The Games We Never Talk About: Ultimate Ghosts ‘N Goblins


Welcome back to The Games We Never Talk About (But probably should), this time it’s actually a PSP game that was released in 2006/7 and one that seems to have gone under the radar for many.

Ultimate Ghosts ‘N Goblins is certainly one of the most known games so far in this series but it somehow ended up in obscurity due to it being released exclusively for the PlayStation Portable, to me though this was one the system sellers for the handheld and had I not bought the Outrun Coast 2 Coast 2006 bundle a few months earlier then this would have been the day I bought the PSP for sure.

I have been a fan of the series since the very first second I tried the Commodore 64 version of Ghosts ‘N Goblins, I think it must have been the music that triggered my love to the franchise as I totally sucked at the game for years.

Ultimate Ghosts ‘N Goblins though are still one of the most difficult games out there and yes you will have to learn every level to master it and once you do you will be rewarded with even more devastating blows as the game keep on getting harder and harder until you actually get the total of, no not 22 rings (which the game leads you to believe for a rather long time) but 33! of them.

The best part though is that you can play the game on easy and that there are save points spread all over the game which makes the game at least bearable compared to others in the series, that said, it will switch to hard and spawn more enemies and whatnot later on in the next few playthroughs so don’t go there and think this will be a walk in the park.

The game looks and plays wonderfully, you can now do all sorts of things thanks to both upgrades and standard moves, the double jump is back, you can hang on ledges, you can fly on a shield, you get a wingsuit thingy and a ton more of awesome weapons and skills are unlocked at various places in the game. 

The attention to detail and a full understanding of the franchise is somewhat clear that has been their main focus for the game as it feels true to the earlier games.

The more I play this game the better it gets, a lot of people will most likely give up on it sadly but this is one of those that you just have to learn and master, once you do that the reward is way higher than most other games out there.

Capcom actually got so much criticism towards the difficulty level that they went out and did a second edition of the game which for some reason was only released in Japan and even strangers are that new this version is sometimes much harder than the old one too…

I know that many never got around to complete this game due to it being too difficult but it ain’t all that hard if you learn it and stock up lives and use the continues wisely, the reason I brought this game up now is that a friend of mine (hello Erik) bought a PSP and I recommended this game to him and when I visited him he asked me to show how to play it…

A couple hours later and I had completed the game (1h 51min I think it was) and he was gobsmacked that I had pulled it off, well I have played the game a lot in the past but that’s like 10 years ago now but the controls and gameplay is downright perfect and once you learn it then it sticks forever.

The craziest thing of it all was that I did this while 2 kids were screaming and  making a lot of noise while playing Astro Bot VR and Playroom VR together with two even louder grownups (hello Tindis and Erik :-p), most likely one of the most impressive things I have ever done as normally I would have gone through the roof if I had died or whatever… Haha.

The thing though, I had only 8 rings at that completion and to get all 33 will take easily 20-30 hours with a helluva lot more swearing and whatnot 😀

Let’s just say it like this, getting 33 rings at that time would have been downright IMPOSSIBLE.

The game is littered with secrets and ways to go, you must often replay levels to find everything but I advise you against that until you have got all the upgrades and powers, just try and complete the game first and then replay the levels afterwards and then, later on, go for the newgame+ style.

The 2.5D graphics look and flows wonderfully, the framerate is perfect and it looks brilliant on that tiny little screen.

I hardly use the analogue stick on the PSP for games but in this game, it is recommended for some locations so if you hate the D-PAD then try to use the stick instead.

This is the awesome looking box and certainly one of the best looking on PSP in my opinion, that said, there are many good ones on PSP compared to the number of games that handheld got over the years.

Ultimate Ghosts ‘N Goblins is one of those games that every retro lover needs to play, yes you might not like it or whatever but give it a chance and maybe, just maybe you will find a way to master it and if you do the reward will be like no other game on the handheld for certain. A true classic in my eyes, one of the best games on the format and a game that really needs to be released on the PlayStation 4 or whatever.

Go grab this game right now, this is another MUST HAVE title in your collection.

The box shot and screenshots are from my own collection.

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