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Old 10-28-2011, 02:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Ghoul Patrol (Halloween Special 2011)

The Eric Corp Gamer's RU Exclusive Review 31
Ghoul Patrol (Halloween Special 2011)


Wow! It's been a long time since I reviewed something since April, and since it is almost Halloween, it's tradition to review a Halloween-based game. This year is Zombies Ate My Neighbors' "sequel", Ghoul Patrol.

Ghoul Patrol was released in 1994 for only the Super Nintendo (a Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive) version was planned, but canceled
), developed by LucasArts and published by JVC (yeah, the company that makes TVs). While ZAMN was barely known, but sooner more well known in a positive for quite a while, Ghoul Patrol just doesn't receive the same attention, and is generally considered more obscure than its prequel.

Story:
This is the intro sequence of Ghoul Patrol, with an actual plot D:

After watching this, you're probably like, "Were the kids really that ridiculous to do such a rather dumb thing to cause chaos in the neighborhood?" or, "Why do the characters from its predecessor randomly have different personalities?", or an even better question is:
"Was it really necessary for a ZAMN game to have a plot-line?!"

REVIEW
NOTE:
SPOILER ALERT! If you don't want to actually ruin the game for you, do not read the rest of the review and play it for yourself.

Graphics:
B
Ghoul Patrol boasts bigger and more detailed graphics in the game than Zombies Ate My Neighbors, which displays nicely, but still kind of a mixed bag. The main characters (once again, Zeke and Julie) are quite good, in both looks and animation. The enemy sprites also received the same treatment pretty much, and they do act like what they are supposed to be. The neighbors look decent, but they really lack the same charm the predecessor has. They share the similar style of being oblivious of doing their usual shtick, while evil ensues around them, but the more serious tone of the game kinda clash with it. The levels themselves are the main flaw in the graphics as they just look boring, dull and uninspired that every level just visually seems the same (though it may not look like it) as the previous one, when compared to the more appealing and numerous levels of ZAMN. To conclude, while the game may look better in some ways and worse in some ways, it still presents some neat looking graphics on the system, but it could really use some work.




Gameplay: D+
Like in ZAMN, the point of the game is to rescue your neighbors (at least one) within the levels, while searching around for new items and fighting creatures along the way, but with some changes like the ability to run, jump and sliding, which the two of the latter in my opinion feels like a unnecessary addition. Instead of 55 levels of the earlier game, this one only has 18 levels (13 normal levels, and 5 boss levels) with some based on things like the feudal era, pirates, and the medieval times, though they are generally of longer length than ZAMN. Speaking of levels, the overall level layout in the game is a mixed bag; while some are nothing to really get annoyed about, but there are some that are like a maze, as you will get stuck for a while or actually backtrack to an earlier point. Also, instead of a radar screen in ZAMN, which was pretty helpful to find your neighbors, but this game instead the victims closest to you uses speech balloons saying "Help!", "Save Me!", "Over Here!" etc. Is that really necessary to change that?! To make things worse, the "EXIT" door does not appear next to you like ZAMN, but it instead appears in a specific spot with you have to find it through the speech balloon "EXIT!". Come on, why did they decide to change such a simple convenience to a inconvenience? Just an excuse to make the game longer, I bet. There are now sections of the game where there is some platforming during some of the levels, which are incredibly annoying and pointless. First of all, since the game is shown in a bird's eye view, it can make it confusing for some people. Second, your character now has momentum to worry about instead of simply stopping, when you let go holding the button. Third, you have to be careful of enemies that will make you stop if you get hit. The worst of all is that you lose a life if you fall, instead of simply getting hurt like in most games. Speaking of which, the enemies were altered in a rather bad way; instead of the nice selection of b-movie style monsters like zombies, dolls, chainsaw maniacs, and werewolves of its predecessor, we now get things like evil copy machines, evil trees, evil plants, and snails. How lame is that? Next is the change of weapons and the decrease in amount, the weird, but out of sight weapons in ZAMN like water guns, soda cans, and silverware, was changed to things like crossbows, ray guns, and machine guns. This is just a boring line up, in comparison. When you examine the weapons in the earlier game, it actually make sense for the most part (except things like artifacts and bazookas), because that's the kind of items young adolescents would be using in their common life. In Ghoul Patrol, it baffles the mind that two teenagers are going around shooting with real guns, as opposed to using typical household products. The items are also different in this game. While you still have first-aids and keys, but Instead of things like decoys, and pandora boxes have different type of potions like healing ones, random ones, and one that turns you into a Grim Reaper instead of a purple monster like in its predecessor. Then there's the most pointless item, which is the green potion that actually hurts you, if you drink it. Why is it necessary if no one is going to fall for it except maybe for the first time? While the variety is still there, it just isn't as fascinating due to the choices the developers made for this game. Like in ZAMN, there are 2-players in this game a la shared screen, but the reduced fun factor will make it less of a blast to play, though it can work if you get used to the different style of this game. The main problem with this game is that it is too easy, mainly due to the fact that getting extra lives are too easy to collect (I already got like 9 lives by the end of the second world), the enemies and bosses are mostly too easy, and you will be receiving the more powerful weapons at the beginning of the game more often than you should. Nitpicking aside, the gameplay is overall mediocre, which is a contrast to the fun-filled ZAMN, but as a game of its own, it's playable, but it's kinda lacking in entertainment. Only some die-hard of the series will appreciate it for what its worth.


Sound: B-
Unlike ZAMN, Ghoul Patrol is more of a mixed bag in terms of soundtrack. While the music are either good to decent, some lack the memorable and catchy of most Super Nintendo titles does and it repeats a bit too much that it can get on your nerves at times. Like I always say, listen to it and judge it yourself.


Controls: B
The controls are similar to ZAMN, but with the extra ability to run, jump, and slide throughout the game; it's nice and all, but you now have momentum instead of simply stopping dead at your tracks, which can feel slippery at times. It's kinda hard to explain them, but to say it's not as good as its predecessor.

Replay Value: D+
I would only recommend this to people who want to finish all the games in the series, or die-hard ZAMN fans would enjoy it the most.

Overall: C-
While Ghoul Patrol doesn't even compare with the classic Zombies Ate My Neighbors, itis a below average game on its own, lacking the charm and appeal of the prequel. It felt like the developers created a totally different game with a completely different tone, and that slapped the name ZAMN on the game as an apparent "sequel", and decided to sell it to boost sales...oh wait, that's what they exactly did. Why? It's just an excuse for more people to know about this game. I mean, this wasn't a total bust, but it should have just been named something different. Man, when will there be an actual Zombies Ate My Neighbors 2 someday?

2011 Eric Corp Incorporated
HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2011



If you wish to play Ghoul Patrol,
Retro Uprising - Arcade - Ghoul Patrol

Last edited by ECInc2XXX; 10-28-2011 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Ghoul Patrol (Halloween Special 2011)

I didn't know there was a sequel. Good review.
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Ghoul Patrol (Halloween Special 2011)

I always though it was a rip off instead of a sequel for some reason.
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Ghoul Patrol (Halloween Special 2011)

Excellent review, well written and informative.
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