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Grabbed by the Ghoulies Hands-On

Fight against hordes of skeletons, spiders, zombies, and demons in this action adventure game from Rare.


Rare's brand-new action adventure game Grabbed by the Ghoulies was prominently displayed in Microsoft's E3 booth. The game's presentation, which is highlighted by a somewhat cel-shaded style, is highly reminiscent of Luigi's Mansion or the general Disney art style in that everything in Grabbed by the Ghoulies is presented in a lighthearted manner. At the beginning of the game, you have to go through a brief tutorial that teaches you the basics of the combat system, which revolves around the right analog stick. Essentially, you can control the direction of the lead character's attacks by pressing the corresponding direction on the analog stick--if you want to kick at enemies behind you, then you tap back on the right analog stick.

Of course, you won't be relegated to just using your fists or feet against enemies--quite a few items in the environment can be used as weapons. For example, one room in the house has a pool table with pool cues hanging on the wall that are perfect for bashing the unsuspecting skeletons that are conversing with each other on the other side of the room. There are plenty of other items to pick up as well, but most of them will start to break when they repeatedly make contact with enemies or other destructible objects in the environment.

In fact, destroying objects in the environment is encouraged in Grabbed by the Ghoulies. Whenever you destroy a vase, a book, or any other such object, a dollar value appears on the screen indicating the price of that object. This dollar value is then added to the overall amount of damage that you've caused to the mansion.

There are some other interesting gameplay mechanics in the game as well. In one section of the game, you have to walk through a hallway that has the heads of various monsters mounted on the wall. As you start to walk down the hall, certain heads will let out a hideous scream, stopping you in your tracks. When this happens, you have to hit the combination of buttons displayed on the screen in order to calm yourself down. A similar mechanic is used elsewhere in the game when new enemies appear, but it seems that you only have to keep yourself moving to overcome any sort of fear.

Graphically, the game has a very colorful and clean look. The cartoon style of the game lends itself well to its theme. Some of the enemy characters in the game look a little blocky, but the main character and the environments are pretty detailed and have a nice rounded look.

We'll have more on Grabbed by the Ghoulies soon.

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