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Ghosts'N Goblins: Gold Knights II

Ghosts'N Goblins: Gold Knights II

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Action Games, Platformer

Ghosts'N Goblins: Gold Knights II, the sequel to the earlier iPhone game, was provided to me recently by Capcom. This is definitely one console game publisher that has really figured out iPhone games. Gold Knights II is a wonderful entry in the Ghosts'N Goblin series but doesn't require any knowledge of the previous games. It's full of action, great looking, and easy to play in small bursts.

Gold Knights II is an action-platformer played in a 2D plane with 3D graphics. This is similar to other classic revamps such as Mega Man Powered Up, Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, and Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins. Like the original Gold Knights, the sequel features two playable characters – Arthur as usual and Perceval, a newcomer. These two characters play very differently and provide a nice balance to each other. Arthur is the main character of the series, throwing lances and other weapons he finds. Perceval uses three varieties of swords, attacking at close range. In addition, he has a dash attack that makes him invulnerable during use, allowing him to damage an enemy while getting behind it.

Fans of the series will definitely recognize the mechanics of the game. You'll want to tread carefully through the levels, because the ground is full of bottomless pits, and enemies like to attack suddenly. As I said, the two characters play pretty differently. When you play, you should figure out which you prefer for a given level. If you're stuck, switching to the other character can provide another way of looking at the stage. I preferred the use of Arthur, but I still used Perceval a lot too. Playing as the other character makes the levels feel completely new again. In Gold Knights II, you can take four or five hits without dying, but you don't regain health. When you die, you respawn near, and when all your lives are lost, the game ends. Luckily you can start again on any stage you've previously reached, allowing you to jump right back to the stage with which you were struggling. You can double-jump, but you can't change direction mid-jump. The second jump makes up for this because it can be in a different direction than the first. You can use this either to get to very high places or to suddenly jump backwards if you realize that your first jump was aiming directly into an enemy or a pit. Throughout the levels you're able to collect power-ups, giving you the chance to use powerful abilities. Overall Gold Knights II is challenging but not as difficult as the classic games were on the early consoles. This is good, because the iPhone is best for short spurts of game playing. The game provides at least a few hours of gameplay if you're just playing straight through. Due to the second character and high scores, the game has a lot of replay value as well.

The production value of Gold Knights II is superb. The graphics are good, especially the details in characters and enemies. The bosses look incredibly cool both in design and actual implementation. The environment looks a bit pixelated, but I'm not positive whether this was due to a design choice or not. Regardless, it doesn't detract much from the overall experience. The sound effects and music were all good and fit the atmosphere very well. There is purchasable DLC that provides abilities (or cheats if you will) such as unlimited lives, increased damage, the ability to freely change weapons, and my personal favorite, triple jump. Another great thing Capcom has added is the ability to customize the location of the controls. This is something that they have done in their other iPhone games as well, and I'll never stop praising them for it. You can drag the on-screen buttons anywhere so that they're right where you want them. Want them near the middle of the screen because your thumbs rest there more comfortably? Go for it! Does that block too much of the view? Do you prefer to have your buttons at the outer edge? That's fine too! No game with on-screen buttons can ever be more comfortable, because in Gold Knights II, the buttons go exactly where you want them.

Gold Knights II is a wonderful addition to the Ghosts 'n Goblins series. As I said previously, Capcom does a stellar job of creating iPhone games. They are able to make current franchises work on a device that is vastly different than conventional consoles. Gold Knights II is definitely a full-featured entry in the series that will provide a lot of value with two different characters with which to go through the game, DLC if you're willing to pay the additional fees, and high scores to push you to your best. Capcom delivers another great game with this solid action-platformed, and for only $4.99, you can't go wrong with Ghosts'N Goblins: Gold Knights II!


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