Ghosts’n Goblins Gold Knights 2 Review

Back when we previewed Ghosts’n Goblins Gold Knights 2 at E3, we held out hope that the early build we played, with its low frame rate and murky backgrounds, would be optimized before release. But now that the game’s available on the App Store, it hasn’t gotten much better than that early build.

A sequel to the iPhone remake of the original Ghosts’n Goblins, Gold Knights 2 offers very similar platforming controls. Like in the last game, you can’t control the height of your jump or adjust them in mid-air, though you can double-jump. Even after you’re used to the controls, the level design doesn’t offer too many interesting obstacles, and you’ll only have to make a few precarious leaps through the entire game.

The last uniclops.

While the background scenery that scrolls by fails to excite in terms of gameplay, it’s equally disappointing visually. Levels are very dark, probably because most of them are set in caves. It’s also surprising that Ghosts’n Goblins Gold Knights 2 runs at such a ragged frame rate, considering that recent 3D iPhone games like Hero of Sparta 2 have much more complex visuals and manage to run smoothly as well.

Another striking letdown in this game (like in the last Ghosts’n Goblins) is the fact that you have to pay an additional dollar each for cheats that should be included for free. For an extra dollar on top of the already high purchase price, you can unlock perks like invincibility or increased attack power.

In other games, these cheats would be unlockable bonuses for playing the game skillfully, but Capcom is apparently not interested in giving away any added value in Ghosts’n Goblins for free. This is a striking departure from their free Street Fighter 4 character updates.

You can’t see him here, but this boss is quite scary.

Not everything about Ghosts’n Goblins Gold Knights 2 is bad, though. The two playable characters, Arthur and Percival, are different enough that you’ll probably play through this short game twice. Percival’s sword attack, while short-range, is incredibly powerful, and he can take down most bosses in just a few hits.

Instead of a too-short 3D game that runs poorly on the platform, we’d have preferred to play a classic 2D version of the series. Like Capcom’s last iPhone game, 1942: FIrst Strike, Ghosts’n Goblins Gold Knights 2 feels like it was designed as a standard cellphone game. With a lot more ambition, like we saw in Street Fighter 4 for iPhone, Capcom could actually do these classic characters justice.

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