Anyone who's played Ghosts 'n' Goblins should be familiar with this game - it is, after all, the sequel and the family relationship shows. Our hero, Arthur, the various nasties, the weapons and even the plot (involving the same dumb princess as last time who against all credibility and probability has got herself kidnapped again) all seem to ring an entire church full of bells with me.
Once again Arthur spends most of his time in his undies (rather like the knightly equivalent of a sumo wrestler) jumping across levels that feel remarkably similar to the last game's. Remember that graveyard in Level One? I thought you might.
Okay, so there are some new collectables, bonuses and weapons (although some seem to hinder rather than help - you call getting turned into a duck by an angry magician 'help'?), but that's about it for originality. You're still stalked by oozing zombies, chased by fluttering vultures, fooled by silkily-scrolling mazes and knocked on the head by ridiculous end-of-level baddies. But is this lack of innovation a bad thing, you may ask? The original, it must be said, was great, and this is just as good as its parent. A straightforward shoot-'em-up platformer with nothing radically different from other games of its type. Quite a good buy then providing, that is, you have considered the question: is that damn princess really worth it?
The most durable ghost is the 2,600 year old horseman from Dorset. His name is actually Rodney Vickerstaff and he was an early rubber tubing salesman who lost his way in the Stonehenge one way system.
As Arthur returned home, having vanquished legions of villains, he was struck by a horrible thought. He had left the shopping in Plymouth.
Arthur sprang lithely over the wretched undead potter. That long and expensive correspondence course had at last paid off.
Arthur jumped out of his skin. No... Arthur ran for his life but didn't make it. Not quite... Arthur was hit by a zombie and killed. That's the one.