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Ghouls’n’Ghosts – Megadrive VS Super Grafx

We’ve all heard that Super Grafx verison (on a 1024Kb card) has superior graphics and that the Megadrive version (on a 640kb card) has better sound. But let us check out the graphics in more detail and see how they play. Below the Megadrive (MD) screen shot is on the left, and the Super Grafx (SG) is on the right. The TV in the middle annoyed me, so you can share my mild pain.
(If the pictures are too small, please try the old HTML version of this page!)

LEVEL 1 – The Rain

Much better background tree movement on the SG, the rain looks better in screen shots on the MD version, but it mainly flickers on and off, whereas the SG version falls more like rain does. The trees are more detailed on the SG. Oh, even the grass moves in the SG version, a lovely touch.

LEVEL 1 – Rocks and Firey Things

Shots like this really make the MD version look shamefully lazy; next to no detail on the floors and walls. Awful really … one must consider the memory size limitation on the MD cart, and that it was released very early in the life of the MD. Not an excuse; maybe an explanation.

LEVEL 1 – Spear Pigs

The pigs themselves are pretty much identical, but the inferior detail in the background of MD version sticks out like two sore thumbs.

LEVEL 1 – The Boss

The SG version boss kind of smokes into life, the MD one arrives fully assembled. The MD boss has more shades of colour, but both are big, bold, and bloody dangerous. Again there is evidence of background sparcity on the MD.

LEVEL 2 – The Windmills

Level 2 contains the same old story, I’m afraid. The MD sprites are easily the equal to those on the SG, but the wind-mills look like they’ve been cut out of cardboard and stuck on by a 3 year old. The smoke is nicely animated on the SG version too (missing on the MD) and the floor is nicely detailed; the blue splodge on the MD version looks like a pile of rocks. I really didn’t realise just how inferior the background details were. The sound is actually very good on the SG on this level.

FINAL THOUGHTS

For me, playability was identical – fantastic on both. I’m surprised by how much better the details are on the SG, and I think that the difference in sound quality is far smaller and easier to cope with than the graphical blunders of the MD. However, none of that matters unless I can get more than 3 continues on the SG! It is a fantastic game, but totally unforgiving – even when you’ve played it a lot! Just be sure to have one verion, and if you’re lucky enough to have a Super Grafx, you’d better get that one. Megadrive owners needn’t grieve though, they’ll get to see much more of the game with all of those continues!

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