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Aug 11, 2009

Review: Ghostbusters: the Video Game

Ghostbusters: The Videogame
Atari, Terminal Reality
Available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS

They're the best. They're the beautiful. They're the only Ghostbusters and they're back in videogame form. Not since the 80s have we seen this band of wise-cracking, ghost-catching heroes and thankfully their return is a happy one full of great jokes, good graphics and lots of fun game play.

I’ll be the first to admit that most movie games suck but as soon as I booted up this game and heard that familiar Ghostbusters theme, I could help but let my fan girl feelings take over and melt all over this thing.

The game’s story continues on after the last movie with you playing as a new Ghostbusters recruit (no name & no voice) that has been hired to test out all the new equipment for the guys while out on assignment with them. Things have become pretty ghost infested in the city after a huge energy pulse was released from an object that the museum’s new Ivo Shandor exhibit (Ivo Shandor was the guy from the first movie that built Diana’s apartment building to be a gateway for Gozer). So you must help the Ghostbusters figure out the cause behind this new spiritual mayhem.

As a Ghostbusters, you get to do all the things a Ghostbusters does from using the proton pack to wrangle ghosts to using the PKE meter to detect the little suckers. Ghost catching is incredible hard as you have to wear the ghost down with your proton stream, then catch him in the stream to knock him around a bit more, and then finally you must pull him into the light of the ghost trap and hold him there until the trap sucks him in. It’s a long process but somehow fulfilling in a geeky way.

As the official new equipment tester, you will be given new proton packs and other toys to test out in the game as you proceed. You will also be given the chance to use the money you earn catching ghosts to upgrade this equipment in order to make your life easier with faster traps or stronger streams. Hidden curse objects are also available throughout the game which have no real affect on the game itself but make for a nice achievement on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 in the end if you collect them all.

Almost everything in the game is destructible and you can view your damage costs in the main menu versus your earned money. There’s no need to worry about the damage you cause though because the city covers everything in the end anyway, so have at it in the name of ghostbusting. Busting makes me feel good!

The designers did a fabulous job on bringing back to life each character from the franchise with such accurate looking digital 3D versions of themselves. From each member of the Ghostbusters to the annoying Walter Peck, each character looks exactly as they did in the movies which is better than what they’ll look like in Ghostbusters 3, if that ever gets made. The ghosts used the in game had a unique artist style which gave each of them their own scary flair and haunting look.

Those fans of the original 1980s Ghostbusters movies will be happy to know that the original writers and cast had been brought back to oversee the creation of the game from start to finish which really added to making the whole game seem like a 3rd movie in the franchise as opposed to a crappy movie game. Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd who originally created and wrote the Ghostbusters’ screenplay were on deck to write the game’s script and ensure the game practically bled real ectoplasm. Even Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and William Atherton came on board to provide the voice for their original characters but some voice-overs like Murray’s seemed like they were phoned-in. Luckily for him, the jokes in the game were top notch and all bad acting was forgiven.

While the game’s plot may have you rolling your eyes a bit at its corniness, the effort made to tie it into the first movie is still pretty cool and I think fans of the films will enjoy the references. This truly was a great effort from everyone involved from the developers to the original cast and I can’t stress how great this game is. Fans of the series will love the trip down memory lane with the Ghostbusters and hopefully new players will be introduced to the one group of ghost hunters we always laugh with as opposed to laughed at.

Rating: 9 out of 10
Buy it!

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