The Ghostbusters is a staple of any good 80s movie collection and is one of the more recognizable pop culture brands. This makes it all the more confusing as to why a title with such potential would have a difficult a time as this title did making it to market. After getting canned, and then revived and finally landing on Atari’s lap, we are blessed with what could be the quintessential Ghostbusters game. It lives up to the hype.
I originally picked up Ghostbusters: The Video Game for the Xbox 360 and after playing through a few levels I switched over to the Wii version for the unique control scheme and different art style. Both versions carried an identical story, but they felt like very different games.
As the newest member of the Ghostbusters team, it is your job to be the Experimental Equipment Technician. This is a fancy way of saying you’ll be carrying the untested and experimental equipment that has been developed in the Ghostbusters lab. You’ll have the option of playing through the game as a male or female character.
Once you get through the tutorial that explains how to play the game, you’ll start your first real mission. Controls are similar to the recent Metroid Prime title released for the Wii that utilizes the Wii Remote to look around and the nunchuck to control movement. This can get a little tiring, but ultimately works well for this game. B and A control primary and secondary weapon fire while the D Pad allows you to equip and change the active piece of equipment you are using. The nunchuck also handles locking on to an enemy and deploying ghost traps for capturing those pesky ghosts.
Each mission can be played alone or cooperatively. As you play through the levels you’ll have certain objectives that progress the story. The game is rather linear in that regard and doesn’t have a lot of open exploration at any given time. You’ll go room to room eliminating various spooks and ghosts and capturing them with your traps. As you progress, you’ll acquire new equipment from Boson Darts to the Stasis Stream. Usually, you’ll be awarded these upgrades as you need to utilize them in the game.
The concept of hunting ghosts and trapping them is a simple one, but in practice it can be quite challenging. Ghosts have an energy meter that must be depleted before they can be wrangled and ultimately trapped. This is accomplished using whatever equipment you currently have available to you be it the Blast Stream, Boson Darts, or something else. Once the ghost is worn down, you’ll use the Blast Stream to grab hold of the ghost. Slam arrows will appear indicating which direction you need to flick the remote in order to slam the ghost into a wall or floor. When a 4 way slam arrow appears, you can slam in any direction and deploy a trap to finally capture your ghost. It is definitely tougher than it sounds.
As you play, you’ll make use of the classic PKE Meter to track down ghosts that may be hiding and to scan ghosts for Tobin’s Guide. You’ll also notice a spot on your HUD that indicates the total damage you’ve caused to your current venue.
Of all the great things about this game, one feature of Ghostbusters The Video Game sealed the deal for me and that was the fact that the original actors performed the voices. It absolutely made the game for me and took it from being another generic adventure game to feeling like an interactive version of the movie. Another feature unique to the Wii version aside from the control scheme was the art style. The Wii version didn’t follow the other versions of the game with a realistic visual style and instead adopted the style from the Ghostbusters animated series and it really looked great.
In the end, Ghostbusters The Video Game really is an interactive version of the classic Ghostbusters world complete with humor and for this version of the game, very interactive ghost hunting. I loved everything about this game and my only issue would be that maybe it’s a little too easy to delete a profile, as my 5 yr old did on one occasion. Normally I recommend the 360 version when games are available cross platform, but I definitely think the Wii version is head and shoulders above any other version of this title.
Plays like: Metroid Prime 3
ESRB: E10+ for Fantasy Violence and Comic Mischief
Pros: A blast to play; Original actors for voice work
Cons: Too easy to delete profiles