There was a lot riding on this title with it being the first for XBox from
esteemed developer Rare, the team behind Banjoe Kazooe, Goldeneye and Starfox
Adventures. Purchased by Microsoft, expectations were high as it's a known
fact that Rare do not compromise on their titles and that quite frankly is the
reason they've enjoyed the success they have on the Nintendo consoles.
Has this title lived up to the others that
came before it? Unfortunately I do not think so, however that said, it's still
a fun game that should keep players busy for hours on end.
The storyline itself is pretty damn simple
and doesn't really stretch any boundaries as far as imagination goes. Your
girlfriend is captured in a haunted house and you have to get her back. It
won't revolutionise gaming storylines or the way you view games but it's a
surefire way to start a fun adventure.
The game itself reminded me in ways of
Luigi's Mansion on the GameCube with the way that challenges are presented,
however Ghoulies is different in that you simply cannot progress if you don't
finish the task that is presented to you as the room or section you are in
will seal itself until the job is done. A nice addition to the challenge
which is fun in and of itself is that there are rules to each challenge that
are to be followed very stringently or your main nemesis, the Grim Reaper is
set loose to get you. This in itself puts a twist on the game because you may
be trying to complete a challenge and accidentally release the Reaper and
whilst avoiding him, still have to try to complete the task at hand. A nice
touch but one that can prove to be very frustrating.
Controls on the game are also problematic
at times with the game attempting to help players with an enemy lock on that
will fix the hero Cooper onto the nearest threat or thing that need attention.
The problem with this setup is frankly that when you are trying to escape or
just get somewhere quickly, Cooper will stall as the game tries to lock onto
an item or creature that it thinks you should be paying attention to. For the
most part, it's not a problem however there were a number of times that it
really was a pain and inconvenience. As far as fighting the monsters, it was a
simple matter of navigating with the left stick and letting my right analog
stick do the talking. It's as simple as pointing the stick in the direction of
the enemy and Cooper will automatically attack.