We've finally had a chance to run through Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins, the updated-for-PSP revival of the classic, side-scrolling Ghosts 'n Goblins/Ghouls 'n Ghosts series, and we're just going to come right out and say it: this game mopped the floor with us.
It's hard to explain why Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins is so tough, especially considering that - by the standards of the series' legendary difficulty - this is set up like a baby game. As the brave knight Sir Arthur, players are given plenty of advantages over the armies of monsters standing between them and the kidnapped damsel in distress; where Arthur's armor used to fly off the second he got hit, leaving him defenseless in his boxer shorts, it can now take an extra blow before it shatters. What's more, he can now collect an inventory of shields, powerful magic spells and weapons that range from lances and daggers to crossbows, bombs and even whips. And when he inevitably dies, he'll instantly reappear and continue right from the spot of his demise.
Maybe it's all the tough double-jumps over lava, or the violently shifting environments, or the swarms of little, hard-to-hit enemies that fly around trying to knock you off precarious platforms. Whatever the case, this game is one of the toughest challenges we've faced on the PSP. But at the same time, roaming through its 2D environments and slaughtering monsters is some of the most fun we've ever had with Sony's handheld.