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Old 07-23-2009, 03:09 PM   #1
Pungello1988
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Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Ghostbusters: The Video Game
High- Inclusion of the four main Ghostbusters (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson) and some of the supporting cast for voice work and writing.
Low- Really bad lip synching in some cut-scenes
WTF- Certain random villains are harder than the final boss

Listen…do you smell something? Well I do and it’s sweet 1980’s nostalgia; ever since 1984 people all over the world have wanted to strap on a proton pack and bust ghosts with Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston. Now twenty five years after the release of the first movie developer Terminal Reality and publisher Atari asked me (and the gaming world) to rewind the clock to 1991 and join the fearless foursome. As a fan of the franchise I have wanted a new Ghostbusters story ever since the cartoon series was cancelled and Ghostbusters: The Video Game is the answer to my prayers. The game acts as the third movie in the franchise and it attempts to tie together and wrap up the stories from the first two movies. The premise of the game is simple, fighting ghosts to advance the plot, but the comedy aspect of Ghostbusters was always more important than the action and the game does a commendable job of keeping that comedic aspect. With actors like Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis it would be unnatural for this game to be anything but a comedy.

If there was one thing that made the original movie funny it was the playing of the mundane vs. the supernatural. Three guys lose their day jobs and decide to set up a paranormal elimination team. They see crazy supernatural phenomena every day but they still act like “ghost janitors”, as if the spirit world is no big deal. The game does a good job of this by keeping the dialogue lighthearted even when the levels get slightly creepy. The equipment seems like it is just thrown together and it has a very “homemade” feel to it, which shows the supernatural being warded off with a bunch of random junk plopped on a pack. Ghostbusters was always a comedy first and an action/adventure second and the game tries not deviate from that standard any more than it has to. For the game to be fun and function as a game it needs to have solid action and gameplay. The game features a lot more ghost hunting than the movies but it still tries to keep its comedic edge. Many situations in the game are silly (like the Stay Puft marshmallow man) and even when the game gets serious characters will make funny or witty dialogue to ease the tension. This constant chatter between the original Ghostbusters made the experience memorable because I felt like I was hanging out with the Ghostbusters as a member of the team.

While the game stays true to the movies it also has some great gameplay elements that hooked me right away. Hunting down and scanning paranormal entities is the first part of the gameplay. The PKE meter is used for this and it acts as a hot and cold meter telling the player if he is getting close to the ghost or moving away from it. When the player finds a ghost he can scan it and then read its entry in Tobin’s Spirit Guide to find its strengths, weaknesses, and back story. Certain ghosts later in the game are more susceptible to the slime blower and after scanning them and reading up I was able to deal with them quicker and with ease. I could also use the PKE meter to find cursed artifacts; every scan of a ghost or collectible that I found netted me money to upgrade my equipment.

The ghost catching mechanic has a distinctive “fishing” feel to it and even though this process of catching a ghost is totally fictional it still feels right. After wearing down a ghost the player can put it into a capture stream and “reel it in”, the ghost will try to move away so the player can tug in the opposite direction and slam the ghost all over the room to stun it. The action never gets boring because the ghosts will vary from ghosts that simply need to be blasted away to ghosts that need to be trapped.“Animator” ghosts will possess objects and fling them at you to keep you on your toes. The player is hired as an experimental equipment technician, a guinea pig for Egon's new gadgets, and because of this is given new equipment throughout the course of the game. Each of these equipment types are like Ghostbusters equivalents of traditional shooter weapons, for example the shock blast is like a supernatural shotgun. This allows the game to keep traditional shooter elements in the game while still having a unique twist on them. The environments are fully destructible and it is a lot of fun blasting a room to bits. It actually added to the humor to go into a room and then wreck it all in the name of catching a ghost that would never have done as much damage as me. I was given a damage tally based on how much I destroyed but there was no negative consequence so I went wild.

The game looks great and the CGI cut scenes are amazing, the character models are highly detailed and are the spitting image of the actors. There are some slight technical flaws, like bad lip synching and framerate slow up but these never are a hindrance to the fun of the game. The game’s sound is taken straight from the first movie and it features Elmer Bernstein’s awesome score and Ray Parker Jr’s “Ghostbusters.” The only issues I have with the sound are that the voice acting can be slightly low at times and the music doesn’t always fit what is going on in the game.

1980’s nostalgia has been a common theme for media outlets in the past few years and I love to see new material as long as it is done right. I was happy to see this franchise get a sequel in video game form that treats the property well and touches on all of the things that made the movies so funny. Though it isn’t a perfect game technically (lip synching issues and pixilation of cut scenes for example) it is a satisfying game that is a lot of fun to play and that accomplishes what it set out to do; provide a new story in the Ghostbusters universe while staying true to the tone and spirit of the films.

