January 20, 2002
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
March 2002CapcomIn-House1$99.95

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The very early screens still impress.
Most people who owned an 8 or 16 bit machine would have, at the very least, heard about Ghouls & Ghosts or Ghosts & Goblins. The side scrolling platformers were extremely enjoyable. This game is almost identically themed. Ghosts, dead rising from the graves, power-ups, breakable gravestones, and even music that sounds extremely familiar. But Capcom aren't exactly calling this a sequel to those games, in fact they are trying to avoid it. This is a new game that pays much homage to the original games. That's definitely not a bad thing as the original games were among the best during the last decade. So what's it all about then; here's the story.

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Lighting on the shield is very good.
You control the fate of the gallant Maximo, who returns home after heading off to war to find his kingdom in shambles. Your once trusted advisor, Achille has wrought evil on the land. Not only is the countryside filled with hoards of the roaming undead, but the four wise Sorceresses have been imprisoned at the four corners of the Kingdom, and to make matters worse, your girlfriend, Princess Sophia has been forced to marry the scoundrel Achille. Talk about your bad days! Maximo must rescue the Sorceresses, restore good to the kingdom, defeat Achille's, and while you're at it, get your girl back!

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Man, those biceps need a workout.
Maximo was one of the big surprises at last May's E3 show and with almost 9 months of development to go there was little doubt that the game has potential. The game features a wealth of subtle touches that so many completed games seem to miss. Maximo includes the shifting dirt from the first levels in the SNES games, giving indications of enemies who are about to rise from the grave. The first level also has large sections of earth rising and falling violently as the villains try to drill down into the underworld. This leads to blocked passages and unpassable gorges in the ground. Another danger in the game includes your sword getting stuck trees and bouncin off rocks, definitely not a good experience when several enemies are bearing down on you. The animations on the characters are certainly a credit to the game and look more solid then almost every other PS2 game to date. Of course the game also includes the armour from the original games, and yes, Maximo does end up running around in boxer shorts if he has no armour.

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Expect the detail level to increase.
Having played a section of the complete game I can now say without question that this is one exceptional title. The graphics are simply stunning while the frame rate appears to be rock solid. As much as Capcom would deny this isn't a sequel to the legendary series it may as well be, and it won't do the old games any disservice.

It's been a long time coming with this years E3 show only a couple of months away (this game was announced at last years E3 show), but Maximo: Ghosts to Glory is only weeks away from release here. The game has been available as a rental in America for a couple of weeks already (due to a deal with Blockbuster which saw a 4 week rental period prior to retail for the game) and the general concensus is that it's a very good game indeed. With so many references to Capcom's Ghouls & Ghosts fans of the original series will be overjoyed with this title. One can only hope however that the developers don't take over the infuriating difficulty level of the original titles. Expect and Australian release in late March 2002.