Despite being a little harsh Avenging Spirit's unique gameplay makes it a port worthy of a try.

User Rating: 7 | Phantasm GB
The Good: Possessing enemies to use them as playable characters is innovative and feels great; Nicely drawn cutscenes; Alternate ending changes the game's pace a little in an occasional second playthrough.

The Bad: Nasty AI + slow controls = unforgiveness.

Avenging Spirit is a 2D platform action game that managed to set itself apart from hundreds of other similar games thanks to its quite original premise: giving the player the opportunity to control any character (bosses aside) that may cross their path.

As the phantom of a murdered boy you must break your way into the enemy lines by jumping from one body to another until the end of the game. That's the way it goes: As you possess an enemy their energy bar will be at display; if it becomes completely depleted the enemy dies and you must leave your host and fly your way to another enemy to redo the possession magic. While disembodied your own energy bar will start to deplete until you die (again?). Some blasts may kill you alongside your host so you must be careful about your own energy even while possessing someone. Items scattered through the stages will help you to keep both bars full--there are different items for each bar.

The whole possession idea is the main strength of the game. The gameplay will vary fairly as you're into a fire-spitting dinosaur, or a shuriken-thrower ninja or a missile-armed robot--their endurance, speed, power and jumping capacity will differ--and that can even make you want to explore the stages better after a specific monster instead of just mashing buttons. That exploration "spirit" will help you in the last stage if you want to see the good ending--a nice addition to an action platformer.

As an arcade game port this GB version do the job well. Designers trade some lack of graphical capability off for new cool characters--like an invisible man who can't either attack or be attacked--and a more remarkable animation style (sprites for the enemies being possessed are great as well as the manga-ish cutscenes).

As a bad note beware of the game's unforgiveness because the almost cheating AI will not leave you time for quick responses--the game suffers for a little sluggishness, a typical issue when it comes to big sprites in GB games.

In the end Avenging Spirit is a nice, innovative action game and shouldn't be overlooked by GB owners and curious gamers in a general way.

- Reviewed for The Autonomous Regime Union