how Switch modernises an arcade icon •

how Switch modernises an arcade icon •

The RE engine powers a revitalized platform classic.

One of Capcom’s most famous and beloved franchises, Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection for Switch is a treat, modernizing a classic game with Nintendo’s hybrid console technology, while honoring some of its most iconic moments. It’s also one of the first Switch games built using Capcom’s excellent RE engine – the other being Monster Hunter Rise. While this is a very different type of game, Ghost ‘n Goblins shows just how flexible tools and technology can be and while this version has proven to be a divisive one for the fandom, I think it’s a great effort overall.

Personally, I love how the high-end RE engine combines with hand-drawn imagery to deliver a game that looks modern but feels like an evolution of the series’ 2D roots. It’s a look that really grew on me while I was playing but it’s certainly unusual at first glance. Unlike, for example, the two Ori games, which use multiple layers to create its scenes with soft and alpha edges, Ghosts’ n Goblins is a little different. The edges of the pixels are visible in the illustration – so it’s slightly more jagged than, say, Ori or Cuphead. However, it reveals the render resolution with relative ease. When docked, this artwork is displayed at a fixed resolution of 1080p while handheld mode changes to 720p instead.

Those visible edges certainly make it feel like a 2D and 3D hybrid, but it looks awesome overall. Each step features significant depth in parallax scrolling with many overlapping layers. The scenery is also very vibrant – of course you can expect storms with rain and blowing trees, much like Ghouls’ n Ghosts, but there’s a lot more here, including stages that separate. as you progress, causing unexpected changes in the design. It’s this flexibility that allows for some of the most ambitious level designs in the history of the series while building on the original designs. There’s an equal love for Ghost ‘n Goblins and Ghouls’ n Ghosts here to the point where you have your choice of intro levels that pay homage to each of the titans in the series in turn – they’re much longer than that. the originals but keep most of the same beats. It sets the stage for the modernization work that persists throughout the game and I think it’s a fantastic way to approach the design – it’s mostly new in terms of the layout, but it’s so reminiscent of those classics and looks beautiful.

DF Retro x Modern in full flow as John Linneman checks out the excellent Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection, integrating the new version of Switch into a full appreciation series.

The control system is based on the second game, it means there is no double jump but you have multidirectional attacks. To put it bluntly, Arthur needs a commitment – the timing of each jump is so crucial to success, and it’s equally rewarding to learn the game. The series is well known for its brutal difficulty and the need to learn – and it’s exactly the same here as in the originals. Animation is perhaps the most conflicting element in the game. Essentially, the characters come to life almost like puppets with interpolated limbs that float. I believe this is the animation style that the comments suggest that it looks like a Flash game come in and I think I understand that – the concept is similar. However, I think that sells the animation work here – it’s just the approach Capcom decided to take to modernize the game while providing a recognizable experience. The same goes for the control – it’s responsive, but the animation style combined with the slow movement speed proves to be divisive.

But it’s the use of RE Engine technology that I find particularly interesting – dynamic lighting creates much more interesting effects, while gameplay is tied to graphic innovation. One stage sees you extinguish the candles, which makes it much harder to see enemies – but doing so is essential as the flames do damage. This is an example of an effect that just wouldn’t have been possible at the time. I was also won over by the subtle work of the camera. Essentially, the camera zooms in or out depending on the scene, resulting in a very dynamic side view of the action. It looks excellent on the move and performs well to frame the action perfectly.

Performance? It’s an interesting topic because the series hasn’t always been known for its smooth frame rates. Super NES gaming was often very slow while PSP gaming was capped at 30 fps. With this new Switch game, however, 60fps is the target – as it should be – but it’s not without its flaws. Overall, the game manages to hit the target frame rate the vast majority of the time, but it’s not 100% stable, especially when weather effects or flames dominate the screen, where you can fall into the territory of 50 fps. The other performance metric we can discuss is load times, but they’re relatively short and harmless. You also reboot quickly after death – I only mention this as long load times could have been a disaster for the game due to how often you are likely to die learning the game.

Overall, Ghosts’ n Goblins Resurrection is an interesting version. RE Engine performs well, but at the same time it’s a step back from the almost perfect Mega Man 11 in terms of overall consistency. The presentation is beautiful, I think, but also divisive – which is also true for the game itself. I know some fans have been disappointed with the game while others absolutely love it. Personally, I love it. While I still prefer the second arcade game and maybe even the Super NES renderer, I think it’s a solid entry. The team clearly understands what makes these games tick and comes with an exceptional set of steps to go through. I also like the difficulty selection. It’s a tough game – really tough – but each difficulty setting changes in such a way that everyone can at least have fun with it. So while it’s not perfect, I think it’s a game that stands proudly alongside the likes of Bionic Commando Re-armed and Mega Man 11 in the way it brings a classic franchise back to a platform. modern form. It’s tough but rewarding and I know I will be playing and replaying in the weeks to come.

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