I have had a week of non-stop Ghostbusters action. I watched the 1984 classic, the slightly less classic 1989 sequel and topped it off with the fantastic new game from developers Terminal Reality.
Keep in mind that this is a review of the version available on the PS3, and in my case the X-Box 360, and should not be confused with the version for the Nintendo Wii. The Ghostbusters game I played allowed me to live my dream: blow stuff up with a proton pack. I grew up with the cartoons, and my dream car is the Ecto-1. I was born to trap ghosts with Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston.
Ghostbusters the game picks up two years after the events of the second movie. You know, the one with the pink mood goo and the evil painting and the animated Statue of Liberty walking down the streets of New York like the Marshmallow Man did in the first flick? Yeah, that one. The game ports you back to 1991 seamlessly. All of the original Ghostbusters are back to provide their voices for the game and the character models make our heroes look just how you remember them. Even the in-game Doritos advertisements carry the old school '90s look. The attention to these little details makes it feel like we're seeing an unreleased third movie in the series. The fact that Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis wrote the game also helps, I suppose.
It took a little practice, but in no time I was slamming ghosts into traps like a pro. The second I was able to shoot a proton stream I was hooked. The game succeeds in providing classic villains like Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as well as providing new and interesting ghouls along the way.
The game's environments are also pulled right from the films. You can explore the entire Ghostbuster firehouse HQ and interact with the dancing toaster, and later destroy the banquet hall at the Sedgewick Hotel. Since you play the role of the unnamed rookie you are responsible for trying out the experimental equipment including a slime cannon and stasis ray. There are light and sometimes frustrating puzzle missions but you'll mostly find yourself blasting a ton of ghosts.
Online play on X-Box Live is also fun as you get to play as one the four Ghostbusters and compete against others for paranormal supremacy.
It seems publishers are finally figuring out what it takes to make good games based on movies. Although short, Ghostbusters is an instant classic and worth a rental at the very least.
If you're a fan of the series, you'll find something to enjoy in the game play, story, or in the well-written dialogue throughout the game. You should definitely give it a try, unless you really are afraid of ghosts. If you'll excuse me, I'm trying to build my own proton pack.
◗ Beef E. Thompson: firstname.lastname@example.org