Hello all! Last week, I replayed an obscure Dreamcast game that's...okay.
Today, with the recent untimely passing of writer/director Harold Ramis, I decided to replay the only good Ghostbusters game ever made.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game was developed by Terminal Reality (who made cult favorite BloodRayne) and published by Atari. Set after the second Ghostbusters movie, in 1991, you play as a silent recruit, the newest member of the Ghostbusters. Naturally, ghosts have been appearing en masse around New York City (again) so it's up to the Ghostbusters to stop them.
As I said, you play as a rookie Ghostbuster. You don't even have a name, as Dr. Venkman insists they call you "Rookie" so they don't get too attached to you. Because you're testing new equipment that, uh, hasn't been properly tested.
The game plays like a standard shooter, or as much of a "shooter" as a Ghostbusters game can be. Your primary weapon is the signature Proton Pack; pill the trigger, and a stream of ghost-busting energy fires out, eliminating smaller ghosts, and weakening larger ghosts. Sufficiently weaken a large ghost, and you can switch to a Capture Stream and pull the ghost towards the Trap that you or one of the other Ghostbusters set. These struggles with the ghosts are pretty awesome, as you have to pull in various directions and even "slam" the ghost around to maneuver it to the trap.
You also get some other weapons, like the Boson Dart (which is actually a large ball of energy and not really a dart) and a Slime Tether to attack specific ghosts with. The game is fun to play, but a little repetitive and short. Thankfully, however, this isn't a run-of-the-mill, generic, boring, bargain-bin "franchise" you see in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart. This is Ghostbusters.
And it's a treat for Ghostbusters fans, like me, and probably a lot of you. Terminal Reality did an amazing job bringing the world of Ghostbusters to life. You could spend all day just exploring the famous garage, taking in the sights, sliding down the pole, checking out Ecto-1, talking to the painting of Vigo...it goes on and on. And this appreciation for the source material goes beyond the Firehouse. The first level, in fact, is the hotel from the first movie. You get to trash it just like they did. Also Slimer.
And the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Again.
Simple and brief as it may be, the boss battle against Stay-Puft is a standout moment in the game for me. Because it's Stay-Puft. But more to the point, it's a cool battle, one where you fight him off as he climbs up a building after you.
But the best part about the game-by far-is the inclusion of the original cast. All four Ghostbusters (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Harold Ramis) reprise their roles of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore, and Egon Spengler. And it's awesome. They recorded a heap of dialogue for the game, not just for the cutscenes, but also in-mission chatter. And while some lines repeat, you never get tired of it.
It's not just them either, as Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz) and William Atherton (Walter Peck) are along for the ride. And Max Von Sydow even returns as the voice of Vigo! At one point, you can talk to Vigo, and he says some serious things as well as things like "Your shoe's untied!" Just amazing.
The game's pretty sweet looking graphically, though it suffers from some slowdown. But there's a lot of chaos going down most of the time, so it's kind of understandable. And if there's one major fault I find with the game, it's that you can't drive the Ecto-1. AARRRGGGHH!
But even so, if you're a Ghostbusters fan, chances are you've played this already. But if you haven't, do go pick it up. It's a tremendous pile of Ghostbusters fan-service, and it's the greatest Ghostbusters game by a mile. Seriously.
R.I.P. Harold Ramis.
Questions, Comments, and future GOTW suggestions go in the usual spot!
Next week, this article falls on April Fools Day. Would I dream of taking part in such a foolish holiday? Maybe...