Gaming systems continue their cross-company arms races, bringing games from the world of 2D platform into the 3D environment. Scores of games have seen this evolution, with the “Super Mario Bros.” and “Legend of Zelda” series being the most notable, and “Maximo: Ghosts to Glory” continues the mass migration of classic series spin-offs becoming 3D games.
Nintendo Entertainment System’s “Ghosts and Goblins” had an eight-bit side scrolling silver clad knight hopping and running throughout a kingdom where each level involved vertical scrolling, all of course in an effort to save the princess. “Maximo: Ghosts to Glory” carries the medieval heroism of saving the princess, although now the game scrolls in an interactive 3D play-space.
Gamers play as Maximo, a young knight who returns to his kingdom to find it in disarray. His fair-maiden has been captured, and obviously it is Maximo’s job to save her.
“Ghosts to Glory” is made up of five primary levels, split into nearly thirty subsections. Players navigate Maximo through a 3D environment filled with various enemies. The enemies use relatively formulaic attack patterns, although at times the action gets pretty sticky-icky-icky.
The difficulty of “Ghosts to Glory” is frustrating throughout. While braving onslaughts of enemies is not particularly difficult, replenishing Maximo’s armor is. After taking only a few hits, it seems Maximo’s armor is scattered throughout the playing area and the brave knight is reduced to battling baddies in little more than his skivvies.
Even more frustrating for gamers are the wide-gaps between save points. Gamers will often find themselves playing for 30 minutes at a time without coming to a save point. This forces gamers to truly master each level and memorize the patterns of the enemies in order to advance successfully.
Maximo’s graphics are lush. While the opening levels of the game are extremely shadowy and dark, these images correlate with the game’s grim environment. The graphical quality of the game is stunted however, by the game’s finicky camera. Gamers will find themselves constantly realigning the camera in order to combat enemies, and the persistant realignment of the camera makes it tricky to dispatch the hordes of evil coming at them from all directions.
“Maximo” uses sporadic bits of full motion video sequences throughout the game. The sequences are well-voiced, and while they look cartoon-y, it does fit the presentation of the game.
Overall, “Maximo: Ghosts to Glory” serves as a decent, if slightly better-than-average, 3D action/adventure game. The characters are well animated, and the game is fun (although completely frustrating to a generation of gamers spoiled with “save when ever you feel like it” mindsets). The flaws of the game are the repetitive scrolling and the painful lack of musical variation on the game’s soundtrack. The game is interesting, and if gamers are willing to put aside their angst toward the difficulty and repetition of the adventure, “Maximo: Ghosts to Glory” is worth checking out.