Disclosures: This game was purchased via retail and was reviewed on the Xbox 360. Approximately 30 hours was devoted to single player modes (completed 3 times) and 10 hours to multiplayer modes.

Parents: The game is rated “T” by the ESRB for comic mischief, fantasy violence, and mild language. The game features a few scary and creepy levels with some blood in one of the levels present. There is a mild amount of language but it isn’t very prominent in the dialogue.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The game has a subtitle option but sometimes the subtitles don’t show up for dialogue, the dialogue can also be hard to hear especially with Bill Murray’s character because he mumbles through a couple of lines.

Last edited by Pungello1988; 07-29-2009 at 05:59 PM. Reason: Rewrite
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:13 PM   #2
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Hey Pungello, this is a nice first effort, but its way too long and the second person tone is not how we like our reviews here. Instead of having a conversation with the reader, have a conversation with yourself in the first person and try to explore why you like the Ghostbuster movie(s) so much and why the game captures the Ghostbuster spirit (no pun intended). Some other possible questions to answer would be why is it the right time (or not the right time) for such a game. Do we need to revisit the 80s? Do we now need an A Team video game? Once you've answered these questions, all the rest are just minor details to your overall criticism. Thanks for submitting and I hope to see another rewrite.

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Old 07-23-2009, 04:20 PM   #3
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Thanks for the reply, when I do a re-write should I post a new thread or update this one?
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:24 PM   #4
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pungello1988 View Post
Thanks for the reply, when I do a re-write should I post a new thread or update this one?
You can just update this one and post a reply letting us know. Thanks.

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Old 07-23-2009, 05:22 PM   #5
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Ok I rewrote it let me know what you think.
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Old 07-24-2009, 01:42 AM   #6
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

I love the fact that you are explaining what made the movie great and how the game reflects those same qualities.

I wouldn't mind reading more about the actual gameplay and more about what makes this game fun to play( or not fun to play)

also, It would make it easier to read if you added another space in between your paragraphs.

other than that, I like this reveiw.
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:02 PM   #7
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Thanks for the feedback colys, I added another space so it'll be easier to read.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:45 PM   #8
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

While I do think it is necessary for the game to be compared to the movies, the review reads a bit to much like a review of the movies IMO.

As someone who likes video games, I would like to read more about the game itself and whether or not it can stand on its own as a game (or if it's just another one of those crappy movie inspired games)

Overall I still like the review, but just needs more info about the game
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:09 PM   #9
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Ok I added some more stuff about the gameplay itself.
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:25 AM   #10
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

"and even if the game wasn’t based on a movie it would still have solid shooter elements."

That phrase kinda stuck out like a sore thumb for me.

"Though it isn’t a perfect game it is a satisfying game that is a lot of fun to play and that accomplishes what it set out to do; provide a new story in the Ghostbusters universe while staying true to the tone and spirit of the films"

I really like this concussion, but it needs to be explained more by the review. by this I mean, what exactly keeps this game from being perfect and what does it do to overcome these imperfections that makes it satisfying as a game(something other than the fact that it stays true to the movies)

also, you have done a really nice job of proving that the game stays true to the movies, but you have it separated in little pieces scattered throughout the review.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:34 AM   #11
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Ok I condensed the movie/game comparisons to one paragraph and changed some other stuff, I also clarified that when I said it wasn't perfect I meant technically, framerate issues and that kind of stuff. Thanks for the feedback
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:58 PM   #12
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

other than a few missing words here and there I see nothing wrong with this review. Good Job!

I personally would like to see what score you give the game, but that is just a little pet peeve of mine.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:30 AM   #13
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Hi Pungello,

Thanks for this review. I think you've definitely got a lot of heart in it, but the actual substance of the review needs a little polish.

I think the largest issue is that you're obviously a fan of the movies (just like I am) but this is first and foremost a game review, so any discussion of the films has to take a strictly supporting role. I would definitely recommend taking a step back, reevaluating the balance between how much you talk about the films and how much you talk about the actual game, and then tweaking it a bit.

Use references from the movies when it's appropriate, but don't go to that well too often and also keep in mind that there might be people reading this review have never seen the films, so some of the things you reference may not be important or interesting for those who don't share the same context.

Give it a trim, massage it a bit, and I'd be happy to take another look at a re-submission.
Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:18 AM   #14
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Thanks for the feedback Brad, looking back at it the movie/game comparison paragraph is pretty long, I'll cut that down and add some more details about the game itself.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:26 AM   #15
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Re: Please Rate This Review: Ghostbusters: The Video Game

Ok I cut down the stuff about the movie and added some more about the gameplay mechanics.
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