Grabbed by the Ghoulies - Xbox

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Rare Soft. Co.: Microsoft
Publishers: Microsoft (GB)
Released: 21 Nov 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+, ESRB Everyone
Accessories: Memory Unit


The first Rare game to make a show on the Xbox since the historical Microsoft buyout, Grabbed by the Ghoulies does away with the usual bright and colourful Rare style, instead delivering a beat-em-up adventure that takes place in a dark and atmospheric haunted house. Make no mistake though, the company’s inimitable wit and humour are still abundant – there are just less big-eyed cute animals.

Players take on the role of a young guy called Cooper, on a mission to rescue his girlfriend who has been ‘Grabbed by the Ghoulies’. The task at hand, therefore, is to venture through the eerie Goulhaven Hall room by room, knocking the stuffing out of a variety of Hallowe’en personalities, whilst along the way avoiding the many tricks, traps and shocks that lie in wait. And trying not to get grabbed by the ghoulies, so to speak.

There are over 25 different ghoulies frequenting the depths of the menacing mansion, including the likes of vampires, zombies, mummies, skeletons, and even haunted furniture. Each ghoulie has its own personality and style of attack and, as such, you’ll find yourself in all kinds of scrapes along the way, such as getting electrocuted, burned, cursed, bitten, and even mummified. Not only that but, throughout the adventure, you’re regularly faced with scary surprises like faces appearing in windows and ghostly figures materializing from thin air. These shocks throw the young hero into a state of panic, which you must resolve by quickly following a button sequence.

As well as a variety of slick moves, Cooper also has masses of items-come-weapons at his disposal, found scattered around the mansion. In fact, if it’s not nailed down, chances are you can either chuck it or whack somebody round the chops with it. Chairs, pool cues, tables, pictures, you name it. Also, thanks to the lovely staff at Goulhaven Hall, you also get to lay your hands on an assortment of more effective weapons along the way, such as garlic-firing blunderbusses, fire extinguishers and holy water pistols.

More than 50 treacherous rooms await you in the hazardous hall, each one playing a part at some point or another in the twisted, albeit linear plot. Obviously, being a Rare game, you’re going to be expecting your fair share of puzzles. Well, you wont be disappointed – there are literally tons of them throughout the course of the game, each one more often than not resulting in a big ghoulie bash-fest.

The concept of Grabbed by the Ghoulies is a very simple one, so it’s easily accessible to all gamers. There’s not quite the usual depth we’ve come to expect from the Warwickshire-based outfit, but the game’s still immensely, entertaining, humorous, addictive and, most notably, it shines with the usual Rare polish.