|System: DS, X360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Red Fly Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jun. 16, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Ghostbusters has been a hit movie, a hit song, and a hit cartoon show. Perhaps the axiom third times a charm, is true, as this franchise has never been a great video game. Some things are just better left dead.
Ghostbusters for the DS is a decent effort, but it falls short. Its not perfect, nor is it much fun in the long run. Its a textbook example of a product failing to realize its potential. Its obvious that this franchise has been milked to a powder. No more ectoplasm to suckle off this dead cash cows teat. What makes things even more unsettling is that the original writers of the movie were commissioned to pen the storyline for this game. Granted you wont get to appreciate the full effect of their effort on the DS, but lets just say that its obvious that their best writing days are behind them. Im talking about Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd. Its the same tired old premise with a few new gags, gadgets, and ghosts added. The developers may have been better off with younger talent more in-tune to gaming.
But, lets not let the developers off the hook. This game has some nagging flaws. There are control issues, especially control response, and also the clumsy vehicle. The stylus is over-extended in its use, resulting in some awkward cross-handed finagling that can cost you some hits. Enemies often attack from off-screen making it almost impossible to protect your character from taking a few hits. The top-down, isometric camera angle, used in a lot of classic RPGs, does not always afford the best perspective. The draw distance can be very limited when driving. Changing characters is a pain, and upgrades really dont seem to make much of a difference in most missions.
Despite these flaws, the game is not unplayable, its just more frustrating than need be. Its unpolished, and it seems like a slight if youve paid full price for it. Thats why Im going to recommend this instantly as a rental. A day or two with the Busters is more than enough, and you wont feel too dispirited having parted with money better spent elsewhere. Theres not a lot of replay value here either, so be forewarned.
Ghostbusters is an action RPG hybrid. You will take control of the four main characters from the movie. The console versions include a fifth playable character that is essentially you. As in true RPG fashion, you will tackle various quests and missions, leveling-up each character. Increasing skills, attributes, and weapons is accomplished by completing various side-missions, collecting items, and destroying enemies. In this case, evil entities will have to be zapped, vacuumed, and trapped, just like old times.
Events take place in the haunted metropolis of Manhattan again. Various ghosts, demons, and assorted monstrosities are running amok, panicking the population, and threatening to destroy the city. The giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is back. Other Ghostbusters staples include the famous proton packs, the Ecto-1 Ghostbusters mobile, and, of course, the theme song. Youll hear that damn theme song every time you hop into the Ecto-1. Its obviously tuned to Ghostbusters FM, Playing Ghostbusters, all day, all night, and all day and all night again, and again Fortunately, you can turn the song off; and you will.