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I have fond memories of watching Ghostbusters 1 and 2 during my childhood. Exhausting countless tapes due to my over-fondness in a bit of ghost busting action, I drove my family mad with my desire to continue watching both of the films over and over again. I would run around the house holding the hoover-my makeshift proton pack, in my younger years, towing my brother along with me, and we would pretend to be Ray and Venkman (our favourites). Now at 22 years of age, I may not be busting my now DVD copies of the film by constant viewings, neither am I running around my flat in a jumpsuit, but I do occasionally like to dig out these eighties classics and indulge once again. The Ghostbusters series will probably always hold a special spot in my heart, along with Back To The Future, countless Disney films, and those by Tim Burton.
Upon knowing this, you can imagine my excitement when I found out that a game based on the original films as about to be released. Set in 1991, two years after the events of Ghostbusters 2, the original team, of Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore now have a new member in their ranks. Step forward the newbie, the character you, the gamer, gets the privalidge to play. The newbie, or "rookie" as he is known in the game has been brought in as the team's equipment test bunny, meaning that this rookie gets to test the new technology before it is used full time by the other four Ghostbusters. Nothing is plain sailing for poor old rookie though, as within minutes of him arriving for his first day on the job, paranormal energy is released within the Gozer exhibit of a museum, and rapidly spreads across the whole of New York City.
Whilst I was playing this, I did get the feeling that this could easily have been the third film in the series. The cut scenes are very cinematic, and the familiar Ghostbusters theme tune and accompanying score make up the score for the game also. The beginning of the game opens with a well animated cut scene, which gives way to the familiar Ghostbusters opening. For fans of the film, think of the beginning of the first film, in which the ghostly lady in the library scares the librarian, and I am sure what you can then have a guess about how this game opens!
For fans of Ghostbusters, I am pleased to say that I gained a very nostalgic experience whilst playing through this game. All of the original Ghostbusters are back to provide the voices for their CGI counterparts, the set pieces are lifted straight from the film and redesigned in 3D, familiar characters, such as the somewhat loveable green ghost Slimer is back, as well as the teams secretary Janine, and as I previously mentioned, the original Ghostbusters music is present here, giving the film an even more memorable feel. However, I do not think you have to be a fan of the original films to enjoy this game.The dialogue spoken by the Ghostbusters and the other familiar characters has been penned by two of the original films stars, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, so the witty banter present here is just as brilliant as it was in the films. Ghostbusters works well as a highly enjoyable third person shooter, and the difficulty curve is fair enough so that it is easy for most gamers, but the challenge is there for people who wish to play it at a higher difficulty level. There are three difficulty levels to choose from, so you can choose how tricky you want your gaming experience to be!
Now, I know this is a Wii review, but in all honesty, I have not actually played much of the Wii version. I greatly preferred the Xbox 360 version, due to the online co-op mode. The online co-op mode allows players to play the games story with three other online players, or take a go at some of the "campaigns", in other words, special online only game modes which see you competing against other players in a variety of different Ghostbusting missions. However, I would not dismiss the Wii version. It is an excellent game, but if you are looking for a better nostalgic experience, the graphics and overall gameplay is more enjoyable, in my opinion, on the Xbox 360 version. The third person shooter aspect really works here, as for me, the main enjoyment comes from being able to blast until my hearts content throughout each level, instead of worrying about puzzles, or getting across obstacles like you would find in a lot of platformer games. The screen is actually quite clear from icons, so you can take in everything on screen rather than being distracted. Seeing as there is no health bar, Ghostbusters The Video Game opts for a "Call of Duty" style health system, in which the screen will flash red when you are taking damage from an enemy. The screen will continuously flash red if you are close to being knocked out. As the camera is situated behind your Ghostbuster character, you have a clear view of the Rookie's "Proton Pack" on his back. The rest of the information can be seen via the Proton pack, including when you will need to press the cool-down button to stop your pack from overheating (this is a common problem!). The pack will also let you know what weapon type you are currently using, via a colour code (eg. green is slime), and so you are easily able to change weapons. You are also able to buy upgraded and new weapons for your proton pack as you progress further into the game.
