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[AMSTRAD CPC] Ghouls'N Ghosts - Longplay & Review
[AMSTRAD CPC] Ghouls'N Ghosts - Longplay & Review
31 October 2012, 9:33 am

 


Review and longplay / walkthrough for "Ghouls 'N' Ghosts" on the Amstrad CPC! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! Nice double-header for Halloween for ya! Next up is the sequel to Ghosts'N Goblins and conversion to the Amstrad. The first game was really in the early days of the Amstrad when programmers hadn't mastered the machine yet but did a pretty decent job. How does this fare in comparison and as a game in it's own right? Can it live up to the arcade original in any way? (c) US Gold 1989 CPC-POWER, sauvegarde du patrimoine de l'Amstrad CPC
CPC-POWER, sauvegarde du patrimoine de l'Amstrad CPC (c) Capcom 1988 en.wikipedia.org Arcade, Videogame, Pinball Machine, and Antique Coin-Operated History -- The[/t][/t]
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« Last Edit: 13:43, 31 October 12 by Gryzor »
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Offline Gryzor

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What a lovely tune, by god =)

But... "looking crappy"?? It's certainly a cut above Ghosts'n'Goblins...

Offline ivarf

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But... "looking crappy"?? It's certainly a cut above Ghosts'n'Goblins...
In my opinion I  would say not at all! This looks way worse than Ghostn Goblins, although it may play better

Offline Gryzor

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Actually... I think they both look kind of crappy, my glasses are definitely rose-tinted.

Offline Axelay

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Personally, I think Ghosts'n'Goblins did pretty well with the constraints of the graphics method being used.  I dont think Ghouls'n'Ghosts was as successful, and in some instances, like the player sprite, was really poor.  But I guess with Ghouls'n'Ghosts, by the time that came out it was just nice to see a CPC game instead of a second hand Spectrum game.  :)

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The shortest tune for the most crappy GNG port ever.
But, CPC dudes love it.  ;D
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Offline remax

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The shortest tune for the most crappy GNG port ever.
But, CPC dudes love it.  ;D


Yeah, there were constraints and the game did well with that, so you can admire it from a technical POV, but from a gamer POV it miss to many things to be a good game (if you consider this is a port).


Ghouls and ghost was at least a real full game, even if it has flaws... not a short playable demo.

Offline TotO

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Yeah, there were constraints and the game did well with that, so you can admire it from a technical POV
The strange choice is the screen size... The arcade is only 256x224, so to be more accurate, a 128x224 has been better than a 160x200.
But like we know, it was drawn by a 15 years old child looking the arcade machine...
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Offline Axelay

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The shortest tune for the most crappy GNG port ever.
But, CPC dudes love it.  ;D


I understand a lot of people judge the game poorly because of how inaccurate a conversion it was, but arcade accuracy was pretty low down on the scale of significance to what made a good game or not for me.  GnG had responsive control and consistent, predictable collisions (if a little lacking in generosity) and a good sized play area for seeing what was going on around you which together are things very few other arcade conversions to the CPC managed, so for me it was actually one of the CPCs best arcade conversions.  :)  And the music?  Well that was my very first 'real' AY tune.   :D

Offline TotO

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I really like this game and the tune. It's just "not enough" when you love that !!! :D
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Offline MacDeath

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Ghoul's N ghost is always given a bad rap

Of course the engine in 4 (backgrounds)+ 3 (sprites) = 7 coulours while in Mode0 (same as Wonderboy or Ghost N Goblin) is somewhat disapointing graphically.
We can see a few "unmasked" artefacts when sprites cross each others here and there... but this actually not the problem


Well, first, palette is so badly used that sometimes the same colour is used both for the Backgrounds and Sprites.

Also some slight transparency issues as often seen on C64.

Then the designs for some sprites themself actually suck.

Where GhostNGob is better ?
Sweet ingame Music, and better sprites (arthur mostly) design.

Where Ghouls goes for the win ?
The Gameplay is actually faithfull to the arcade.
Also the vertical fullscreen is sweet.

I would say Ghouls could really have been greater provided it could make use of Extra RAM (6128 config) to add in-game music and a few extra graphics here and there.

Playability is quite good and sadly the Tim follin tunes are great but too few and not ingame.

When a friend lend me this game at the time, i was actually impressed by the way it sounded on my CPC+stereo HiFi.
Some parts almost sound as on a C64 (sort of), Tim follin often managed well on the AY/YM, IMHO.

A proper 6128 version could perhaps use the same engine but with better designed graphics (Mostly Arthur sprites, with a few variation when special armour), slightly better palette choices (So the game would always feature 7 different colours) and musics from the Atari ST.

