Capcom's had a record of doing strange things with its licenses in recent years, and the news that Ghosts 'n' Goblins is set to make a comeback as a free-to-play online game is certainly no exception.
The game was spotted on Steam Greenlight earlier today by our sister site Eurogamer, and claims to offer "much more gorgeous visual graphics than the previous versions, with the variety of splendid attack skills, an expanded moving range in every direction, and all the redesigned and newly created monsters in 3D environment."
As you may be able to tell from the broken English, Ghosts 'n' Goblins Online, as the game is called, is not the work of an English-speaking developer. Specifically, it is the work of Korean developer Seed9 Games, whose previous work appears to include what looks like some sort of rollerblading racing game.
Ghosts 'n' Goblins Online eschews the usual 3D world of MMORPGs in favor of a side-scrolling platform game style. Given the popularity of other 2D online games such as Maple Story in Korea, this isn't as strange a decision as it might seem -- and it's certainly more in keeping with the original style of Ghosts 'n' Goblins. What does remain to be seen, however, is quite how much the new game will capture the feeling of the earlier games, still regarded as some of the most brutally challenging titles ever created.
Seed9 promises that fans of the original will be able to enjoy authentically extreme difficulty in the "Demonic Dimension" levels. Here, the game follows the original "two hits and you're out" formula from the earlier games -- the first hit knocking off your armor and leaving you to run around in your underwear; the second finishing you off altogether.
Aside from this difficult mode, the game also offers cooperative multiplayer and PvP combat for up to six players at a time in either 3 vs 3 or 1 vs 1 formats. Judging from the gameplay video above, it looks like we can expect plenty of over-the-top combos and special attacks, and combat that gets up close and personal rather than the more "shoot 'em up" ranged combat of the original games.
Reaction to the new game has been somewhat mixed in the Greenlight comments so far, with some rejecting it outright under the assumption that "free to play" means "pay to win" (which, to be fair, it sometimes does) while others are willing to give it a shot for nostalgia value alone. What's your take, given the limited information we have so far?