In terms of look and feel, Ghost Rider for the GBA does an excellent job of bringing the character's world to life. The side-scrolling stages have multiple layers of scrolling and flaunt sexy visual effects that are seldom seen in GBA games. In Mephisto's realm, for example, there's a persistent transparent haze, and the walls and flowing lava in the distance appear to waver in the extreme heat. The first-person viewpoint in the bike stages is also rather impressive, even if it is just the same trick developers have been using since the Super NES and Genesis days to fake a semblance of 3D. Ghost Rider looks just like he does in the comics, and he has a diverse selection of visually flamboyant attacks. The flames on his hands, head, and chains are animated, such that they constantly flare and sway in response to everything you do. There's rarely a dull moment, since new enemies are constantly appearing to replace the ones that you knock out. While there aren't a whole bunch of different sound effects, all of the smacks and groans that accompany attacks are sufficiently meaty. The music, meanwhile, is intricately orchestrated, moody, and fits the action perfectly.
You can collect orbs to learn new attacks. Motorcycle stages also add variety.
Followers of the character's comic exploits will further appreciate the rogues' gallery of bosses distributed throughout the game, which includes the likes of Vengeance, Lilith, and Mephisto, just to name a few. One of the static scenes between levels even features a brief cameo by Blade, the vampire hunter. Characters in the game are drawn so that they look like they do in comic books, although for some wacky reason, they're drawn to resemble the actors from the recent motion picture in the scenes that appear between levels. Fortunately, the movie likenesses don't seem out of place.
All told, Ghost Rider for the GBA is a fun, visually-stunning beat-'em-up that totally captures the essence of the character it's based on. And, at 20 dollars, the price is right.
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