The StarSoldier

Artist touch: The detail here is pretty good but the colours look a bit dull. It's still good though. Cover art rating: 6/10
Month it won: August 2006

(Sega/Capcom, 1990)
Special note: Like Capcom's Strider for the SMS this is a fairly rare title as well.
Introduction and Story:
Capcom and Sega teamed up in the late 1980's to translate some popular arcade hits to Sega's home consoles. Easily one of the biggest games Sega got from Capcom was Ghouls 'N Ghosts, some say was the Sega Genesis first break out title and it even won the 1989 Game of the Year by Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine. This game was also arrives on this old Sega Master System machine here too (it was also released on the Sega Saturn and SuperGrafx but would I hardly call them 'popular') believe it or not. So is this rare action game any good though and worth tracking down? Surprisingly yes!

In this classic game you play the role of the brave Sir Arthur, a powerful knight that just witness your beloved princess get killed by the evil demon known has Loki (which I heard is another word for the devil). You must travel through everything from rainy forests filled with grim reapers to ruined castles filled with the undead knights on your deadly and very difficult mission of revenge.
Controls and Game Play:
If you don't know the deal with these Capcom Ghost games you control a knight with a unlimited supply of throwable weapons (sans the sword). If you get hit by a enemy you lose your armour and have to run around in your underwear (sadly I'm not making this up). If you get hit again while you're half naked your guy will be deader then the Nintendo Gamecube. Although this doesn't sound too different from the previous title (Ghosts 'N Goblins), Sir Arthur can now fire up and down so he is less of wuss this time around. He can also use special elemental spells by charging your attack button as long you have enough power. You're going to need all the help you can get through all 5 creepy levels of monsters and dangerous environments because you often don't see too many power up on a regular basis.

Now you would expect a water-downed version of the Genesis classic and that's what you get but at least this version comes with brand new shops where you can buy exclusive weapons, spells, and even different armour to make this difficult game slightly more easier. That's what more companies should be doing with their games, if you release multiple copies of the same title on different consoles then have one get some exclusive extras.
Graphics and Sounds:  

That's one ugly tree there, eh?
OK, there is far less detail and colour then the original arcade and Genesis game here but Sega still a fairly good looking game considering the more limited technology here. Unlike the NES version of Ghosts 'N Goblins this doesn't look all choppy and many of the bosses are pretty big too. Each of the five stages offers something different even if you take a few steps. For example in stage 2 you will travel through a town filled with hopping turtles but later into it you have to deal with sand dunes with killer ant lions then move on to the burning city.

I was also surprised that the game came with cool sound effects and multiple soundtracks for the different stages since the Master System version of Strider didn't (it doesn't have a lot stuff actually).
The Bottomline:  
Don't worry Sega fans, unlike other lame Master System horror games with the name Ghost in it (like Ghostbusters or Ghost House for example) this game is actually pretty good. Sure, Ghouls 'N Ghosts may be harder then getting into Jessica Alba's pants (come on, at least talk to me baby) but at least this edition has new power ups to help you out a bit here and it even adds more depth to the arcade based game play. This also retains a lot of the dangerous locations, eerie music, and most importantly the fast arcade action that made this series so fun and GNG fans owe it to themselves to check it out. If you are looking for one of the best action games for the Master System and you love killing monsters then be sure you hunt this one down before it hunts you.

Hey, I'm always losing my armour too!
*Uncommon SMS game

overall rating: 80/100

Find Ghouls N' Ghosts on eBay here!

For 1 player only
graphics: 6/10
sound: 6/10
gameplay: 8/10
replay: 8/10

(Ryan Genno) 2006

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