Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Maximo: Ghost to Glory for PlayStation 2 (2001)


 


Original ad featured in the April 2002 issue of EGM.
Press to view or download image at higher resolution.
 

An average 3-D platformer with more marketing budget than originality.

A spiritual successor to 80s classics Ghosts 'n Goblins (1985) and Ghouls 'n Ghosts (1988), released on a multitude of consoles and computers, Maximo for PS2 was a run-of-the-mill action game in a 3-D environment.

Maximo: Ghost to Glory was developed and released by Capcom for the console that was just starting to gain traction with millions of gamers. Sony's PlayStation 2 behemoth had a banner year in 2001 with the stelar lineup of Metal Gear Solid 2, Grand Theft Auto III, Devil May Cry, Gran Turismo III, Klonoa 2, Final Fantasy X, Twisted Metal: Black, ICO, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Resident Evil: Code Veronica,  the yearly Madden, NCAA, FIFA, and NFL2K updates, as well as lesser known but still popular Silent Hill 2, Onimusha: Warlords, Soul Reaver 2, Burnout and Dark Cloud, just to name a few. No wonder 2001 is often called the best year in gaming ever.

Sadly, Capcom's 3-D plataformer fell of most gamer's radar after initial release, very late during December 2001 in Japan and February 2002 in America, an absolute giant of a holiday season. This was in spite of a massive marketing campaign that saw the titular hero grace the front cover of practically every gaming magazine of the day, including EGM. Maximo gained solid scores from these media outlets, but it was just too generic and hard, something that was not really entrenched in 3-D gaming pre-Dark Souls era. 

Presentation was top-notch though. Graphics and music were above average for the era, but controls were floaty. Just like the original Ghosts 'n Goblins, you would lose your armor when hit, which left you with nothing but your heart-shaped trousers and your sword to fend for yourself. The gimmick ran dry quickly, though. Maybe Capcom expected Maximo to be something of a new mascot for the company and gave him some 'tude. In any case, the effort was in vain. Their game was rapidly placed in the bargain bin of video game stores.

The print advertisement you see here is something of a rarity. It's not common to separate a whole page on two distinct sections with a real-life picture at the top and an illustration at the bottom. Adding to this weird decision was the "cool" copy that was popular during this era of gaming. Everything had to be "edgy". But gamers were starting to get smarter (and older). A flashy ad would not be enough to convince buyers via word of mouth, not with the competition from the huge list of great games released just before Maximo.

Ad Copy

Live Life to the Maximo

You're feeling pretty fly, hero. You've just killed hordes of the evil undead, kicked the butt of your girlfriend-stealing former best friend, rescued some Sorceress-hottie and saved the kingdom. You've sprung into the public eye as the star of the next epic adventure from Capcom. Maximo places you in the heart-print boxer shorts of the noble knight Maximo as you go medieval for hours on 20 huge levels. Can a knight save the day? When you're living life to the Maximo, anything's possible. 

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