Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
- DAILY REVIEWS -
Maldita Castilla EX Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Maldita Castilla EX is not for people who get frustrated easily. This is a challenging exercise in perfect platforming and dumb luck. And much like the games that inspired it, I came away satisfied and impressed with this new Xbox One release. I wish the gameplay was a little deeper and the bosses a bit more menacing, but Maldita Castilla EX is a game I would have spent a lot of money on in the arcades. Rating: 71%
Maldita Castilla EX
«
Maldita Castilla EX Maldita Castilla EX Maldita Castilla EX Maldita Castilla EX
  • Review Score:

  • B
I'm what you might call a lifelong fan of Capcom's Ghosts 'N Goblins series. I spent way too much time working through the original arcade game as a kid, cheered when Electronic Gaming Monthly named the Genesis sequel the Game of the Year and was there on day one for Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts. Even my one appearance on GamePro TV involved me offering a protip on beating Loki. I think it's safe to say that I love Sir Arthur. So when I heard that Maldita Castilla EX was heading to Xbox One, I knew I needed to fight through this loving homage of one my favorite franchises.

Originally released as a PC game in 2012, Maldita Castilla tells the story of a once-peaceful land that has been invaded by demons and zombies. But don't worry, the King has a plan. He's gathered his most loyal knights to collect the Witch's Tears and destroy the demonic gateway once and for all. While this plan might have worked, fate has a different outcome in mind. When the group is separates, it's up to one sword-throwing hero to take on an entire army of ghouls and ghosts.


If you've played any of Sir Arthur's 8- or 16-bit outings, then Maldita Castilla EX will feel awfully familiar. Everything from the look to the way our hero jumps feels like it was pulled straight out of Capcom's classic arcade games. Our hero doesn't lose his armor or get turned into a duck, but just about everything else is there. And as somebody with a lot of nostalgia for Ghosts 'N Goblins, I was eating up every second of this game.

Much like the games that inspired it, Maldita Castilla EX is a straight-forward action game where you fight through eight challenging stages and battle large bosses. We can jump and throw a sword, and that's about it. We'll occasionally run into a treasure chest that gives us a new weapon or fairy helper, but once you die it's back to throwing swords.

Maldita Castilla EX (Xbox One)Click For the Full Picture Archive

For as difficult as the game often is, it's never as punishing as those old school arcade games. It helps that we don't have to start the stage over every time we continue; the generous check points will help most people get through the game without rage quitting too many times. That's not to say the game is easy, because it definitely is not. This is a challenging game made for people who grew up loving this type of difficulty.

The most frustrating moments come whenever the game switches from the typical horizontal jog to a vertical climb. Even with the extra weapons, the controls never feel like they are ready to handle the vertical action. Maldita Castilla EX already has purposely stiff gameplay, and suffering through these sections only helped to remind me how far we've come in the last thirty years.

Maldita Castilla EX (Xbox One)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It also points out how limited the gameplay is. Sure, you can occasionally pick up double jump shoes and a score multiplier, but most of the action is limited to jumping and throwing. You can't pull off a charge attack or side-step away or slide to safety, you just jump and shoot. While I can certainly respect the devotion to keeping it simple, many of the games Maldita Castilla pays homage to had deeper gameplay.

The good news is that game looks the part. The presentation immediately evokes an era of tube televisions and Reaganomics. I was a little let down by some of the bosses, but overall Maldita Castilla looks like it could be a long-forgotten Genesis game. And that's one of the things that kept me going, even when the action became repetitive and the bosses kicked my ass. I was interested in seeing where the adventure would take me next, and I was mostly satisfied with the journey.

Maldita Castilla EX is not for people who get frustrated easily. This is a challenging exercise in perfect platforming and dumb luck. And much like the games that inspired it, I came away satisfied and impressed with this new Xbox One release. I wish the gameplay was a little deeper and the bosses a bit more menacing, but Maldita Castilla EX is a game I would have spent a lot of money on in the arcades.
comments powered by Disqus