I was a little concerned that this game would become repetitive if you are constantly trapping ghost after ghost. Thankfully though, Ghostbusters The Video Game keeps the enemies refreshing, and the bosses are all very different to one another. Another pleasant addition for fans is the inclusion of some memorable enemies, such as the much loved Stay Puft Marshmellow Man. The child in me whooped for joy when he first came stomping through New York City towards me during the game! There are 55 ghosts for you to log in your notes, so that is enough different ghosts to keep things interesting.
Now I think I have said enough positive aspects of this game to show how much I enjoyed it, but like anything, Ghostbusters The Video Game is not perfect. Sometimes, even on easy, the difficulty can get incredibly hard at times. I found some of the levels very frustrating, due to constantly dying. One level in particular involving a slime tether and some stone angels almost had me quitting the game, but due to my love of the series, I thought it was a shame to quit after getting so far into the game, so I persisted, and thankfully, persisting paid off. I did it, and eventually, beat the game. This means that not everyone will find this an enjoyable gaming experience due to the trickier points. More unexperienced gamers may decide to give up at this point, so I would advise you to have a think about how well you normally fair at third person shooters before you give this a go!
Overall, Ghostbusters The Video Game is an excellent nostalgia fest. Fans of the Ghostbusters films will probably fall in love with this, as the original voice cast are back, the script was penned by two of the Ghostbusting team, the original film score is back, and there are many familiar locations and memorable characters that will keep you enjoying this until the end. As I said, the difficulty can get a bit ridiculous at points, but this is a game that is worth persisting with, as the overall gaming experience I had with this was a highly satisfied one.
This is an awesome game. Sadly it crashes at the same level everytime I play it, taking my Wii with it. All I can do is cut the power and start again. I've tried contacting Atari but they haven't replied. From looking at various forums this seems to be a widespread problem with this title on all formats and I can't believe they released it with this level of bugs in it.Sadly, do not buy :( unless they fix it, in which case its a must have!
This game is wonderful...for half an hour. Hearing the Busters back in action after the long break is phenomenal, and funny, and brilliant, and so much nostalgia your eyes and ear orgasm triumphantly.
You run round the game as a rookie Ghostbuster. Shame you can't play as the usual four but hey, you're a Ghosbuster and it makes you feel good. All those years of running around with a hunk of plastic on your back that you're convinced is an unlicensed nuclear accelerator comes together in this gem. Graphically it's more on par with the cartoon series, obviously due to the Wii's capabilities.
You start in the firehouse which acts as a safe house, and area to replay levels in an arcade kind of style. A second player can drop in and out at anytime.
Drawbacks mainly are: you cannot drive the Ecto-1, whoever decided that was a good idea is a plebeian beyond plebdon. Secondly, busting's good for a while but there's only so much you can do before your enthusiastic wrist wiggling becomes limp and samey. Thirdly, where's the proton back peripheral you can plug into you wii remote, and dance mat for that matter you can run on, and actual trap you throw at your telly. O.k. I'm being facetious but a proton pack peripheral would be amazing.
I recommend this game for the fans. The original script by Ramis and Ackroyd's as fresh as daisies and as funny as the first film. Be warned though, it gets tedious. Luckily game-play is roughly 45mins possibly more if you explore areas fully.
Ghostbusters brings up all sorts of happy teenage memories for me. The film was brilliant and I shudder to think how many hours I wasted on the simple, but fantastic Commodore 64 game. Could Ghostbusters on the Wii transport a grumpy old man back to his youth?
Happily, Ghostbusters (Wii) lives up to the task, providing fun and nostalgia by the bucket load as you take the role of a rookie Ghostbuster and join the team in their mission to rid New York of spooks, spectres and things that go bump in the night.
Nostalgia and familiarity are the two areas where Ghostbusters scores highest. Anyone who has seen the film will instantly recognise both the setting and the characters. We all wanted to be Ghostbusters when I was a kid, and here's your chance. You get to explore the Busters' fire house HQ, drive around in Ecto-1 (the car) and meet old favourites like Slimer.
