A beautifully drawn and animated yet devilishly tough action game.
The levels are so short it makes this game little more than a series of boss battles. The area can be scrolled back and forward, after successfully eliminating the smaller yet no less challenging monsters, giving off an arena feel and allowing you more room to move during the increasingly more arduous boss confrontations.
While compulsory offing the pre-boss creatures gains you extra stock of your special attacks which come in more than handy against the level's main opponent. These moves, which include projectile shoes, lightning bursts and a long range whip, add to your standard 'hair spike' attack and are a welcome if temporary increase to your fighting power.
You can also enlist the help of a second player in Kitaro's quest to defeat the demons of the underworld but you'll still them hard to overcome.
As I stated at the start the artwork is amazing. From the almost cell quality stills to the smoothly animated in game action Gegege Kitaro is right up there with Treasure's 16-bit output. As the levels progress the monsters get larger and more unusual but the animation quality never drops. If only all anime tie-ins looked this good!
And the graphics could well be what keeps you persevering. If you haven't guessed by now Gegege No Kitaro is a perfect example of just how high the Japanese like their difficulty level. Kitaro can only suffer ten hits before it's game over. You can of course continue but you'll be transported right back to the beginning of the level.
Try hard though as the later enemies are well worth it!