Saturday, July 11, 2009

Xbox 360 - Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters by Atari

I had been waiting for this game for over a year. When it got postponed last year, I was disappointed. It almost seemed like it wasn't going to be released. However, it has since been released (in June 2009) and upon release I high hopes for this game, but alas the balloon has burst.


I was hoping for a brand new story with brand new things. Instead,
Ghostbusters gives a rehash of everything that's been done in the films already. Basically, the game takes off with the lore set up in the films and tries to expand on that. Specifically, the Gozer mythos. I was hoping to get away from this, but I guess it fits with what they are trying to do.

Unfortunately, there is a severe disconnect between the story and the gameplay. So, what you're doing in the game seems distant to the story line. Basically, you play as a new recruit to the Ghostbusters team. So, in addition to Egon, Ray, Peter, Winston and Janine, you are now a new young recruit to the team.

Because you are new (and in the game's driver's seat), you are expected to do everything. All the while, the team gives you praise after you finish off a ghost.


You carry a backpack and traps. You have to trap ghosts that appear. In much of the beginning of the game, you do this. Later on in the game, there's far less ghost trapping. In fact, there are some things that appear to be ghosts, but the game won't let you trap them. So, you just have to eliminate them with your protonic stream.

Each level is prefaced by a cinematic that leads you into the gameplay. Unfortunately, the cinematic is disconnected from the gameplay. So, while it's kind of cool to watch, they get boring really fast when you just want to get to playing. In many cases, I found myself often skipping them just to get the level going.

Note that the cinematics are rendered and not actual footage. So, they are sometimes tedious to watch.


The controls are reasonably intuitive. There's nothing overly strange about the way your character handles. The one thing that is annoying is that there is no health gauge to speak of. So, you really don't know when your character is about to die. The other annoying thing is that the proton pack overheats and you have to release the heat before you can use it again.


There are upgrades in the game, but they are mostly useless.


The bosses in this game are reasonably easy to defeat. The exception to this are the flying cherubs. These things are actually the hardest enemy to deal with. Because the pack is so imprecise, you can't easly target these flying cherubs. And, even when you do, another one swoops in and knocks you down. There is no defense against these things. Even on the easiest level of this game, these cherubs are difficult to defeat. Even the final boss wasnt nearly as hard as the flying cherubs.

Perfect Aim

This is another in the ever growing numbers of shooters where you have sucky aim and every enemy has perfect aim even when they are but one pixel in size. Game designers MUST stop doing this in games. They must give some level of random probability of miss to enemies.


The game is way way too short. The hardness levels go up exponentially. Unless you really like your frustration level high, don't play this game on anything other than easy. The story is far too familiar and not enough different from the first film to really say this has a great story. The gameplay is medicre for a shooter and, at times, tedious. The proton stream weapon is cool, but you don't really get to use it enough in the way it should be used.

  • Sound: 8/10 (average)
  • Graphics: 9.5/10 (looks great at times)
  • Gameplay: 5/10 (fair, but hard a times)
  • Story: 5/10 (too much the same as the films)
  • Bugginess: N/A
  • Controls: 9/10 (well done)
  • Bang-to-buck: 1/10 (too short, no replay value)
  • Play Value: $10 (rent it)
  • Overall: 5/10 (needed a lot more work)

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