We came, we saw, we kicked its … well, you know the rest of that famous line uttered by Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), and fortunately, Ghotsbusters on the Nintendo Wii aspires to do much the same.
While the story is engaging, the voice acting superb and the musical score powerful; the game also suffers from simple, repetitive gameplay, though this alone does not hinder the overall experience.
You assume the role of an unnamed cadet for the Ghosbusters - apart from gender, there are no customizable options for your character. Not long after your character’s arrival, New York City experiences a spike in paranormal activity.
Gameplay (3 out of 5)
The game offers an original and engaging storyline, which links to events, characters and gizmos from the two films. The story as well as appearances of classic phantoms and locales from the series are among the saving graces of the game.
Gameplay itself is not the strongest component of the game, while there is more than just simply blasting ghosts and the proton packs are periodically equipped with upgrades, the gameplay is a bit simple and becomes quite repetitive. Though proton packs can be used to move objects, nullify the effects of negative slime and open doors, the means of capturing ghosts is effectively the same and becomes old very quickly. Basically, you blast away at a ghost until its energy is depleted, then slam it by swinging the Wii remote in various directions when prompted by the game. Now the ghost is finally ready, you are able to deploy the trap to permanently snare the ghost.
That said, most of the environment can be destroyed, but don’t worry about incurring penalties for the damage you caused. In the storyline, the city of New York agrees to pay all damages inflicted by the Ghosbusters. The amount of damage you cause impacts the rating you receive at the end of each chapter. The use of the P.K.E. Meeter creates some strategy as ghosts will often hide in inanimate objects. The device is also useful for seeing traps and following the tracks of a fleeing phantasm. The meter is also used to scan ghosts. Throughout the game you collect pages from Tobin’s Spirit Guide. The pages contain images of certain ghosts as you try to match up scans with pages. It appears to be a means to induce replay value.
Also, be prepared to do most of the work yourself. Though you are often accompanied by at least one other Ghosbuster, they don’t contribute much and frequently become incapacitated, relying on you to revive them.
Graphics and Sound (4 out of 5)
This is somewhat of a mixed bag, in this reviewer’s opinion, the sound is great though the graphics leave a great deal to be desired.
The game boasts a powerful music score, one that combines both classic and new compositions, and of course, great voice acting from the boys in beige themselves, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold, Ramis and Ernie Hudson. Annie Potts reprises her role as Jeannie and William Atherton returns as Peck , also look for Brian-Doyle Murray to make a quick appearance as the mayor of New York. The writing is great and the back and forth between the characters provide humorous moments, though while in actual gameplay they can get annoying. How many times do we need to hear Ray Stanz say “They felt that one in Pittsburgh”?
The graphics of the game are purposefully cartoonish, I assume this was a proactive move to set the game apart from its more graphically-advanced counterparts on the PS3 and 360. The environments look fine and the proton beam is impressive. The Ghostbusters themselves appear as humorous caricatures of the actors. Though I found Aykroyd’s appearance to look nothing like him, not even in a cartoony-sort of way.
Overall (4 out of 5)
The game is a must for fanatics of the series, the original story provides a new twist to the Ghostbuster’s old formula and has a great deal of cameo appearances, locations and apparitions from the series. While the weakness is the repetitive gameplay, that alone does not drag the game down and collecting the pages from Tobins Spirit Guide does offer some minor replay value. This game should prove an enjoyable gaming experience for Ghosbuster fans, both casual and borderline obsessed alike.