In 1985, Capcom released a little side scroller called Makai-Mura to Japanese arcades. That game, which soon after appeared in US arcades under the name Ghosts N' Goblins, sticks out in many gamers' minds as one of the first truly great side scrollers. It's also remembered as being unbelievably difficult to complete. The game was translated to the NES, and now it's come to the Game Boy Color. The translation to the Game Boy Color stays very true to the original's gameplay while adding a password function to allow for multisession gaming.
The story is as old as time itself. You, as Arthur the knight, are kicking it in the graveyard with your best girl. Satan, big meanie that he is, simply can't have this, so a winged demon swoops down, kidnaps your lady friend, and vanishes. What's a knight to do? Get into his armor and start running to the right, of course! You'll make your way from the graveyard through lava-filled levels and caves and eventually to the castle where your fair maiden is being kept. Arthur's attacks are weapon based. You'll start out throwing lances, but as you progress you'll change to weapons such as a sword, an axe, or everyone's least favorite weapon, the torch. Taking one hit from an enemy will blow you out of your armor; taking another will kill you.
Graphically, the game puts on a pretty good show, mimicking the NES version's graphics more than the arcade version. The soundtrack is faithful to the original version in melody, but the music and sound effects sound a bit like they're being piped through the Commodore 64's SID chip. Overall, the sound is very good.
Portable-console players looking for a side scroller won't be disappointed with Ghosts N' Goblins. The control is easy to master, but the game manages to throw enough difficult enemies at you to keep you entertained. Overall, it's a great version of a real classic.