Ghostbusters: The Video Game {2009}

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A third installment in the popular Ghostbusters franchise that finds our favorite paranormal policemen training a new generation of recruits, right in time to save the city from a trip straight to hell…again. Featuring the voice talents of all four Ghostbusters (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson) as well as William Atherton reprising his role as Gregory Peck.

So there’s a new Ghostbusters film coming out soon, and just judging by the online vitriol that’s being spewed about, one might come to the mistaken thought that this movie’s success or failure will determine the future of mankind, like Ghostbusters is that critical moment in the history of the world where we decide our fate. It’s become so bad that I don’t have the will to keep arguing about it anymore, say you’re looking forward to it and the response will be it’s only because you’re a sheep that fell for Hollywood’s tricks, say you’re not into, and the response you’re likely to hear is it’s obviously only because you’re a sexist pig who doesn’t like woman. Personally, after all the screaming and shouting, I stopped caring, and I needed a place to get my Zen properly realigned (that’s how Zen works right, just like a trip to the chiropractor). Since it was all the Ghostbuster drama that screwed up my Zen or Chi or whatever makes Goku shoot energy waves at effeminate space lords, I figured it was Ghostbusters that should fix it, so I was creating a fun pack for myself consisting of the original two flicks (yes, I loved, LOVED, Ghostbusters 2) and the 2009 video game when it occurred to me that I’m not sure how many people missed out on the opportunity to play what was almost Ghostbusters 3 (as admitted by Dan Aykroyd after Harold Ramis’ death). Knowing that there are others out there beside myself who are done dealing with what will, I’m sure, become known as “The Great Ghostbuster Debate of 2016,” I figured I’d offer an alternative for anyone who just needs to immerse themselves in the Ghostbusters experience without having to deal with all the rancor.

The game picks up not too long after the events of the second movie, with the Ghostbusters deciding to turn their one location business into a franchise. That’s where you come in, the first in a new line of recruits training for the right to head up the next Ghostbusters location. Unfortunately, you don’t get much of a chance to train before the city is once again being overrun with denizens of the underworld, and not just any old ghosts, but the ten thousand year old Sumerian God Gozer making yet another attempt to take over the world. This time the tricky god, who once again takes the form of The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, has a hidden agenda beside world domination though. You’ll have to battle hordes of minions and some impressive bosses if you intend to stop him, but don’t worry; you won’t have to do it alone as all four of the originals will help you out along the way. Hopefully, it’ll be enough to save the world, otherwise obtaining your ghost hunting license is going to be the least of your concerns.

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{Thousands of years of forms Gozer could pick and he just keeps coming back as Stay Puft}

Ghostbusters has everything a game needs to be great, an engaging story, easy to understand controls, a slew of enemy types, and enough action to keep your proton pack in constant use. The story was written by original Ghostbusters writers Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd, could easily stand alone as a film, and makes a great addition to the Ghostbusters storyline, bringing back some of your favorite characters while introducing two brand new ones. The dialogue between the characters is witty, chocked full of sarcasm, and absolutely hilarious. They managed to capture each character perfectly in both their mannerisms and type of speech. I almost wish they would have used the game’s plot for the newest film, but that’s neither here nor there at this point.

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{There’s even a few not so alive fan favorites that make a return}

The controls are easy to understand and a cinch to pick up. After a short tutoring section, you’ll be blasting ghosts and capturing demons left and right. Atari did a great job with the layout of the controls, making it easy to switch proton packs (there are a few different types in this game), wrangle your target, and slam it into a trap before continuing on to the next. The camera controls can get a little wonky at times, but it’s a rarity and shouldn’t bother you too much.

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{Though when it happens in the middle of a ghost attack it can be extremely frustrating}

The game looks amazing and the graphics will easily suck you in and keep you mesmerized right up until the moment you hit the power button. The enemy types are varied and thanks to your PKE meter, each has a different story. What this means is that whenever you run into a new enemy (and trust me, this happens quite often) you can scan it with your PKE meter, find out where it comes from, and what the best way to take it down is. You can also use your PKE meter to find hidden artifacts throughout the game, but as these don’t really do anything, only the most diehard, anal retentive gamer will care about collecting every single one. I would have been a little happier if the artifacts had made a difference in the game. You can also upgrade all your weapons plus the PKE, but since there aren’t that many upgrades, you’ll be completely maxed out only two thirds of the way through, meaning there really isn’t a whole lot of use to the extra cash you make as you progress after that. Because of this there isn’t much replay value here since all that’s left to do after beating the game is hunting down the missing artifacts, and if you just want to step in to catch some ghosts you can do that online with their special job system. You and three other people can all suit up and take on a series of specific challenges that involve surviving hordes of enemies or capturing specific ones, though after so long, I’m not sure how many people are still playing online.

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{Those haunted libraries aren’t going to clean themselves}

Even with the lack of a reason to play through the game again, just playing through once is worth enough, and since it has now been out for a while you can find it at your local used game store for the low, low price of only ten or fifteen bucks. Fan or no fan, this game has something everyone can enjoy, so what are you waiting for, go enjoy.

 

The Undead Review

 

Platform: X-Box 360, Playstation 3, Wii

Published By: Atari

Released Date: 2009

ESRB Rating: Rated T

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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