Maximo: Ghosts to Glory
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  • Capcom
  • Capcom
  • Adventure - General, Other
  • 2/13/2002
  • 1
  • memory card
  • 1
  • $5.00
  • Everyone
8  |  Maximo- Need I Say More?
boozer1 , 10/31/2002 1:59:00 PM
Yes, buy this game. Don't sit there reading this review, just go!! This game is so fun!! The fact that you run around in your underwear until you find armor is funny. It's challeneging enough to be frustrating at times, but it's also very additive!!
10  |  A Maximum Of Maximo
mr_jiggles_13 , 12/5/2003 8:34:49 PM

MaximoYou know what’s really funny - this is my paper for literature (the assignment is to write a minimum of two pages about our favorite things in life.  I decided to make a review of Maximo because I’m such a big fan or the Ghost n’ Goblins series, Super Ghosts and Goblins changed my life, by making me ADDICTED to videogames (plus it killed two birds with one stone!!).  I got an A- on the paper.   I was aiming for an A+, but oh well, it's all good.  I put some weird and unusual words (damn you Literature class for putting all these words in my mind) in this review so BEWARE!!! This isn’t the original though, I had to add this paragraph and fine tune some of the sentences.  I wouldn’t say crappy in a school paper…  or would I ??

Starting with Ghosts ‘N Goblins, the “Ghosts” series is known for its challenging platform-based game play and two hit deaths. Maximo is (loosely) the fourth installment of the Ghosts series. For the first time in 3-D, we can control our boxer-clad hero, Maximo, through really hard jumps and TONS of enemies, Ghosts style. While the game departs from the series in enough ways as not to be another Ghosts game, many of the aspects of the previous games remain to connect them. 

This time around, the evil King Achille has opened the gateway to the underworld, and is stealing the souls of the dead to create an army of darkness. When Maximo tries to stop him, Achille kills Maximo and kidnaps Sophia, the requisite “damsel in distress”. While Maximo floats in Limbo, the Grim Reaper (cleverly named “Grim”) makes Maximo an offer he cannot refuse: Stop Achille from stealing Grim’s souls and Grim will return Maximo to the mortal world. 

Thus, Maximo is launched into a quest spanning five worlds in an effort to rescue four goddesses who can combine their powers to stop Achille. Each of the five worlds is broken down into six stages: four regular stages, a hub stage, and a boss fight (with the exception on the fifth world, because it replaces a regular stage with another boss fight). The way the worlds work is more complicated than your typical “stage to stage” fight. 

At the beginning of each world, you are dropped onto the first regular stage. After beating it, you are put into the hub stage, in which you can access any of the four stages (including already beaten ones). Hub stages are also the only places that you can save or travel to other worlds. When all four regular stages are beaten, you encounter a boss and are dropped into the first stage of the next world. 

In each regular stage, Maximo fights through enemies, jumps over fiery pits and other deadly substances, and collects power up items such as coins and armor. Maximo can double jump in midair, a carryover from Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts. Special abilities can be gained through the game, such as new offensive techniques (sword beam) and weapon or defense enhancements (sword and shield elementals). Maximo’s belt can lock three abilities at the beginning of the game, and you receive one more lock spot with each boss defeated, up to a maximum of seven spots. If an ability isn’t locked, it is lost when Maximo loses a life. 

Maximo must use his different sword skills to defeat enemies. Speaking of enemies, the usual skeletons and zombies popping from the ground are included, as well as other Ghosts favorites, such as ravens and carnivorous vegetation. The Red Demon, bane of all Ghosts ‘N Goblins players, is conspicuous by his absence. Other enemies are world specific: In the Frozen Wastes, you’ll meet pirates and Yetis. In the Spirit Realm, you’ll meet Hammer Demons and Goat Demons with their respective hammer and ram attacks. 

Bosses are typical old-school type fights, in which each boss has a pattern of attack and a weak spot. Finding the weak spot and how to damage it is often a challenge; unfortunately, once you find out what to do the fight becomes very easy. Once you beat a boss, subsequent fights against it will prove monotonous. 

As for challenge, the Ghosts games have always proven to be toughies. The jumps, the simultaneous attacks by creatures and lack of defense by your character (and sometimes crappy play control) all come together to create a tough—sometimes frustrating—experience. Maximo retains the challenge, but in a much different style. 

First off, defense plays a much smaller role, as your armor doesn’t fall off after one hit. You can have up to three armor bars (four with a power up), each of which can take four hits. Thus you can have a maximum of sixteen hit points. Unless you allow yourself to be swarmed by enemies, you probably won’t be dying from enemies much. 

Maximo Jumping is another story. The first world is played mostly on solid ground, with a few very short jumping sections. Each subsequent world has longer jumping sections; by the fourth world, the levels consist of mostly small platforms and narrow ledges, with nothingness below. The last world gets back to solid ground and places more emphasis on combat. The jumping sections can lead to sweaty controller syndrome, as the camera angles are sometimes misleading. Thanks to Maximo’s double jump ability, you must often ask yourself “Should I do a single jump or a double?” and risk undershooting or overshooting your target, respectively. 

In Maximo, money management is important. You must pay 100 coins to save or travel to another world. If you complete a level and don’t have enough coins to save, you’ve got to challenge another level without saving. Continuing costs “Death Tokens,” which you get for freeing spirits from breakable statues. The first few continues cost one Token, but the price increases every few continues. So if you’ve continued often, you could be stuck at one point for quite awhile because you can’t afford to save or continue. 

This can lead to frustration, as you may be close saving when you die. The game also saves your current status, so if you save with one armor point left, that’s how you’ll start off. You’ll often find yourself in precarious situations cost wise, which is why jumps can be so harrowing. Even if you build up your armor, one slip can send you back quite a ways. Dying will also cost you the abilities you’ve built up. Some abilities are rare, and losing one of them can hurt.

So overall, much of the challenge comes from management skills, not from typical combat skill, timing, or enemy patterns. An easy way around this is to play defensively: repeat easy stages and build up your bankroll, advance slowly as not to raise hoards of enemies at once, and earn lots of extra lives. This may be tedious, but so is repeating stages because you keep dying. Maximo is for the patient gamer. 

Thankfully, the control in Maximo is very responsive. Bad play control would have killed this game. However, the responsive controls won’t help to offset the tough jump angles. The camera can be swiveled around to center the view, but sometimes you’ll still miss your target and fall to your death. The camera can also induce a nasty case of vertigo ( I have no clue what this REALLY means, I think I have the idea of it ……..but it still sounds cool…eh), as you can see Maximo clinging to the edge of nothing as the camera swings. 

Finally, Maximo is nice in the audio and visual departments. Minor graphical flaws such as pop up and clipping errors occur, but nothing that will spoil the game. Most of the music is remixes of the original Ghosts ‘N Goblins theme, some of which are very cool. Maximo also spits out the pre stage tune every now and then. 

All in all, it’s not hard to enjoy Maximo for what it is. The game’s biggest flaw is the tuned up challenge. I would have liked to see a more traditionally challenging game instead of a money management test, but I still loved the game. Nonetheless, if you like platformers Maximo can be purchased new for less than twenty dollars.

I love Maximo, but don’t get me wrong, it does have its flaws.  Nonetheless, I give Maximo a 10 out of 10.

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