The 1st PS2 Game I Finished – "Maximo: Ghosts to Glory"

Maximo: Ghosts to Glory holds a special place in my heart as far as video games are concerned.  When I got my first PlayStation 2 on Christmas of 2002, this game (along with Onimusha 2 and WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It) were my first PS2 games, and of those three games, Maximo was the first PS2 I ever completed, start to finish.  In later years, I noticed that this was one of those games that not a lot of people played; it was just kinda ignored and this game is a very underrated classic in the PlayStation 2’s library. That, and BOOOOOYYY was that game difficult!!  If I recall, it took me around 2 weeks of my Christmas Break of near-non-stop playing to finish that beast of a video game!
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory is based on the classic Ghosts ‘N Goblins games, so just based on that you know this game is going to frustrate you constantly.  A common joke I hear about any game in the Ghosts ‘N Goblins series is about its simple routine, involving 8 simple steps:
1) Booting Up The Game
2) Press Start To Begin
3) Die
4) Restart
5) Die
6) Restart
7) Repeat Steps 3, 4, & 5 (Die, Restart, & Die)
8) Toss Game Out a Window in Frustration

 

 

Maximo: Ghosts to Glory differs from the past Ghosts ‘N Goblins games by taking place in a dynamic, fully 3D world. The player controls Maximo and can freely move around in the 3D world by running, jumping, and crouching, among performing other varied motions. The main gameplay involves defeating large numbers of enemies by attacking them with a your sword and shield, as well as performing combos and other special moves. In similar fashion to the character Arthur of the original Ghosts series, Maximo always wears his armor, but if he is hit, he will lose pieces of armor until all he has left to wear are his boxer shorts, with the following hit resulting in him losing a life. Should Maximo lose all of his lives, he can give Death Coins (collected during the course of the game) to the Grim Reaper  to continue the game; however every time Maximo loses every life, the required cost for continuing the game increases. Another wink to the Ghosts series is the ability to crush gravestones and the hero being attacked by enemy spells that will turn him into various animals.  


Maximo: Ghosts to Glory is divided into 5 major worlds in this order: The Boneyard, The Great Dank, Graveyard of Ships, Realm of Spirit and Castle Maximo. Each of these 5 worlds has four stages to beat, and then finally a boss battle. In every world, the player enters with Maximo into the world’s primary stage and then moves to a portal area that contains entrances for other stages within that world. Every portal area offers the option to save your progress, travel to other available worlds, and buy power-ups and items (i.e., health and food). However these portal areas are no safe haven, as there are a few enemies that will come along and appear in those portal areas.  The game’s music, which varies from stage to stage, includes orchestrated remixes of the tracks found in the classic Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Ghouls ‘n Ghosts games.

The game was got some great review by game critics and gamers alike, but was also heavy criticized for its near-unrelenting difficulty (mainly pertaining to restricted and predetermined save points, challenging level obstacles, etc.), however that didn’t stop the game from selling over 400,000 copies in the United States & Canada, thus helping the game hit “Greatest Hits” status for the PlayStation 2.  Gaming website IGN named Maximo: Ghosts to Glory its #6 Hardest Game for the PlayStation 2.  The sequel, Maximo vs. Army of Zin, was released the following year in 2003, and was met with better critical reception, but I have not played it; but I really, REALLY want to give it a go.

Someday, I’ll get my chance to finally play the sequel.  Someday…..
You though I was kidding about the Boxer Shorts, didn’t you?
[Thanks IGN, my parents for this great game, & Capcom for the great memories of the game!]

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