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My Top 5 Octoberween Game Titles of 2018: Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins

On 10/23/2018 at 09:20 PM by NSonic79

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Portable gaming has changed over the years. In the past when one mentions the term “portable gaming” the first thing that would come to mind would be Nintendo’s GameBoy or any of the iterations of that device. For me it conjures up fond moments of an old friend’s Sega Game Gear or of more recent times my Sony PSP model 3000 (RIP model 1000). Nowadays instead of many thinking of the portable game consoles of yesterday like the recent generations of the Nintendo DS 3DS or the Sony PS Vita, but instead their minds bring up current moble gaming standards like smartphones, table PCs and to an extent the Nintendo Switch.

Despite the fact that I’ve tested the waters when it comes to mobile gaming with curtain SHUMP titles offered on iOS, I still find myself carrying around in my media bag my Nintendo New3DS and my Sony PSP. I hope to upgrade to a PS Vita one day but for now my PSP is still my go to system for portable gaming given that I’ve upgraded its memory capacities to 32 GBs. Because of this my system is able to house a good library of digital titles at my fingertips that range from PSP full titles, minis and PSOne Classics. The genres offered with my collection vary from RPGs to complication collections but there are a few Octoberween game titles that can be found on my system. Given that this is a portable gaming title I don’t find myself playing this game as often as I’d like. Though the PSP system does give one the option to play games on a big screen, thanks to the built in A/V port, I usually find myself playing PSP games when I’m either at lunch during work or I happen to be about with my family and I have a couple of minutes to kill between the wait times that is life. So this Octoberween I thought it would be fitting to give this game a moment to shine: Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins.


This isn’t exactly your daddy’s Ghosts ‘n Goblins game from back in the day yet at the same time it gives you that enjoyment if you know where to start. And of course by enjoyment I mean SOUL CRUSHING, BUTTON MASHING, FRUSTRATING JUMP MECHANICS  TO THE POINT WHERE YOU WANT TO THROW YOUR PSP UP AGAINST THE WALL AND HAVE THE PLEASURE OF IT BREAKING INTO A THOUSAND PIECES LIKE THE SHATTER SOUL OF YOUR GAMING PROESS!!!

But I digress.

Ultimate Ghost ‘n Goblins was one of the games that Capcom decided to revitalize on the portable system but with enhanced graphics and gameplay. This wasn’t just your basic port, remaster or remake of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series but a reworking of sorts in trying to add abilities and playstyles found in future titles of the series while trying to use the power of the PSP to create the game with 2.5D graphics instead of either going full 3D polygons or 2D sprites. They layout and story of the game is still the same as the original titles where Princess Prin Prin (AKA Quinevere) is kidnapped by Satan and it’s up to you as the player character Arthur to rescue here. There is a bit more story added to the beginning of the game to make it a tad different but not by much though it does give a better explanation why she’s being kidnapped in the first place.

From there it’s up to Arthur traverse the levels that one can expect out of the series. The levels do look different enough to not feel like your traversing old ground from prior games yet have a distinct feel to them that you’ll feel all the comfortable playing them. The graphics offered fit the Octoberween mood perfectly despite the change to 2.5D graphics. They may not look right at home with prior games in the series but they don’t look outright ugly during your play through. Regardless of this the game is just oozing with Octoberween charm with its stage settings of grave yards, haunted caverns and the like  All the bad guys and environmental hazards are present that you’d come to expect from the series and because of that you can expect them to be a challenge for any seasons player of the series. Even now boss characters are introduced in this game along with sub bosses that fit the tried and true method of pattern recognition in determining how to defeat them. Though you can try to play the game it was intended to be played on the level setting called “Ultimate”, which is the old skool way of playing the game with 2 hit deaths and taken back to the beginning of the level/mid checkpoint upon death, the standard and novice modes are more forgiving by giving you more lives and a quick respawn point in the former or even removing some of the environmental hazards in the latter.

