure chests are hidden and can only be accessed by moving through certain specific areas of the screen, causing them to appear. Thankfully, since I sucked at saving the princess, I got pretty good at knowing where many of the hidden areas were in the first few levels.

Years later, after piling this game up with a bunch of others and trading it in for some credit towards a PlayStation, I snagged a copy of Maximo: Ghosts to Glory for the PlayStation 2. It is based on the same universe and features original character designs by Japanese illustrator Susumu Matsushita. Despite having an albeit punishing save system, the game is still as grueling to get through, but I’m once again halfway decent at the opening few levels, as I just keep replaying them from time to time.

Evidently, to get the true ending and ruin the rest of Emperor Sardius’ days, one must complete Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts twice. In a row. I’m sure it’s been done. I’m sure all I have to do is type some words into the YouTube search box and I’ll see what I want to see. That said, I prefer living in ignorance, remaining a child in his bedroom, twisting the SNES controller in my sweaty palms, screaming at the TV, “This game is impossible!” before popping back over to causing chaos in Sim City. I know it’s not, but Arthur’s journey is not a walk through the park. It’s a walk through a skeleton-laden park that hates you. Now double that feat and keep your clothes on the entire time. No thanks.

Sure, I like playing that opening level a whole bunch, but maybe, in the end, this is actually one game I don’t regret trading in.

GAMES I REGRET PARTING WITH is a regular feature here at Grinding Down where I reminisce about videogames I either sold or traded in when I was young and dumb. To read up on other games I parted with, follow the tag.

2015 Game Review Haiku, #17 – DuckTales: Remastered

2015 games completed gd ducktales remastered ps3

Scrooge loves his money
Magica De Spell wants dime
Pogo jumping, meh

From 2012 all through 2013, I wrote little haikus here at Grinding Down about every game I beat or completed, totaling 104 in the end. I took a break from this format last year in an attempt to get more artsy, only to realize that I missed doing it dearly. So, we’re back. Or rather, I am. Hope you enjoy my continued take on videogame-inspired Japanese poetry in three phases of 5, 7, and 5, respectively.

I cannae pogo jump consistently in DuckTales Remastered

ducktales remastered ps3 thoughts

I have no nostalgia for DuckTales on the NES. I can’t; I’ve never played it. Like many other classic NES titles, such as Blaster Master, Kid Icarus, and Bionic Commando, since I never had a Nintendo Entertainment System as a kid and had limited access to cool kid neighbors with the console, I missed out on a lot. Thankfully, due to the industry’s love for remaking and re-releasing oldies and better access to ports these days, I’m catching up. Slowly. For example, I beat both Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake last year, tough as they got. I’m also progressing at a snail’s pace in The Legend of Zelda, but more on that in another post.

Alas, I don’t actually know and have to assume that gameplay in DuckTales Remastered is relatively the same as the NES original. Scrooge only has a few abilities at hand, such as jumping, pogo jumping, and whacking objects with his cane. All of these mechanics are relatively simple to use, though I am far from a pro at continuously pogo jumping from one side of the screen to the other; Scrooge often lands on the edge of a platform, causing him to, well, land, and put his cane away. Anyways, through these limited abilities, you’ll hop around a series of level, bouncing on the heads of enemies, unearthing treasure, and collecting whatever maguffin is needed to open up the level’s final boss.

From what I’ve read, it seems like all the original 8-bit levels from the NES days are here–Amazon, Transylvania, The Moon, etc. Except now they are remastered, which means they are colorful and cartoony and a little jarring at times. I found the juxtaposition of sprites and polygonal items (like that treasure chest in the image above) to be constantly at odds with one another. I mean, sure, it looks prettier than what came out in 1989, but I actually think screenshots for that dinosaur still hold up really well. If anything, I’d say more attention was paid in the remastered version on backgrounds, which really help sell the levels more. The Amazon looks and feels like a jungle opposed to some blades of grass and a bland blue sky. That said, while the levels look different, purists can probably breathe a sigh of relief as the map layouts are the same.

However, WayForward Technologies has added an actual story to what was, I’m assuming, a pretty lifeless story. Or totes nonexistent. Basically, Scrooge McDuck has to find five priceless artifacts. Why? Well, um, he’s a greedy ol’ man-duck. A map left behind after a failed Beagle Boy raid of his bank reveals five locations to scour. Despite a still paper-thin plot, there’s a surprisingly amount of cutscenes to get through, a few of which do feel unnecessary and invasive. Same goes for some of the cameos, though I could never say anything negative about Fenton Crackshell, also known as Gizmoduck. I understand the original voice actors returned to reprise many of the roles, and while that’s awesome, it didn’t result in great performances; Scrooge himself sounds tired, uninterested, and going through the motions.

At this point, I’ve only completed two of the five levels, specifically the Amazon and the Himalayas. I’ll get to the others soon, but I kind of have been just nibbling at DuckTales Remastered in-between using shivs on Clickers in The Last of Us and getting heavily back into Rogue Legacy thanks to it being one of this month’s free PlayStation Plus downloads. Money you earn in every level can be spent to buy concept art and soundtrack songs, as well as fill up Scrooge’s money bin to the brim; I’ve not felt inspired to purchase many pieces of concept art. I won’t get too far into here, but I’m generally of the mindshare that concept art is not a reward, not something characters should be unlocking or purchasing. It should be there, probably before the credits option. That’s it.

Maybe I’d be more gushing if I had played DuckTales as a wee lad and spent hours unearthing every single hidden gem, that this reheat of a much-loved classic was everything and then some, but no. I wasn’t very impressed with another remake as of late either–Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. Perhaps developers need to reconsider the reasons behind taking older games and putting them in new clothes and ponder if it is worth all the dressing up or not. For DuckTales Remastered, so far, I’m thinking no.