Games: Supernatural romp: ‘Ghostbusters’ continues fun where movies left off
June 28, 2009
If you’ve been waiting 20 years for "Ghostbusters III," it’s finally time to strap on your proton pack.
"Ghostbusters: The Video Game" brings back the original crew to follow up their adventures from the 1984 and 1989 movies. The Ghostbusters are voiced by actors Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson. And the story line was created by the original writers, Ramis and Aykroyd.
The T-rated game — developed by Terminal Reality and RedFly for Atari — picks up two years after "Ghostbusters II." You play as a rookie who signed up just in time for the latest supernatural invasion of New York City.
The game basically involves running around spooky rooms, dank passages and other creepy environments and blasting ghosts. You’re given a new kind of proton pack that has eight settings that do different kinds of damage. For example, you can hit foes with the traditional proton beam, a sort of freeze ray or a stream of green slime. Of course errant blasts sometimes cause collateral damage — a spectacular and fun bonus. The pack’s effects on ghosts and its impact on the environment make the game downright fun to play.
The game offers a good variety of foes, including some old favorites, such as Slimer, the librarian and Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. However, there’s plenty of new paranormal personalities to tackle. Some are challenging, but others are on the dim side. But that’s OK since the interesting story, gags and action keep things moving briskly.
The story line contains a good blend of suspense and humor. What’s up with the malevolent Gozer? What’s his connection to Venkman’s latest love interest — voiced by Alyssa Milano? Why does the mysterious architect Ivo Shandor keep popping up?
The humor’s delivered in many forms, ranging from characters’ wry comments to visual effects. Although the timing is a bit slow on some of the gags, it usually works.
The action returns to familiar locations — the Sedgewick Hotel and New York Public Library — but also moves to some new sites, including a museum, a mysterious island, a cemetery and a different dimension. The levels offer interesting challenges and a good deal of variety.
The visuals are very good. The environments are full of detail and creepy atmosphere. The character renderings — especially those of the main stars — are very realistic.
And if all that bustin’ gets you feeling nostalgic, you can get the original movies, which are being released on Blu-ray disc by Sony to celebrate the franchise’s 25th anniversary.
Platforms: Xbox 360 (tested), PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii, PCOn the Web: www.ghostbusters game.com