I definitely agree with Caleb's observation about games getting easier over the years. However, I don't necessarily view this as a bad thing. There have been uncountable games that cheaped me six ways from Sunday (especially during the NES days), and I dont appreciate the same levels of aggravation or stress that I used to thrive on in my younger years. I enjoy challenge, but Ill take fun over challenge any day. Luckily, I didnt find Ghosts To Glory to be as hard as some say it is, although it can imagine it being an ego-buster compared to most recent discs.
The game is basically a pretty simple and enjoyable hack-'n-slasher, but nothing that really thrilled me. I found this sort of odd since I was so bowled over by it at last year's E3, but somehow the rest of the game didn't really develop past what I saw on first impressions. The graphics are smooth, control is spot-on and it feels pretty polished except for the occasional death-inducing camera angle. Its a good, quality game and will provide hours of platforming fun, but it didnt pack enough punch for me. If I had to pick one thing that holds Ghosts To Glory back from a higher score, it would be that the developers had a great core idea, but didn't run far enough with it. Its solid, but theres not a lot of variety and it really doesnt provide anything you wouldnt expect from the screenshots.
About the hub worlds, Caleb is right on target. While not only being initially confusing, I didnt think the concept really worked at all. While the final "Castle" stage was actually pretty well put together, the net effect of having hubs was that I felt like I was running through a bunch of disconnected areas for no other reason than they were there. It was okay for Crash Bandicoot's semi-surreal exploits, but I think Ghosts To Glory would have benefited from a more linear type of adventure, similar to the original series of games.
Looking at the save system, I didnt think it was too bad. It was definitely a hassle to save up Koins, but I usually had more than enough since I didn't use them for anything except saving. While I'm on the topic, I think a lot of people never caught on to the "old-school" trick of redoing past levels to restock on items. I never once had to continue using this gimmicky way of playing, but the repetition of revisiting conquered stages got boring fast. In my opinion, the challenge should be in the gameplay, not the continuing or saving. Skipping this "Koins to save" busywork in the future would make me a happier gamer.
Despite all my grousing, I still think Ghosts To Glory is one of Capcom's better titles in a while, easily eclipsing their other recent high-profile titles in the action genre. The main character looks cool, the battles never let up and its fun to turn off the thinking part of your brain and run on reflexes for a while. A sequel should definitely in order, and if so, tweaking the issues Caleb and I mentioned above would be a must. The potential for greatness is clear… but Capcom Digital Studios isnt quite there yet. Still, I dont regret the purchase at all, and youve gotta love Maximo's red-heart boxer shorts. However, seeing them makes me wonder if theyre the same pair that the series original hero, Arthur, wore way back when…