Though the gameplay style remains the same when it comes to Ghost ‘n Goblins it does take some liberties in how you play the game by adding a menu system where you collection various pieces of equipment/gear on your quest. You not only get to find different kinds of armor to wear that have different elemental attacks but you can find secondary items that help Arthur like double jump boots to even a shield that helps you to float for a certain amount of time. The game isn’t as linear as prior titles where you have to get from point A to point B to reach the last level. Instead you actually get the branching paths to explore similar to other “metroidvania” games available. You even have to collection certain items within the game to be able to explore other areas to be able to get to the “real” ending of this game. I’m guessing this was done to avoid the issue with prior games in the series where you had to replay the entire game again just to get the real ending. Thankfully you’re not expect to do all of this in one go but instead can use a save feature after each boss encounter. Also you can find warp keys in each level where your able to warp back to a different point later upon finding a certain item to help you progress if you were not able to before.

The music has been revamped to take advantage of the PSP’s power and sound just as good to fit any spooky mood when playing this game. I have to admit this game is best played in the dark with headphones on but like I’ve mentioned earlier I usually find myself playing this game when I have some spare time on my hands during daylight hours. It’s not music that is memorable enough that you’d want to listen to them on an MP3 player but the music does enough to fit the mood as you play along.  As I only play this game in short bursts I find myself playing the game on standard mode. As you can guess from my opening statements in this blog, I had tried to play on Ultimate but found it to be too difficult even for my gamer skills. Plus despite the fact that the game can be a bit forgiving in standard/novice settings, it doesn’t change the jump mechanics that are in every Ghosts ‘n Goblins game. This isn’t like a Mario game where you have control where your jumps land. Once you jump as Arthur you’ll sail over what your jumping on I found myself trying to jump over pits that happen to have a rock next to them only to actually jump over the rock from the ground level where I started and into the pit itself.

Honestly there isn’t much more to say about this game title aside that it’s a great choice for some on the go Octoberween gaming. If you’ve played any games in the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series then you’ll know what to expect in regards to gameplay. Despite its upgrades and changes, be it cosmetic or gameplay mechanics, it still the same Ghosts ‘n Goblins you either grew up with as a kid or found playing sometime in your life if were a Capcom fan. There are enough changes to this game to make it fresh to warrant another try and even with the new modes of play there should be a mode that’ll fit anyone’s play style. It has enough content to keep one busy when it comes to collection and upgrading Arthur as well as enough variety in the levels that might make some want to fully explore them all to find what is needed to properly beat the game.

I myself don’t see trying to rush through this game nor am I a glutton for punishment to try to play this game on Ultimate (normal) difficultly. It’s a great game for me to enjoy when I have free time between the mundane actions of life and when I want to get into an Octoberween mood. I happen to get this game for $5.99 awhile back when it went on sale off the PS3’s PSN store.  Though I’m sure a UMD copy can be found it oddly has kept it’s resale value either being $5 less from its original selling price to un-opening copies going for $80 on ebay. If you can find it cheap physically you couldn’t do any worse for a portable Octoberween game title like Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins. $9.99 digitally might seem too much for something off PSN, thus why it took me awhile to getting it back in the day, but if it happens to go on sale later on in the months of October I highly recommend you get it if you have the memory space.

My Top 5 Octoberween Game Titles for 2018

5) Murdered: Soul Suspect – Price: Free with Microsoft’s Games With Gold offer on Xbox One.

4) Lost Reavers – Price: Free to Play on Wii U.

3) Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins – Price: $5.99 on sale off PS3’s PSN.



Super Step Contributing Writer

10/23/2018 at 10:32 PM

It's cool they did so much work on it to bring it to PSP, but the game I have on my SNES Mini frustrates me enough (well, not really, since I kinda just moved on after dying a few times) that I doubt I'd be into it anyway. 
Maybe one day I'll git gud enough to make this a horror staple for me. 

Cary Woodham

10/23/2018 at 10:34 PM

The PSP was a great handheld.  One of the few that could pull me away from Nintendo's (the other being the Neo Geo Pocket Color).

Matt Snee Staff Writer

10/24/2018 at 04:50 AM

the graphics do look pretty great. I played the hell out of the Genesis version of this game, but the others were too tough for me. I'm a coward. Ha ha. 

I played a lot of the PSP. It was a great system. 


10/24/2018 at 10:57 PM

Always loved the graphics and animation in this game. Beat me silly though. 

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