There's no doubting that the game looks good. The graphics on the Wii version may not be as detailed or as photo-realistic as the X-box 360 or Playstation versions, but the cartoony style of the graphics actually fits better, complementing the film's atmosphere. The bright, colourful visuals and instantly recognisable characters make the game great fun to play. We hear a lot about "interactive entertainment", but Ghostbusters comes closest to achieving it, throwing you into the middle of a brilliantly recreated world you know so well from the films.
There are a couple of issues with camera angles. The game doesn't always adjust quickly enough to give you the best view of the action and you can suddenly find yourself being attacked by ghosts you can't see. The game's physics are also a little iffy at times, meaning it's possible for objects to be dragged through walls, or for you to walk through them yourself. These are only minor glitches, though, and don't detract from the game too much.
The sound, too, is fantastic. The noise of the proton pack and the various other weapons add to that sense of realism. These too have been carefully modelled on the film: Slimer sounds like Slimer, there's deep satisfaction to be had from the mournful wail of Ecto-1's siren, whilst pausing the game causes the full version of Ray Parker Junior's classic Ghostbusters theme to be sung. This is Ghostbusting heaven!
The game's real masterstroke, though, lies in recruiting most of the original cast for voicing duties. Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson all return as the original 'Busters, as do Annie Potts as Janine and William Atherton as Peck. It may have taken too long to reunite them, but they're clearly enjoying it, attacking their characters with gusto. This is not a simple video game voice-over job; but a return to a character they know and love. Each delivers dialogue in the way you would expect: Murray is heavily sarcastic, Ramis geeky and Aykroyd an enthusiastic little puppy. The dialogue is funny, too, with the characters bouncing off each other with quips and little asides, just as they did in the film. Even Mrs SWSt, not a great lover of video games, sat laughing at some of the dialogue. This might not quite be the third Ghostbusters film we all hoped for (although there's reportedly one on the way), but it's the closest you'll get for a while.
The game's controls can initially be a little confusing. The Wii remote is used to look around and interact with items (via a crosshair), whilst the nunchuk moves your character. If you haven't played a game involving this combination of controls before, it can be a little disconcerting and takes a few goes to master. Once you have, though, it becomes second nature and very easy to control. Initially, there is a confusing array of different buttons to press for different actions. Again, once you've played a couple of levels, you've been introduced to the controls and they start to feel very comfortable.
The game might look and sound great but that doesn't necessarily make for a fun game. Thankfully similar attention has been paid to the game play. The game follows a mission based structure, with different levels seeing you take on different ghosts. Many of these are based around scenes from Ghostbusters I and II, so further reinforce that feeling of "starring" in the film. If you've ever yearned to take on Mr Stay Puft or capture Slimer, now's your chance.
The mission based game play gives the option to play in short bursts or longer sessions. Each level takes around 10 minutes to complete, so you know a save point is not too far away, making it an ideal title to pick up and play. There are a number of sub-missions to undertake, such as collecting pages from Tobin's Spirit Guide and completing their entries, for example. In truth, these don't add a great deal to the game and don't necessarily enhance its longevity. Although I've played through the game and collected pages if I happen to find them, I can't see myself going back and doing the levels again just so I can complete 100% of the game.
And there lies the game's biggest problem: it is very easy. Tasks are fairly repetitive (find the ghost, capture the ghost, plug holes in the ceiling using objects) and there's not a great deal of variety across levels. By the time you get to around level three or four of the game, you have already experienced most of the tasks and will know exactly what you need to do to complete the remaining levels.
It's virtually impossible to die and even the trickier levels will not detain an averagely competent gamer for very long. Most players will breeze through the game in just a few hours' playing time, and there's not enough variety or depth to encourage you to return once you've seen all the levels. This is a game which is more about nostalgic experience than long term challenge. Yet, short though it may be, it's packed with enjoyment. I would rather spend my £30 on a game that's short but fun and where I stand a realistic chance of seeing everything it has to offer, than one where I reach a certain level and get stuck forever.
