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PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360

Reviewed on: PC

Terminal Reality
Publisher: Atari
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

Okay, I’ll admit it – I played through Ghostbusters a bit slower than I would have played other games. Can you blame me? I’m a gigantic Ghostbusters fan– to this day I still own the action figure line, the firehouse and yes – even the costume. I’ve waited 20-years for a true continuation of the series (no, I’m not counting the cartoons or previous games) and call me crazy; I just didn’t want that wait to begin again.

That wait proved to be bittersweet though – no matter how much I wanted The Ghostbusters video game to be the be-all-end-all gaming experience, it’s just not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an entertaining and fun experience but there are fundamental problems that run deep within the title and take you completely out of the experience. If you don’t know who the Ghostbusters are – immediately stop reading this review, watch the movies and then come back. It’s okay – I’ll wait. For the rest of us, the plot of The Ghostbusters video game picks up in 1991; just two years after the events of Ghostbusters II. You’re brought in as a new recruit to help test out Ray and Egon’s newest equipment. Your name – simply the Rookie; as Peter puts it – no need to get attached if one of these experiments goes haywire.

" looks and feels just like something from the Ghostbusters Universe should."

In reality, your character is given no name to ensure that the focus is placed where it belongs – on the original team. This is the game’s biggest strength – it looks and feels just like something from the Ghostbusters Universe should. Save for a few instances where the game feels like it tries too hard, everything from Egon’s scientific ramblings to Walter Peck’s nagging, right down to the feel of New York City are spot-on.

Its one thing to be able to accurately reproduce the feel and humor of a cult favorite – but it’s another to believably build upon it. Yes, the developers did take a few creative liberties with the characters and story, but they’re believable liberties. The progression of each story arch feels natural and nods back to the earlier films. Remember the name Ivo Shandor from the first film? How about the grey lady at the library? It’s all here. Ghostbusters the video game does an excellent job bridging the gap between adaptation and sequel.

This would all be well and good if we were in fact talking about a third film – but this is the Ghostbusters video game, and as such – it’s more of a mixed bag.

Throughout the majority of the game you’ll follow a pretty steady pattern -- Search for ghosts, blast them with your proton beam, trap them and repeat. It may seem bland, but the core mechanics are incredibly fun and the end result satisfying. After you blast a ghost long enough to make them weak, you enter into an almost tug of war mini-game to wrangle them into your trap (think of it almost as ghost fishing). It’s incredibly entertaining and since each encounter becomes easier when you have streams on it, encourages team work in the multiplayer modes.

"...there is absolutely no cover system..."

Combat is fast and frantic; your undead enemies will come at you with everything from levitating objects to power blasts and everything in between. The problem with this is that there is absolutely no cover system so unless you learn to time your enemies attacks perfectly, you’re pretty much left wide open to damage. Imagine how frustrating playing Gears of War would be without the cover system and there you have the Ghostbusters battle system. Sure, you can evade with a single button – but jumping and running are all mapped to that same button and it always seems that the wrong action comes up at just the wrong time.

Like most modern games, you won’t find an on-screen HUD; you’ll have to rely on visual clues to monitor your vitals. In the case of Ghostbusters, you’ll need to keep an eye on your proton pack as it will measure everything from your health to the heat of your weapon (you’ll have to vent your proton pack from time to time to keep it from over-heating). When your health does deplete, it’s up to your fellow Ghostbusters to revive you – just as you would them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen. The AI can prove rather unreliable as sometimes you’ll see your computer controlled teammates just standing around when you desperately need help.

Visually – Ghostbusters is mostly impressive. The textures are detailed, the colors are bright (or dark when needed) and most importantly the famed characters look like they should. You’ll notice a bit more detail in the environments and textures in the Xbox 360 version than the PS3 and PC version – but in most cases the title is identical no matter the platform. Some of the character animations are a bit rigid and the voice acting almost never seems to synch up with the characters mouths but you’ll probably be too busy with the chaotic battles to let these details get to you.

For Ghostbusters fans – this game will feel like a long lost love letter. These are the Ghostbusters you’ve come to know and love; it’s just too bad it’s so fundamentally flawed. Still, even with all of its faults – Ghostbusters: The Video Game is an entertaining and fun expansion on a beloved Universe. Hey – who can’t put up with a few annoyances if it means being a Ghostbuster?



CHEATS USED: Unlimited health, blast stream, cash, unlock artwork, more

Even as a diehard Ghostbuster fan – I got incredibly annoyed while playing the Ghostbusters video game – and much of that was due to a combination of the lack of a cover system and my teammate’s inability to revive me. Not a problem anymore with the unlimited health cheat found in the trainer. After using this system, I was able to enjoy the game and battles a bit more. This, in combination with the unlimited blast stream (and $9.999.999 cash to upgrade it as I see fit) made for some interesting battles.

I also enjoyed the unlock all videos and artwork cheats, as truly unlocking all of these features can prove quite trying. If you truly want to enjoy the game – stay away from the Super speed and slow motion ghosts cheats.



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