Republished with permission of gamepeople.co.uk game reviews.Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, PSP, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows
Ghostbusters: The Video Game succeeds in the end by simply feeling right. Whether on 360, PS3 or Nintendo Wii, the game has enough of that Ghostbuster spirit from the movie to be forgiven it’s slightly derivative game play. Not quite Batman: Arkham Asylum but cut from the same cloth.
I remember going to see Ghostbusters at my local cinema when I was six years old. I also remember my mum covering my eyes at the bits that were considered too scary for a wee boy like me, then seeing it years later and finally understanding the full story (it’s amazing what you miss when your eyes are randomly covered at various points in a film!). I thought Ghostbusters was great, and was really into The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, so when Atari released a Ghostbusters game I just had to try it.
You start the game as a new recruit to the Ghostbusters’ team, just working through your induction when everything kicks off and you’re thrown right into the thick of it – hotels, museums, libraries, and the streets of New York all requiring your services as you play through the storyline.
The game mechanics are simple enough, shoot the ghosts, weaken them, stun them by slamming them against walls or the ceiling and then capture them in your trap. But there’s something that just clicks when you’re doing it. It’s like I’m finally getting to do something I’d played at in the playground when I was little. It felt similar playing Arkham Asylum; there I became Batman, here I was a bona fide Ghostbuster.
I found myself firing the proton beam just to hear the sound and see the visual effect. It actually ended up that I was a bit disappointed at the number of enemies that could just be destroyed rather than trapped as trapping was by far the most enjoyable experience in the game.
Much of the dialogue is cheesy, the jokes obvious, and you can see the love interest coming a mile off. The thing is though, Ghostbusters has always been a bit like that. That doesn’t stop it being fun and, although perhaps I shouldn’t admit this being a grown up and all, I really enjoyed it. I never laughed out loud, but there were plenty of those little half-smile moments when I found myself being amused despite my better judgment!
I will admit that I’m terrible with scary games – I usually have to put the light on if I think something’s about to happen. Ghostbusters has a number of scenes that made me jump and a couple that had me reaching for the light switch. But on balance the horror was more comic than actually frightening. That makes sense when you think about it; it is supposed to be a comedy after all.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game on the 360 is difficult to pigeon hole. It is fun to play through regardless of whether you’re a Ghostbusters “fan” or not. It’s simple, honest entertainment. But if you did like Ghostbusters it has that extra sparkle of being a nostalgic blast from the past. Some might accuse me of viewing this with rose-tinted specs, I’d like to think if it was awful I’d have noticed, but I really enjoyed my time as a trainee Ghostbuster.