If you are of a certain age (around 35-40), the appeal of being a Ghostbuster, prancing around New York with a highly unstable proton blaster on your back will far outweigh any shortcomings in the game play. At £25-30 it offers more fun per pound than many similarly priced games and is well worth buying,
© Copyright SWSt 2010
Ghostbusters: one of the greatest movies of all times, and perfect material for a video game conversion. Of course, there have been Ghostbusters computer games in the past, from the 1984 Activision title, through to 1993's 'Real Ghostbusters' on the Gameboy - however, gamers have had to wait a full sixteen years for this latest version from the Atari studio, which coincides with the 25th anniversary of the film's original release.
Simply title 'Ghostbusters: The Video Game', this incarnation of the franchise is without doubt the most lavish to date - plus, the majority of the original cast have returned to perform the voice acting duties. The game has been released on all the next-gen formats, with the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 versions opting for a realistic graphical approach, and the Nintendo Wii version (which this review focuses on) adopting a cartoon-like style.
Bustin' makes me feel good...
Based in the genre of third-person shooter, the game begins in 1991 - two years after the events of the second movie. The player takes on the role of a nameless apprentice Ghostbuster who is simply referred to as 'rookie' for the majority of the gaming experience. After a rather large P.K.E disturbance, chaos breaks out in New York, and a number of familiar nasties are in need of recapturing. Needless to say our old friend The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man makes an appearance, and the lovable Slimer is also involved in the plot.
Ghostbusters on the Wii allows the player to revisit some of the classic settings from the first two films - from the grand Sedgewick hotel in which Slimer is first captured, to the New York Public Library where the "shhh-ing" ghost (a.k.a 'The Grey Lady') is seen. Being able to wander through these iconic settings is a real treat, although once the novelty wears off it quickly becomes apparent that this particular videogame isn't quite as polished as I originally hoped it to be.
Predictably, the general gameplay of Ghostbusters boils down to capturing ghosts - and this is undoubtedly a lot of fun - or at least it is at first. Blasting specters with your proton stream, and slamming them into walls and objects with the motion sensitive Wii Remote is very cool! The ghost trap is activated by performing a thrusting action with the nunchuk controller - and all in all it's a well conceived and intuitive control system. Using the Wii remote as a proton blaster is great fun, and it's probably the closest I will ever get to being a real life Ghostbuster (a childhood fantasy of mine). Unfortunately, the average gamer will soon realise that the gameplay boils down to little else than this rather monotonous action of blasting, slamming and trapping, with not much variation in between.
When you're not capturing ghosts, there are a number of rudimentary puzzles to be solved - I say 'puzzles', but they're actually little more than menial tasks like putting batteries into generators with the beam of your proton pack, and moving objects across rooms into their correct positions - it's not taxing in the slightest, and you won't need any real brain power to progress. The rest of the time, you'll be scanning ghosts with your PKE meter and searching for lost pages from 'Tobin's Spirit Guide', which are hidden in various places throughout the gaming world.
Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
Peter Venkman: What?
Egon: Don't cross the streams.
Egon: It would be bad.
In between levels, you'll get to visit the firestation which serves as the Ghostbuster's headquarters, and also the game's main hub from which you can access the various levels. Although having free roam in this building may sound like an exciting prospect, in reality, there is very little which you can interact with, and even the virtual arcade machines which line the upper floors are unplayable. Unfortunately it's this lack of attention to detail which mars the gaming experience as a whole, making the overall title feel a bit rushed.
I was fairly excited with the prospect of the original cast returning to perform the voice acting duties - and sure enough, the in-game dialogue is funny, and left me wanting a third movie (apparently a screenplay is being prepared at this very moment). However, what is completely inexcusable is the fact that Peter Venkmann's lines sound like they have been recorded in an aircraft toilet, and it's nigh on impossible to hear what he is saying. Even turning the dialogue setting up to 100% volume still had me struggling to catch his lines - not good enough.
