Retro Paradiso 03: Ghosts N' Goblins

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Hello and welcome to part three of Retro Paradiso. This is the first part where I have everything down. I have changed one rule and added another. Now, my time is forty minutes with each part instead of thirty, and I have decided I cannot look at any guide books or any guides for the sake of discovery. With that out of the way, let’s jump right into it.

Part One

The princess has been kidnapped, and it is up to you, a knight in shining armor, to save her! Only, this ain’t Mario and it was Satan himself who kidnapped her. Oh, and also this game is brutally difficult, so there’s that. So it is up to you to run through the hordes of creatures throwing various weapons to save the girl.

I don’t know if I made myself clear on this one point here: this game is hard. Really hard. I don’t mean a type of difficult that retro games tend to have. I mean this game was probably built by the devil himself. You only get to be hit twice before losing a life, weapons only throw in a single direction, and enemies start to get really tough as you go through the game. This game just may be one of the hardest games I have ever played. Unfortunately, I think some of those difficulties are flaws with the game or things I don’t think should be there. For starters, the game doesn’t run too well. It feels fine enough to play, but I feel that the game is running at a frame rate where you feel like you are running on each pixel instead of just smoothly running. While I am fine with the fact that you can only throw in one direction, I found that jumping feels static and that you can’t turn in midair to throw. Getting hit the first time means losing the armor set, but you can’t put armor back on despite there being armor sets you can pick up off of the ground. I found enemy spawns to be a bit too close for comfort and the controls to be clunky. The flaws I had with the game made the experience feel outdated compared to other retro games I have played. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some bright sides to the game.

Right off the bat, I like the fact that this isn’t some endless arcade game like Balloon Fight. This is a game with a beginning and an end, and while I didn’t complete the game, I am more likely to go back and try to complete it than go back to an endless arcade game. I was surprised to see that the game had checkpoints in between each level and that after losing all lives you can still go back to that checkpoint. While it did render having a score useless for me considering I just want to make it as far as I can, I still really liked the fact that you can go back after death to where you left off. I’m playing this thing on a NES Classic and I have system-level save states that I used more than the checkpoints, but I am still glad that they are there. One other thing I did like was the amount of enemy variety. This is only the first part which means that down the road there will be more enemy types, but so far there has been a good amount of variety. I’m even beginning to learn some of the different ways of dealing with certain enemy types, like ducking underneath plant projectiles. Overall, I would say that despite its many flaws I am having with the game, overall I am having a pretty good time with game so far.

Progress: The red arrow, not the knight’s helmet.

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Part Two

Right as I got into part two, the first thing I noticed was that the continue option in the main menu was gone. I guess your game-level progress only stays within one game session. And while that sucks, I was using the system-level saves, so all it was to me was something worth talking about. I feel that as my time went along with the game, my feeling of the game got better overall. I say that because the issues I had in the second part aren’t really as big as the first part. The issues I had with the second part are that the crows constantly got in the way, imps are too hard to fight, and I found some textures occasionally popping up on the side of my screen. Meanwhile, I feel that I am getting better at the game overall, the enemies still have a high level of variety, and I found the scenery to be diverse as well. I didn’t have much to say with this part or the next one because it mostly is just trying to get as far as I can, but I can say that overall, I am starting to like the game a bit more.

Progress: The red arrow, not the knight’s helmet.

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Part Three

My time with part three was only positive, but all of it was mainly discovery. The game is still hard as hell and all of that, but I am starting to get things down. I sort of found a strategy on the imp, but the biggest thing that really clicked with me was finding a strategy with the boss at the end of the third level. At that moment when I was getting all of his moves down and whatnot was when I really felt that I could play the game. Also, while fighting the boss, I found out that you actually can turn around and throw projectiles while jumping. The controls were too clunky to really start using that attack pattern, but it’s still a good discovery nonetheless.

Progress: The red arrow, not the knight’s helmet.

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That about wraps it up. This game is hard as hell, and I feel that if I go back and complete it I will become a man. Despite my issues with the game, I think that overall I had a good time with it and I will probably go back and try to beat the game(the key word is try). Thank you all for reading and tune in for another part whenever that happens.