The only thing that really suck in this game is the Arthur's sprite... and as it is the one we always see...

As told, getting the vertical into 256 instead of only 224 is somewhat overkill... could have saved a bit of RAM perhaps.
We gotta remember "Mode1" pixels are not exactly square on a real CRT.

So a "256x256" (or 128x256 in mode0) screen is not exactly square but rectangle with vertical longer than horizontal.

Not sure if good nor actually "possible" CPUwise but the extra vertical pixels could have got some raster/mode change so a bit more colours on screen and a HUD comparable to the Atari ST version..
Well... Wonderboy had this and was slow (smoother scrolling though, this can too explain the sluggishness)


Quote
The strange choice is the screen size... The arcade is only 256x224, so to be more accurate, a 128x224 has been better than a 160x200.But like we know, it was drawn by a 15 years old child looking the arcade machine...
You are talking about GhostNGob, not Ghouls N Ghost (yeah, confusing lol).


On the other hand, the 320x200 from GhostNGob enabled (I guess) bigger (larger) Arthur sprites, hence the better design.




« Last Edit: 05:43, 11 November 12 by MacDeath »

Offline TotO

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Sure both topics exists, and I speak about "goblins", sorry.  :-X
"ghouls" is 384x224 and only a wide CPC overscan can do that on a 8bit computer.
(but, better to not imagine the result)
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Offline MacDeath

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Quote
"ghouls" is 384x224 and only a wide CPC overscan can do that on a 8bit computer.
you can also do some neat Mode2 384x224 i guess. ::)
The problem if Ghouls were "384x224" (Mode1), so actually 192x224 (Mode0) on CPC... it would use more RAM banks as VRAM (32K I guess, even if this makes something like 22-24K actually)) and the video would cannibalize more CPU time too I guess.

Clearly a hard pill for a 464/664.

The Z80 would also have to manage more tiles I guess...
 That's the sad part, CPC can into such resolutioon for mockups purpose, but having this into a good fast game is another problem.

I wished the CRTC+GA had some DMA style thing so they could address additional RAM as VRAM while the CPU would still have its 64K.

As I often tell, had the "464" been designed as a "480" (without loosing the ability into fullscreen), this could have changed a lot of things.

Oh and the 6128 being a 6160 then... ;) 


But sadly Amstrad choose to simply put the Z80 into wait state while the video is reading.

This said, this er... "GhostNGhost" engine in Mode0 in 4+3 colours... it is quite lighter on CPU isn't it ?
Is it used only to ease the RAM limitation or does it also ease the CPU's job ?
I suppose the games having this are 64K only.
Could such sort of engine be designed in order to exploit the 128k ?

I mean, with a few rasters, this could be sweet.
Also What about such engine designed specifically for the PLUS...
easier rasters, somewhat easier scrollings, a few Hard sprites here and there... this could be nice actually.


BTW, many game using this method are not bad at all..
Wonder boy, Legend of Cage, GhostNGhost... what else ?
Would be nice to get a Wiki page on this technique (does it already exist ?)
« Last Edit: 16:13, 11 November 12 by MacDeath »

Offline sigh

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I was just watching the 8 bit wars or this game and was pretty surprised to see that the spectrum version had nice scrolling and the rain effects (like with Rodland, this is one of the few times where I wish it were a speccy port.) I remember playing the C64 version at my friends house and I adored the music very much.

Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Both weren't great, but i actually prefer Ghosts N Goblins to this.


Annoying multiload, blocky graphics causing an eyesore. Ghost N Goblins was on the slow side and the scrolling was non existent, but Ghouls scrolling wasn't exactly anything to write home about either.


Maybe my memory has gone to shit, may try playing this again, but i remember hating it in 89.
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Offline arnoldemu

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Both weren't great, but i actually prefer Ghosts N Goblins to this.


Annoying multiload, blocky graphics causing an eyesore. Ghost N Goblins was on the slow side and the scrolling was non existent, but Ghouls scrolling wasn't exactly anything to write home about either.


Maybe my memory has gone to shit, may try playing this again, but i remember hating it in 89.
I agree here, I think Ghosts N Goblins was better.

Both have the same style of graphics, but I think Ghosts were a bit better. Ghouls graphics were not so refined.
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Offline Shaun M. Neary

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Had another play of this, definitely Ghosts N Goblins over this.


Also that second level where those bouncing tortoise shells were damn near impossible to get past. Think i punched the keyboard a few times playing this as a kid.
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Offline Puresox

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I remember punching Keyboards! :D