Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ghostbusters: The Video Game REVIEW

It is just another night in New York City when a paranormal pulse sweeps across the city starting you (the Rookie) off on a brand new Ghostbusters adventure. You play the role of the rookie (who never gets a name because Venkman does not want to get too attached) who gets to test all of the new proton pack equipment. Ghostbusters: The Video Game starts off two years after the events of Ghostbusters 2 so for all intents and purposes, this is the sequel Ghostbusters fans have been looking forward to. The question is, “Does it live up to the Ghostbusters reputation?”

From the opening cinematic one can get an idea of how well written (in the GB sense) this game is. It is witty, well acted, and it will probably charm you right into a Ghostbusters suit.

The story is straightforward enough but without giving too much away, the city is in trouble again and this time you get to help in the rescue. In the first level the rookie is tracking down Slimer at the Hotel Sedgwick and it is there that the Ghostbusters discover that something bigger is abound. From there you are taken on a romp through Times Square, the museum, the library, alternate dimensions (of course), and even Central Park.

None of the story ever feels forced or out of place (except for the last scene between Peter and the love interest) and it is all held together by the glue that is classic GB humor. You could not write this stuff better yourself.

When it comes to game play it is nothing new or innovative. It is your somewhat ordinary, run of the mill, slightly modified, third person shooter. None of that matters though because it still manages to feel fun and fresh. The combat is changed up only slightly throughout the game and it (the combat) never failed to satisfy.

The biggest problem with the game was with some of the combat; it was riddled with intense difficulty spikes (keep in mind that I was playing it through on the Professional difficulty though I imagine that it would spike in all of the same places) that were numerous enough that it almost ended with the controller in/on the wall/floor. In these moments it almost felt as though the game mechanics were broken and that you were relying on luck to get through. I would try a section of a level a ton of times and I would only pass through after what seemed like an eternity. I considered a restart of the game on a different difficulty level on more than one occasion. The last thing is that the load times became annoying when forced to something in the game more than twice.

There are a few other things that were wrong with the game but nothing quite at erroneous as the difficulty spikes. For example during some of the cut scenes there was awkward motion capture based on what was going on in the game. It seemed as though the characters body was telling a different story than the voice acting and it just felt unpolished. There was also some minor slowdown during times of intense ectoplasmic action but nothing that broke or spoiled the game.

On quite the opposite end of the spectrum, it never got old smashing headstones with the proton stream. The destructible items/environment in the game were a nice touch that definitely added to the aesthetic.

I would play the game again if only to nab some missing achievements but even without them I would be able to see myself playing it at least once more. The game was not too long or short; it ended right where it felt like it should have.

In the end the game stands out as though it could easily be the third part of the Ghostbusters canon. From the cut scenes to the random in game dialogue the game feels like a piece of the mythos. In the level that I will not spoil for you, Winston says, “So this is where all of the slime that was running under the city came from.”

Bustin’ made me feel sooo good.

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