Graphically, the game is average at best, with incredibly flat and lifeless textures, a garish colour palette, and jagged edges ('jaggies') on the majority of in-game objects. I'm aware that the Wii doesn't have the graphical prowess of either the Xbox360 or PS3, but Ghostbusters on the Wii looks decidedly last-gen. Similarly, the cut sequences are poorly animated and dull, with voices out of sync with the animation the majority of the time. On the positive side, the proton stream and trap effects are nice looking - very similar to how they appeared in the movies, and there are sporadic examples of real time lighting in effect.
In total, there are seven levels, although none of which will provide too much difficulty for the average gamer. The later levels especially aren't all that well thought out, and the only thing which keeps the entertainment levels up, is the amusing chat between the Ghostbusters which (when you can make out what Bill Murray is saying) works really well.
Although it doesn't feature any online options, the game can be played through with a friend in co-operative mode. Here you are joined by another human-controlled apprentice Ghostbuster on your quest to defeat the forces of evil. To be honest, I think that this is the best way to experience the action, and you can battle your partner to see who can cause the most damage to the game environments (shown as dollars at the end of each level). The downside of co-op mode is the fact that the visuals are squashed into a horizontally split screen, which can be quite difficult to see in times of frantic blasting action.
All in all, for such a huge franchise it's a shame the Ghostbusters game is ultimately so linear - an open world, free roaming environment could have been superb, and would have suited the game beautifully. Nevertheless, there are sporadic moments of fun to be had throughout the gaming experience, and the first couple of levels are enjoyable before the novelty wears off. As I have played both the Wii and Xbox 360 versions of the game, I would suggest that the Wii one is by far the inferior, as despite its advanced control system, the game in general isn't as polished and well thought out. To be honest, in terms of the gameplay, Ghostbusters on the Wii is no better than a two-star gaming experience - yet the fact that it is based in the Ghostbusters world just about drags it up into the realms of three.
If you want to try it out for yourself, you can currently purchase Ghostbusters: The Video Game on the Nintendo Wii for £24.99 from Amazon
Back in November of 2008 the news that a lot of 80's film fans had been waiting for came to light, finally after all these years the Ghostbusters would be making a reappearance. However the big screens was not the way that we would be seeing them this time, but instead care of Atari and a few other companies along the way Ray, Egon, Peter and Winston would be the heroes of their very own video game. Unlike the first two movies Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis didn't write the script for the game but did help with a certain amount of script changes to bring the comedy elements of the films into the game.
The game was set for launch on all systems on the 19th June 2009, but at the final minute Sony bought out the rights to the European release of the game and in what was reported a move to boost the flagging sales of their flagship the mighty PS3 the game was only released on the two Playstation formats so us poor Wii and Xbox 360 owners have to wait until October time for this game to have it's official launch. Despite all this and thanks to a U.S. Wii and a copy of the game courtesy of a kind stepdad I have been able to bust my way through this game to my hearts content.
The game basically takes place a few years after the last film the Ghostbusters have pretty much become a common emergency service alongside the police and fire department. But due to the increase in work the guys have decided to take on a new member to the team YOU aka "The Rookie". OK so I know we all wanted to be one of the Ghostbusters themselves but hey at least you still get to run around with a proton pack strapped to your back and get to lay waste to any and every ghost you come in to contact with, not to mention the odd piece of furniture, wall or toilet that gets in your way. The story starts shortly after you join the gang with a massive PKE surge occurring (just think of it as a ghostly earthquake) and suddenly just like in the films all hell breaks loose quite literally. You and the guys then proceed to go round capturing the ghosts that have started appearing and trying to work out just what has happened. Along the way we get to meet some familiar faces not just on the human side with the likes of Janine, and Walter Peck, but also in the form of our supernatural enemies as the likes of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man and the female ghost in the library at the start of the first movie appear during the game.
