Ghostbusters

I'm a huge fan of the Ghostbusters. Like many people my age, I grew up with the movies and Saturday morning TV show. I used to pretend I was a Ghostbuster, and run around the backyard with my friends busting ghosts. Recently, I started getting into the spirit of things thanks to hearing the Ghostbusters theme song at every 80s Night @ Inferno.

So when I first saw that demo-real footage of this game that popped up online out of the blue back in early 2008, I was completely blown away (ign.com). Not only was it a next-gen Ghostbustin' game, but it looked really really good. It didn't look like some cobbled together FPS. It looked very fluid and real. Amazing.

Since this footage came out of nowhere, no one seemed to know anything about it. A couple days later, after the blogs had done all their research, fact finding and scooping, I knew a little bit more about it. It was slated for a Fall 2008 release, and was developed by Terminal Reality, whose credits were somewhat poor. Blood Rayne was their only claim to fame.

But it looked great, and after a shaky delay due to loss of publisher, Atari picked up the Distribution rights and it finally came out June 16th 2009 (20 years after Ghostbusters II premiered in theaters).

The Game

A couple weeks after that, Gamely finally sent me a copy for the Playstation 3 and so far, I've been having a great time with it. Ghostbusters is pretty damn fun. ^_^

Zach and Justin had mentioned how much they were enjoying the game. They commented that it was like being in a Ghostbusters film. And I'd have to agree with them so far. Egon, Ray, Venkman, and Winston are perfect renditions of their original roles.

I should hope so considering this game was even possible thanks to Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. They wrote and developed the story and got everyone back to reprise their original roles. Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis are all voices their original characters. Annie Potts returns as Janine. William Atherton returns as Walter Peck. They've also got Brian Doyle-Murray as the Mayor, and Alyssa Milano as the female lead.

And this cast works fantastic together. The dialogue and character balance works perfectly together and forms a new, completely unique entry to the Ghostbusters franchise. This really feels like the "next" Ghostbusters. In fact, Dan Aykroyd has said in an interview, "This is essentially the third movie."

Playing the game

In Ghostbusters, you play as a new recruit. You don't actually play one of the original Ghostbusters. (Though, you might in Multiplayer.. I don't know). Your character rarely ever speaks, and even though you're the one doing the bulk of the Ghostbustin', you really are on the side lines for the story.

It actually works out perfectly. This is the first game in which I play the silent "main" character, and feel like I'm totally immersed in the game's story. Maybe that's because I'm not the main character. I'm part of an ensemble cast. They're the real stars and I'm the support. For the most part, I'm watching them unravel the story, and speak their hilarious lines.

But, I'm still totally part of their group. Bustin' Ghosts is completely a team effort. They'll throw out their traps while I've captured a ghost in my proton stream. They'll revive me if I'm knocked down. And I do the same for them. They're my pals!

Virtual Monument

Many of the areas in the game are 3D imaginings of places from the movies. You can walk around the Ghostbuster HQ, you go to the Sedgewick Hotel featured in Ghostbusters 1. You go to the New York Public Library, also featured in Ghostbusters 1. You go the Historical Museum, as featured in Ghostbusters 2.

You also come across many artifacts from the two movies. In fact, the painting of Vigo (from Ghostbusters II) is sitting in the garage of the Ghostbuster HQ. There are tons of references from the original movies, as well as pop culture from the late 80s.

Taking a virtual tour of these sets reminds me a lot of Lost Via Domus. In the Lost game, you play a new character and discover the world of Lost for yourself. You can walk around the hatch, the beach, the pearl station. You find artifacts like the VW bus, the 2 skeletons. You follow the river through the Jungle. The characters are voiced by their actual actors. I wrote about this back on August 24th, 2008. It's a virtual world.

Of course, the big difference is that Ghostbusters the game was written and "created" by their original cast and creators. Lost Via Domus was a simple fan fiction written by huge fans of the show, who happen to work at Ubisoft.

Perfect Pacing

Ghostbusters is pretty linear, and has some very gamey pacing. The game is split up into several different missions. Chapters, really. Each chapter is about 2 or 3 hours long depending on how much time you waste blowing stuff up, or searching for artifacts.

In my opinion, 2 to 3 hours is a perfect length for a chapter. It's just long enough that you can get through a chapter in one sitting.  After you finish a chapter, everyone is back at Ghostbusters HQ figuring out what to do next. It's the perfect point to set down the controls for the next time you get back to it.

Definitely Play this Game!

If you are or were a fan of the Ghostbusters and LOVE nostalgia, you definitely need to play this game. I would still suggest renting it though as $60 is still quite a price to pay.

One thing to note, the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC versions are identical and were the ones written by the original cast.  The Wii, Playstation 2, Nintendo DS, and PSP versions were developed by some other developer and are probably utter crap.




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