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Games 05 Feb 2012

I’ve been going on something of a Ghostbusters nostalgia trip lately, perhaps in part to all the talk of a third movie in the works. After re-watching the first two movies, I decided to slip Ghostbusters: The Video Game into my Playstation 3, having previously overlooked it thanks to fairly average reviews.

Sure, the game isn’t perfect, but it’s just the fix I needed. Just having all the original actors voicing the characters brought a smile to my face, and the mechanics used to capture the ghosts was authentic to the movies and quite satisfying.

Interestingly, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis did a bit of work on the script, which seems like it was lifted from an original outline for a proposed Ghostbusters 3 movie.

And heck, if this is what Bill Murray needed to convince him to do Ghostbusters 3, then I’m all for it.

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  1. Prem
    April 15, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Review by Halicon5 for Ghostbusters: The Video Game Rating: Ghostbusters is not a great game, but it is pretty darn good. I would best dsiercbe it as a guilty pleasure game. The game is supposed to be a 3rd movie in the series, of sorts, much like the 360 versions. I have also played a few parts of the 360 version and have watched my roommate play it for several hours. Both versions of the game are full of fan-service collectibles, gadgets, and dialogue. Familiar faces and places are present throughout the game. Just a bit of a disclaimer: Parts of my review will directly compare and contrast my opinions and observations between the two different versions of the game, so this review isn’t purely about the Wii version.PROS: +++ Great aiming controls +++ Decent story with classic Ghostbusters humor +++ Fun game engine that allows for a lot of destruction +++ Functional and responsive pointer and motion controls that don’t feel gimmickyCONS: Love it or hate it graphics Frequent interruptions from pickups and cutscenes Ghost capturing mini-game kills the flow and takes too long Some awkward and uncomfortable placement of some of the controls Very linear gameplay. Almost no exploration is required to complete the game.PRESENTATION: The menus and game interface are decent, but I honestly feel that the 360/PS3 versions have better menu controls. It’s a picky complaint, but the Wii version’s menus seem to get in the way of things. Lip syncing for voices is also kind of off at times. One thing I do prefer about the Wii version over the 360 version is the on-screen HUD that shows your health and heat meter. In the 360, the meters are displayed on your character’s pack, much like how health and stasis were handled in Dead Space. Unfortunately, I don’t think it was handled as well in Ghostbusters, so I tend to prefer the Wii’s on-screen HUD even though it is less immersive. The Wii presentation really falters when you pick up collectibles or scan ghosts because the game pauses all of the action and suddenly shifts to a very plain information screen detailing what you just picked up. Really kills the flow of the game with that many interruptions. Additionally, there are cut scenes all over the place, which also seem to kill the pace and interrupt the flow.STORY: Decent and basically what fans of the Ghostbusters franchise would expect. Probably my biggest complaint in the story category is that the voice acting frequently feels flat and boring. As in Ok I finished reading my lines. Where do I pick up my paycheck? The script isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either. Your own character is nothing but a rookie who has absolutely no dialogue role in the game. You’re basically a grunt soldier against the forces of the paranormal sent forth and support the story, which actually works well. Any problems the story has now would have probably been worse if the new rookie character was given a voice, and for that I am thankful.GAMEPLAY: Basically you use your proton pack and zap the unliving crap out of anything and everything. Ghosts, environment, etc nearly everything except the buildings themselves can be blown up, broken, or burnt to a crisp. It is kind of cathartic in a way. The game encourages you to be as destructive as possible, which is a nice touch. One major criticism I have of the gameplay is the capture mini-game that you have to do with almost all of the ghosties that you trap. Once you’ve weakened a ghost sufficiently, you can grab it with your capture beam. Once you have grabbed the ghost, you have to slam the ghost into walls and objects when an onscreen indicator pops up. Although the motion controls for this work ok, it really slows the pace of the game down because it seems that the magic number of slams required is usually between 3 and 7 slams. One or two would have been cool, but requiring that much waiting and slamming on most enemies is kind of annoying. The Xbox and PS3 have a similar mechanism in the game as well, but those two platforms allow you to slam the ghosts at your own pace, which feels more natural and makes the game flow better.CONTROLS: Solid with a few minor issues. For the most part, I prefer the Wii controls. Both my roommate and I agree that the aiming controls for the 360 and PS3 are a little too finicky. On the other hand, the Wii pointer controls are very smooth and very precise, which is nice. Unfortunately, the pointer controls introduce a few other issues that kind of annoy and irritate me. Switching to the PK meter requires pushing the top button of the d-pad. That isn’t too bad, but if you have an unsteady hand or really small hands, shifting your hand position tends to shift your pointer position which can send the camera spinning and rotating while you try to switch equipment. Motion controls usually don’t interfere with the gameplay either, although there is one particularly frustrating puzzle on the last level that the controls did nothing but cause problems because you are required to swing the remote, but when you do, your camera position gets really messed up. Very, very, very annoying. For the most part though, the game’s controls are very solid for all systems.REPLAY VALUE: This game is pretty darn short. Most people should probably be able to beat it in a few short sittings, probably about 6-9 hours. Once you’ve unlocked everything, I can’t think of why I’d come back and play this game. The Xbox 360 version at least has a good number of achievements to shoot for, but the Wii doesn’t have that. Multi-player co-op adds some extra replay value, but not that much extra.MULTI-PLAYER: The co-op multi-player is decent, but no where near as smooth as the single player mode.GRAPHICS: Decent to very good, depending on your opinion of the art style. Some people will really hate the cartoony style used in the Wii version. I personally liked it, but I grew up watching the Ghostbusters cartoon when I was a child, so I have a bit of a soft spot for that type of style. The level of detail is no where near as high in the Wii version, but I was impressed at the amount of environmental damage I was allowed to inflict. While not as pretty as the 360/PS3 graphics, the Wii version’s graphics are more than good enough. I will say that I feel like the Wii version plays with a slightly smoother framerate (except on the last level) than the 360 version, especially when turning around very quickly. It’s a very minor difference at best though.Overall, I have enjoyed this game, but I would only recommend it as a rental unless you are a hardcore Ghostbusters fan and big into collecting Ghostbusters stuff. The short gameplay length and limited replay value really put a damper on my recommendation of a full-price purchase. If you have a 360/PS3, I would honestly recommend going for one of those other two versions instead of the Wii version. The differences between the two versions, except for graphics, are fairly minor in terms of fun and overall quality, but the 360/PS3 versions edge out the Wii version.[Edit: Added comment in controls section about the frustrating puzzle on the last level.]

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