Ghostbusters the Video Game Review

Ghostbusters, the Video Game PS3 Edition
Ghostbusters, the Video Game PS3 Edition

For the die hard fan of the movies, Ghostbusters the Video game is a worthy sequel. The story is well thought out and the dialogue is witty. With Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis involved, this type of interaction with the creators is rare, and who doesn’t want to be a Ghostbuster?

To coincide with the movie’s 25th Anniversary on June 16th, the videogame was released with similar fanfare along with the blu-ray editions of the movies.

While an official third movie is in the works, this video game fills the gap by satisfying the most demanding of critics who find passing the buck to a new generation unfashionable.

Picking up two years after the events in the second movie, the player assumes the role of “The Rookie.” He is the unnamed hero who gets to play with the new toys Egon invents. When a huge PKE explosion occurs and the shockwave from it frees Slimer, everyone is racing back to the Sedgewick Hotel (essentially the trainer level) to recapture the slime-ball. Afterwards, the team finds the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man back in town. It seems the puffball is after someone, and the heroes meet Illyssa Selwyn, voiced by Alyssa Milano, a museum curator in charge of the Gozer exhibit. That is opening soon, and the revelation can only spell trouble for the team.

Nearly all of the original cast is back to lend their voices to this game. Bill Murray reprises his role as Peter Venkman with the same conviction and Ernie Hudson provides the most laugh-out-loud line should Rookie accidentally slime Zeddemore.

Sadly, Lewis does not return. Rick Moranis has an unique charm that makes him a comedic genius. To hear the original cast is better than no reunion at all, while watching their CGI rendered likenesses grace the screen.

Is Venkman a Thunderbird?
Is Venkman a Thunderbird?

While the visuals are beautiful to look at, the game is designed to bring out the feelings of nostalgia for the movie. Beyond that, the game itself does not try to be unique. And some of the graphics takes getting used to. The character renderings in the Wii/PS2 version look less plasticy when compared to the higher-end Xbox360/PS3 version, and the character designer for Venkman must have been inspired by Garry Anderson, better known for his super-marionette work in Thunderbirds.

Spiraling corridors and Lovecraftian feelings of dread are slightly muted for a youth oriented rating. True to the movies, the spooks come in a variety of shapes, while the characters are either caricatures or photo-realistic. Depending on one’s tastes, those graphics takes getting used to.

On the Wii, the feel of trying to catch a ghost with a Wiimote certainly has its attraction. Who doesn’t want to point a neutrona wand at a ghost? While PS3/Xbox version tops the charts on, initial reports showed that Wii versions were more easily found than the former. And interest in pointing the wiimote around was not enough to drive up Wii sales.

The Team with the Rookie
The Team with the Rookie in the Wii/PS2 version.

On other systems, with a different style of controller, instead of ghostbusting, players may feel like they are fishing. Ghosts have to be bashed around and worn out before they can be reeled in. Players may have to wrangle the character past obstacles on the floor in order to trap the ghost. Sometimes, the on screen character is facing an unusual direction in order to pull a ghost in.

Despite the console interface differences, Ghostbusters the Video game is a fun play, making some players feel like they are a ghostbuster. The story is filled with interesting tidbits of back story about the villains and nicely brings the franchise to a fulfilling trilogy, even though there is a movie in the works.

Like most first-person-shooter narratives, the direction is fixed and there is a tiny amount of replay value depending one’s personal objectives. When trying to complete Toban’s Spirit Guide, items are discovered either by using the ecto-goggles (PS3/PC/Xbox360) or blasted into the open (Wii/PS2). Also, Equipment upgrades are either bought or obtained in-game. This variety makes for a confusing decision for which one to buy for multi-console owners, and most have opted for the current-gen version.

Playstation 2 Review

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  1. This game looks really good, you are right every kid that watched this movie back in the day wanted to be a ghost buster including me! The graphics and game play look really good and the game story even better. With all the original cast as voice actors in this one its a must have for any ghost busters fan! ( Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson). The new ghost busters video game truly brings an old classic back into the new world of video gaming!

  2. I love the sound of this game and am going to have to look into getting it. I loved the original Ghostbusters the most. One of the things I appreciate about this new game is that it is keeping the soul of the movies alive and that it has convinced most of the actors to do the voices. There is nothing worse than hearing a well-known voice suddenly sound different, so I really appreciate this. Thanks for the review.

  3. I think I would place this one as a rental for some winter afternoon. I’m not a huge fan of nostalgic movie fantasy using images that make me think of Johnny Neutron. Seems pretty kid orientated. I need something more stimulating graphically

  4. I’m kinda with Mockingbird on this one. Although I love the movie, it doesn’t do too much for me to have it as a game. I have to admit though that the graphics look great. I’m not saying I won’t play it, but it’s not at that top of my list.

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