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Gargoyles Remastered Review (PS4) – A Well Preserved Classic For Better Or Worse

Gargoyles Remastered PS4 Review – Gargoyles was an animated series I grew up with as a child. As an animated series, much like many during that time, it received a video game adaptation on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. Back then, it was almost a sin not to pick up a video game based on a popular show or movie. What I didn’t realize in my youth was how difficult these games were (that’s no joke either; anyone remember The Lion King or Toy Story? How did we get through those games back then!)

As difficult as people say some games have become, they don’t hold a candle in difficulty to old platformers from the Genesis era, and Gargoyles is just one of those platformers that will have you pulling your hair out.

Gargoyles Remastered PS4 Review


Faithful To A Fault

Gargoyles Remastered tells the story of Goliath, and opens up as the home he is charged with watching over is attached by Vikings. The raiders are looking for a magical talisman called the Eye of Odin. After repelling the Vikings, Goliath is punished for allowing the invasion to happen in the first place and is turned to stone to wait for the Viking’s return and inevitable attempt to acquire the talisman.

Gargoyles Remastered is a faithful remaster of the original, although the game’s story isn’t told all too well, using rudimentary short story panels that explain what’s going on.

This worked to some degree when it was initially released, but this doesn’t carry the story much today. For the most part, many people may not even know the Gargoyles franchise and this game seems to be specifically aimed at those who know the franchise or have played the original.

No Tutorials And No Tips Leave You To Learn Through Trial By Fire

Gameplay-wise, nothing has changed from the original release. Goliath can run, string combos together, double jump, grab enemies and throw them around, and scale walls to reach high-altitude areas.

It’s an impressive array of moves, but the game doesn’t help you understand how to use them. One ability, such as the floor smash, allows you to break through the floor if you find a cracked spot. The way to accomplish this is to jump and push the throw button. The problem is, Goliath doesn’t do an animation for this until he reaches the ground, so you never really know if you succeeded in performing the move.

The same can be applied to his running dash attack, hurting enemies and breaking through boarded-up walls. Combat, unfortunately, isn’t the best, and its most egregious shortcoming is that you don’t know if you’re actually doing any damage.

Impossible To Avoid Situations And Challenging Combat Are In Tact

Enemies are reacting to your attacks, but sometimes, when you pull off combos, your foes will be defeated in a few strikes while later on the same enemy goes down in fifteen strikes. The same goes for being attacked. There are plenty of moments where you can’t avoid an attack. Even in a combo, enemies will trade blows with you without realizing you’re taking damage until it’s too late.

As expected with these games, you’re always put into impossible situations. Scaling a wall and then hoping to jump from the wall to a platform opposite you while someone is shooting at you from said platform while another enemy is throwing down objects on you as you’re trying to scale the wall.

One situation involves you riding on top of a train while robotic enemies are attacking you, and you must watch out for signs that smash into you. The problem is there is no indication that these signs are coming, and you’re forced to take damage or keep jumping around, hoping you won’t get hit.

Incredible Visual Upgrade Makes It Look Like You’re Playing The Animated Series

Thankfully, the game has gotten a few minor upgrades. You can select difficulty options now, but the game is still challenging even on the easiest difficulty. You also have a rewind button allowing you to go back the last ten seconds of the game to avoid that lousy fall or that final strike from a boss.

The most significant change Gargoyles Remasted has received is in the visual department. The redesigned visuals now make it look just like the animated series. It’s a fantastic upgrade. You can switch back to the game’s original Genesis/Mega Drive aesthetic with the press of a button, and at times, I ended up doing just that.

There are plenty of moments where the new visuals look too sound, and it’s hard to tell where the next platform to jump on is or where and what you can swing on to reach your destination. I reverted to the classic 16-bit visuals because they gave better cues about what you can interact with.

The game’s soundtrack is nothing to boast about however, and I wish that with this remaster, they would have added Keith Davids’s iconic voice he provided for Goliath.

Gargoyles Remastered is a faithful remaster of the original, for better or worse. I loved the new visual upgrade, and the rewind feature is fantastic, but that’s all you’re getting in the form of upgrades. The game still suffers from unbalanced combat, unresponsive controls, and frustrating situations. But then again, that’s exactly what you got in 1995.

Gargoyles Remastered is now available on PS4 (playable on PS5 via backwards compatibility, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Review code kindly provided by PR

Score

6.5

The Final Word

Gargoyles Remastered is a good addition to the growing library of classic remasters. It's faithful to a fault to its original release. Though I praise the developer for keeping the game as true to the original as possible, that doesn't mean it couldn't have used some extra updates. The visual upgrade is tremendous in recreating the animated series visuals, and the rewind function is excellent. Still, that doesn't keep the combat and platforming from being incredibly frustrating at times.