Retro: VC Weekly #175

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe's guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo's download service. Written by Sam C Gittins.

Capcom are famous for bringing us many great titles over the years with one of their more classic titles being Ghouls 'n Ghosts which is what this lesser-known title is regarded to be an off-shoot from. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Gargoyles Quest

Price: GB �3.60, EU �4
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Released: 1990
System: GameBoy

While the portable powerhouse known as the GameBoy was home to many titles that we are no doubt more than familiar with, it's the more obscure titles which often surprise and delight; Gargoyles Quest is certainly one such game which doesn't disappoint. Set within the Ghosts 'n Goblins universe you assume the role of Firebrand who is perhaps better known for being the red Gargoyle chiefly responsible for taking away Arthur's armour in the aforementioned series this has spawned from; however here it would be far more appropriate to call him the 'Red Blaze' as our unassuming hero will travel the vast Ghoul Realm on a quest to eventually vanquish the evil King Breager thus restoring peace to the land.

Action orientated RPG platform titles are easier to find nowadays though when this new experience was created the sub-genre was in its infancy which meant taking a relatively big risk for Capcom at the time; thankfully it's one that most definitely paid off because what we're left with is a decidedly unapologetic old-school platformer weaved into the fabric of an epic role-playing adventure. So while you'll be climbing up walls, flinging fireballs at enemies, hovering over pits and more besides, on the other hand there is terrain to traverse, towns that seem cursed, people to converse with plus quests to keep things diverse... there's also a password system for better or worse, though the VC suspend feature brings hope to this verse.

Throwing another element into the mix is the simple upgrade system which sees things like your hover ability upgraded which will grant you access to new areas, serving as a nice nod to the Metroidvania movement of games while adding to the adventure. Yes there are random enemy encounters included but because the map is generally quite small it's not really much of an issue plus all that happens is switch the game back to side-on perspective until you've cleared the area of baddies so it's not even half as annoying when compared to your average RPG battle.

Some genuinely decent visuals are present here considering that this is an early title running on the GameBoy, it certainly manages to convey a lot of creepy character throughout the world for something which is portrayed in monochrome. Thankfully the music featured throughout is of exceptionally good quality, managing to maintain the macabre mood which the developers seemed to strive for; church organ music has before come across as quite this demonic in a positive way.

In an age where games are becoming ever more complex it's somewhat refreshing to see a game that's so simple yet no less brilliant than many modern day titles, the fact that it's releasing on a portable system capable of far more is just the icing on the lovingly crafted Capcom cake that's been baked to perfection by Firebrand himself. Make no mistake Gargoyles Quest is a title that we should rejoice at it being available on the 3DS VC especially in Europe seeing as we didn't even get to play the title originally; this is a rare treat indeed and it's one that should be savoured.

Verdict : One of the greatest gargoyle-starring games to ever grace a console.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

Sam Gittins
[email protected]

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