Once again thanks to the Wii's unique controller design the actual controls to this game feel slightly more natural than the usual move a stick around on a joypad that we have come to except. The character is shown in an over the shoulder third person shooter style, with the Wii remote providing the ability to make your character look around. As well as aim and fire your proton pack. The Nunchuck will then provide the movement of the character courtesy of the control stick on the Nunchuck. In addition to your proton pack Egon and Ray will upgrade your weaponry every so often in the game to include such things as a stasis gun and a slime blower these weapons not only do this to help to capture some of the more powerful ghosts but also allow for your character to interact with some of the surrounding objects to help solve a puzzle or reveal a secret door.
---HOW TO CAPTURE THAT GHOST---
So now you've found the ghost it's time to bust it, firstly you need to wear the ghost's health bar down to zero by shooting at it with your various weapons. Once you have done, the proton pack will allow you to use the capture beam with this you grab hold of the ghost and fling it against the walls ceiling and floor of the room to stun it. The directions you need to throw it to are dictated by onscreen arrows. After you have beaten the ghost enough you then get to fling the ghost trap out by literally bowling the Nunchuck to throw the trap.
Ok so we all know that the Wii is never going to stand up graphicaly to the likes of the PS3 or the Xbox 360 and Nintendo certainly don't try to as the characters and scenes in the game are done in a much more cartoony fashion instead of going for the photo realistic capabilities of the other platforms. However this change of appearance does not in any way detract for the overall look of the game in fact personally I think that it adds a greater level of comedy to the game which is what the Ghostbusters movies were all about in the first place. As with a lot of games there will be some slight glitches to the graphics, but on the whole the graphics run very smoothly just try to think of it as having slightly better graphics than the PS2.
Now this is where the game cannot be faulted as the entire original cast makes a reappearance all be it in vocal form only, the only disappointment was that the likes of Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver did not join the cast in reprising their roles. Due to the brilliantly written script for the game the characters speech was kept very much in line with the appearances in the first two movies. Asides from the characters voices the other thing that I was looking forward to as I'm sure most other fans were too was the sound of the proton pack firing, which thankfully sounds just like it did when I got to see the movies in the cinema all those years ago. My only real bugbear was that fact that you didn't get to turn the proton packs on and off so you couldn't hear the sound of it warming up which just sounded so cool in the first movie.
Due to the Wii's intuitive control system the game is very easy to pick up and play and will have you entertained for hours the only downside to this is you will find yourself getting through the game very quickly. This being said though the enjoyment that I found from the game the first time round has kept me replaying through the game.This is down to my immense love of the films as well as the fact that the game is very enjoyable as. What can I say other than "Busting makes me feel good".
As well as the overall enjoyment factor the game does offer the chance of collect all those hidden goodies that are missed the first time round with the option of replaying the levels. The Wii has a couple of tricks up its sleeves as well to keep you coming back for more, firstly you can play as either a man or woman through the game (bet your PS3 and Xbox 360 can't do that) but also there is the option to play through the whole game with two people so you and a friend can bust in tandem.
Since I first heard of this game coming out I have been eager to get my hands on it so much so that I had to use an American Wii and version of the game just to get to play it as soon as possible, and I have not been at all disappointment with it in general. The only thing that is really annoying about the game is the fact that Sony bought up the distribution rights to Europe and decided to literally bully people on to their flagging PS3. Have no fear though October will soon be upon us and my poor stepdad can have his Wii back and I can get my own copy of the game.
Fans of the Ghostbusters movies from the 80's will be happy to know that this videogame adaptation has managed to capture the charming and geeky atmosphere found in the silver screen source material. Once you've acquired enough of the weapons and upgrades available in the game the game play becomes really entertaining and you'll also find a multiplayer mode that acts as entertaining bonus material, at least for a little while. Annoying flaws, such as grotesquely long loading sequences and sudden inexplicable deaths, do hamper an otherwise great experience well worth checking out. With a little more in the way of technical polish and a few more hours of playtime thrown in, this would have been one of the best film-based games of all time. Saying that even lacking this level of polish can't change the simple fact that busting - as you may have heard - makes us feel good.