Of all the unreleased prototype Neo Geo games that we actually have information on, this one's unreleased status is the most puzzling. The game appears to be 100% complete and when the rom was finally dumped it quickly garnered quite a few fans. Of course, I could only be talking about...
Genre: Puzzle Players: 2 Size: 78 MB Released on: Unreleased
An excellent Ghostbusters themed puzzle game by Data East from 1996. It combines the fast action of an Arkanoid style game, with the quick thinking of a Bust-A-Move type game. The game was re-considered for release in 2001, but SNK's untimely demise later that same year may have ended that possibility.
Now that's a very interesting choice! I wanted to play Ghost Lop for the longest time when I first made the prototype page here on the site, but when the rom was dumped I only played it briefly. I'd actually forgotten about this game completely so this is definitely one I'll dig out again this evening when I have a bit of time. Still can't understand why they canned it, I'm sure they had their reasons but it looks a fairly solid puzzle game, and better than many that have actually seen the light of day.
A terribly unappreciated and underrated game, that's the first thing coming into my mind when thinking of Ghostlop. I played this one quite often against friends on MAME and in our opinion it easily ranks on the same level as masterpieces like Puzzle Bobble 2 (and as the very best Neo Geo prototype as well).
After getting a bit into the unusual Arkanoid/Puzzle Bobble gameplay system (especially learning how to change the ball's color in time) the game really gets fun. The background story about the Ghostbuster company might appear as cheesy as the Ghostbuster 1986 TV series, but Data East really made a good job on taking it forward and to design a well-engineered and addictive Puzzler on our beloved system. And who won't like the terrific 50's Rock n' Roll soundtrack?
Try it out if you haven't already, it's worth giving it a go (especially with a human opponent as a challenger).
I don't know if there is any other puzzle game that benefits from multiplayer as much as Ghostlop. It's fun in single player, but get a couple of friends over and you can play multiplayer all night. It's not a very deep game, but that one flaw is also one of it's biggest assets. It's extremely accessible and a new player can be very competitive after just a few minutes with the game. There are a few advanced strategies, like letting a blue ball bounce between rows of oranges before changing it's color to eliminate more ghosts at once for example, but for the most part it's pretty straight forward.
I also don't think there's any other puzzler that relies as much on twitch reflexes. Puzzle Bobble favors a slow methodical approach to lining up your shots but after you shoot that's it. In Ghostlop you're forced to line up your next shot quickly so your opponent doesn't kill you, and then after letting it go you have to switch it's color on the fly, multiple times even, and then you even have to be quick enough to catch it or you'll be punished. It's pretty much a perfect mixture of fast based Breakout style action and methodical Puzzle Bobble style strategy.
I posted a thread about this recently, but it's definitely worth mentioning here. The upcoming Magical Drop V is going to have the characters from Ghostlop in it. When you choose one of them you'll be playing a full blown HD Ghostlop! Oddly, in multiplayer you can actually pit Ghostlop style gameplay against Magical Drop style gameplay. I've never been a big Magical Drop fan, but the promise of HD Ghostlop is too good for me to pass up so I'll definitely be getting this one. Last I checked it was due out on XBLA before the end of the year.
NEO-GEO man wrote:
Is this just like puzzle bobble or different?
Just like Murikov said, it's like puzzle bobble with 2 colors only difference is that you can change the color of the ball in mid flight. So if layer 1 is all blue and layer 2 is orange you want to throw the blue ball first and then when it hits layer 1 it destroys it and the ball keeps traveling in the same trajectory heading towards layer 2. If you time it right and switch the color of the ball to orange then you take out both layers in a matter of 1 second.
Once you get the hang of it the game is very fun to play, especially vs mode.
Excellent puzzle game that deserves to be a lot more widely known. I think people tend to assume it's just a Puzzle Bobble clone and don't realize how the gameplay differs. Love the music, the characters and the overall presentation. Very addictive gameplay too. Being able to change the colour of your ball any time you want is a great idea.
Just goes to show as well that unreleased games can be excellent and not always crap like some people are quick to assume. It's interesting that they're doing this sort of hybrid Magical Drop/Ghost Lop game. I'd much prefer if they actually gave us a proper port of Ghost Lop though since it's still never had an official release.
Of all the GOTWs that were posted in your absence I figured this would be the one you'd want to talk about the most. You should try out the HSC for it too! I agree the game definitely deserves an official release, even this many years later. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll put it on Virtual Console or NeoGeo Station. NeoGeo Station would be ideal because of online play, but I'd take anything at this point.
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