Sunday, August 9, 2009

Billium's Belated Review: Ghostbusters (XBox 360)

I recently received a few 360 titles for my birthday and Ghostbusters was most certainly first on my list to dive into. I have been a fan of the franchise since childhood. From the movies and cartoon spin-offs to the toys (I still have my proton pack and ghost trap) and all the horrid abominations that were referred to as "video games". Especially the Commie 64 version that plagued my nightmares, until recently that is.

Ghostbusters for the 360 and a virtually identical PS3 version, felt like a labor of love by the programmers as I played through. With the entire cast, minus Moranis and Weaver that is, reprising their respective roles, it was like a fanboys wet dream. It was voiced exceptionally well by video game standards with one minor exception. Don't get me wrong, I love Alyssa Milano, but she does not belong here. This is coming from someone who had a three year long Charmed addiction, and grew up watching Who's the Boss. She can't act. On the screen she has some very redeeming assets, but in digital form, not so much.

From a gameplay perspective, capturing ghosts was wonderfully fun. From crossing the streams to slamming a ghost into the trap, it felt very faithful to the source material. The controlls were also spot on and intuitive, and never hindered me whatsoever. The puzzle elements were not at all difficult, but they didn't seem squeezed in just to add gameplay either like some titles. Wandering around the firehouse is enjoyable to anyone familiar with the series. With nice little touches like Slimer displayed in a containment unit and the Vigo painting and his little quips. Everything really falls into place in that aspect. It is also an easy game to nitpick however.

The story is a bit uneven as are later level designs. The first few levels are pure fan service while later levels are a bit bland and unimaginative, which is disappointing considering where they could have taken it. Also, some of the dialog comes off a bit too cheesy. Though this may have a bit to do with Aykroid and Ramis penning a majority of the script. It's not bad, it just really oozes an 80's sensability.

All in all, if you are even moderately a fan of the Ghostbusters, it is certainly worth a playthrough, or three in my case. If not, there is still fun to be had if you're willing to look past a few blemishes in an otherwise wonderful title. I will certainly come back for more.

And now for something completely different:

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