Game Reviews
They ain't 'fraid of no ghosts.
Ghostbusters Review (PS3/360/PC)

One of my fondest memories as a child was sitting in the living room, watching Ghostbusters on VHS…sad, right?  Well, truth be told, the film is great, the second installment….eh, not so much.  For kids in the ’80’s and ’90’s, the closest we came to becoming a Ghostbuster was dressing up on halloween as Egon (well I did, since I have always worn glasses).  Children today can cut through all the bullshit we had to endure for dressing up as our favorite scientist, and they can just live the adventure at home.  However, is the game a classic like the first film or just a cash-in like the second?

They ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!

The game takes place in 1991, after the events of Ghostbusters 2; which basically makes this game Ghostbusters 3.  The story here involves the player, not as one of the four original Ghostbusters, but as a new rookie.  You start the game with the other guys just showing you the ropes, and its quite easy just capturing Slimer…but in the later levels, it becomes less fun and more tedious.  I appreciate all of the nods to the original films, with the presence of familiar locations and characters.  It was pretty damn cool to visit the library and the Sedgewick Hotel (Slimer is back at it again in the ballroom); you even see that prick Walter Peck…or “Pecker” as Peter calls him.  The story overall felt very genuine, and something all of the fans can relate to and understand and maybe even draw in a few new fans as well.  It kind of sucked that we had to control a generic rookie instead of one of the four original guys, but beggers can’t be choosers, right?

Much like both films before it, the game was also written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis; so the first thing I want to touch on is the solid writing.  The dialogue is what you come to expect from the franchise, for the most part it’s light-hearted and full to the brim with nostalgia.  Some of the jokes are hit or miss, but for the most part I just enjoyed hearing the original cast back together again.  In the sound/visual department there is not a lot to write home about.  It was nice to have music ripped straight from the movies, but after hearing the theme at every loading screen, I was ready to drop my PS3 on my head like the anvil that it is…curse you, Ray Parker Jr.

"He's a sailor, he's in New York...we just gotta get him laid"

The gameplay is where the game both shines and falls a bit; I guess it is best summed up as bitter-sweet.  After you strap on your Proton Pack, you get right to capturing ghosts, by winding them down with one of four upgrades that Egon gives you, and then throwing out the trap.  Once the trap is thrown, the game turns into a fishing game, essentially; just hold the analog stick in the opposite direction the ghost is trying to fly.  It almost feels like a Third-Person Shooter-Pokemon hyrbid, since 80% of the time you are just capturing ghosts.  What would their job be without the PKE Meter?  Well, you get that too, and it is helpful…sort of.  It usually just points you in the direction of paranormal activity, helps you find collectible artifacts, and displays the strengths and weakness of the ghosts.  The artifacts you find are showcased back at Ghostbusters HQ and seem to just be there for the Achievement whores that want 100% completion.

As fun as the game was at times, there were little gripes I had with some aspects that felt almost game-breaking.  For instance, your teammates AI was abysmal most of the time, basically having you fend for yourself and constantly revive them the entire game.  I went into the game thinking I would feel like part of a team, only to find out I was more of a babysitter.  When it comes to enemies, many of them weren’t so much challenging as they were cheap.  There were also a few bugs I ran into during my playthrough.  At one time, Ray was hurt and knocked through an invisible wall, so there was no way to get to him.  This meant that I had to fight two monsters, four ghosts (shooting projectiles), and a number of respawning creatures with no means of healing…what a pain in the ass.  With that little mishap, and the numberous graphical glitches I noticed, I would have to say that the game feels pretty unpolished.

Ghosts aren't your only threat.

Simply put…the game is a perfect rental; I would be lying to you if I said it was worth full price.  I rented it for the week, and beat it in under 10 hours…I really couldn’t find any reason to go back and play again.  There is a multiplayer aspect of the game, that felt more like an afterthought than anything.  I guess it could add some reaplyability, but nothing that will change the way you look at the game.   It boils down to the fact that the game feels too repetitive and archaic in today’s world, and it won’t keep gamers’ attention for too long, unfortunately.  However, for any fan of the series, I think they will look past the flaws for nostalgia sake and see that there is still something to enjoy.  Even though, I reviewed the next-gen and PC versions of the game, you can also find it on the Wii.  The Wii version is essentially the same game, just with a cartoon artstyle.  Who ya gonna call?  Your local rental place to pick this game up, that’s who!


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1 comments
John
John

Thank you! You often write very interesting articles. You improved my mood.