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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Atari
Developed By: Terminal Reality
Genre: Action
Players: 1-4
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: June 16, 2009
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Marcus Prunty

The Ghostbusters is a classic franchise that has spanned movies and cartoons and now video games. Being a huge Ghostbusters fan, I have liked every incarnation of the franchise to this point and with the release of this game nothing has changed. I will go on record now to say this is a very good game and you will like playing it very much.

This game takes place after Ghostbusters 2 the movie which came out around 1991. The Ghostbusters are expanding the team and you are hired on as the newest member and your new job is to test all the experimental equipment that Egon cooks up when heís not sleeping. As soon as you show up and are hired, a strange occurrence happens at the Gozer exhibit at the local museum, which results in ghosts and spirits all over the city acting weird and getting riled up. So there is no time for official training, you get trained on the job. The beginning has very nicely rendered cutscenes that give you that movie feel. As the newest Ghostbusters, Peter opts not to give you a name other then rookie because they donít want to get too attached to you in case you donít survive testing out the new equipment. This makes you wonder at that point what have you gotten yourself into. While youíre testing the new equipment, youíre trying to figure out what paranormal phenomenon is threatening the city.

The gameplay for this game is a third person over the shoulder shooter. They got rid of the in-depth HUD setup that a lot of games have across the top of the screen. They built the HUD into the proton pack, so when you take damage, it is reflected in a meter going from green to yellow and then red, which means you are dead. They also gave you a limitation in that you just canít constantly shoot the proton stream, if you try to do that your pack will over heat and knock you on your butt. So you have to vent the proton pack every so often or youíll get a warning when youíre about to overheat. The proton pack also will display what different weapon mode youíre in. By the time you make it through most of the game you will receive the other 3 weapon modes. The first mode you have is classic proton mode which is what is used in all the movies and they added a secondary weapon to this which is the boson dart which is a condensed proton energy pulse that explodes on impact. This weapon mode is equipped by pressing up on the d-pad. When you press left on the d-pad you get the dark matter weapon which modifies the proton pack and has blue lights. With this weapon mode you get the shock blast which is a shotgun like weapon that shoots out blue flashes and the secondary weapon for this mode is the stasis stream which slows down ghosts to a stop if held on them long enough. When you press right on the d-pad you get the Meson Collider, which shoots electricity and tags a ghost with a tracker that allows you to continually hit them when theyíre not in eyesight and fires particles rapidly. And the last weapon mode is assigned to the down arrow on the d-pad; this is the slime blower weapon which puts 2 green tanks of slime on the proton pack. With this weapon, you can coat enemies in positively charged goo, as well as use a slime tether to bring two objects together.

Another valuable tool you have when playing this game is the PKE meter. Whatís cool about the PKE meter is that it can scan the room, alerting you to spiritual activity without holding it in your hand. You will notice that it will go green, and then change to red, and even sometimes blue. When it spikes red, there is a ghost nearby; when you see blue that means thereís a hidden artifact to find, and when itís green, thereís an objective you need to find. The PKE meter also scans ghosts when there out and about and tells you what kind of ghost they are and their weaknesses are. Not all ghosts in the game need to be trapped as some can be blast to bits with the boson dart or meson collider. There are 55 different ghosts in the game as well as 42 artifacts that you can find if you want to. All the artifacts come with a little story about their background.

With all the weapons and the ability to use the PKE meter, you are able to tackle different spiritual being and scenarios different ways; resulting in this game actually being fun. The variety of ways to defeat the ghosts and advance the story keeps things from getting repetitive which is a major plus in a game like this. You can use the slime tether to tether to a weakened ghost and then tether the other end to a trap and it will yank the ghost into it, making for a very cool moment. Another thing that makes Ghostbusters a great game is the return of the original cast of characters --Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson-- to reprise their roles as the Ghostbusters. The inclusion of the receptionist Annie Potts, and the annoying Walter Peck who is voiced by William Atherton also add to the flavor if this title. Having the original voices of the main characters from the movies, plus the original music score makes this game a real close to the movies incarnation. Sound design is a key part of videos games and once you begin playing this game you will be immerse in the Ghostbusters world and you will feel as you are in the movie.

There are some drawbacks to the game, which include not having the ability to go wherever you want within the game go. However, you get free rein over the fire station where you can run around and explore the artifacts and stuff from the movie. The game is fairly linear in that you go where the story mode leads you, but when you are on a specific level you can branch out a little bit more. The visual aspects of the game are amazing; with different environments having their own distinct and diverse landscape. You have the fire station, the Sedgewick hotel, the library, the museum and various other locals in the Ghostbusters universe. The amazing backdrops help keep you focused on the story and what youíre doing so much you donít really notice that you canít go running around NYC shooting and blasting anything you want; yet another drawback is that the game is driven by the main characters so in order to advance in spots you have to wait for them to say their dialogue or wait for them to catch up to you. This can be frustrating at times because sometimes they just stand still and youíre waiting for them so you can keep going. One instance is when youíre with Venkman in the Sedgewick hotel going through the kitchen in which I noticed this happened. Itís not a deal breaker, but just frustrating when you play and you have to wait.

Another frustrating moment during the gameplay is the super hard points within the game. For example, youíre in a graveyard for one of the levels and you have to get into this building. There are stone cherubs that you have to shoot with the slime tether and then attach them to the gate to help open the door. Sounds simple when I explain what you have to do, but this is one of the hardest moments in the game because while youíre trying to do this, you and Ray are being swarmed by ghosts trying to kill you.

None of these drawbacks are deal breakers and donít take away from the overall fun of the game. Taking down ghosts is a ton of fun; especially with all the weapons at your disposal. They even added a pretty sweet multiplayer to the game. I only got to play the multiplayer a couple times due to the fact when I wanted to play it, I couldnít find too many people awake and online to play with, but from the few times I got to play it, it is definitely a great and welcome addition to the game. In the multiplayer mode, you play with 3 other people and can pick from any of the Ghostbusters to play with as well as the rookie you played as during story mode. Bagging and tagging ghosts is the name of the game and the person with the most captured wins. There are 20 levels to go through and can be a ton of fun. There are six job types; containment in which you trap ghosts in a time limit, Survival where you go as long as you can trapping ghosts. In Destruction you have to destroy evil relics, and in Slime Dunk you have to trap Slimer over and over. In Protection you have to protect Egonís equipment and in Thief keep spirits from getting away with artifacts. I loved Slime Dunk that one was pretty fun catching Slimer and zapping the other players.

This game is pretty rock solid representation of the Ghostbusters universe. This game gets it right by including the original actorís voices for the game, and the music from the movies. The graphics are rendered fairly well and you feel immersed in the game. If youíre a fan of the Ghostbusters and have always wanted to strap on a Proton pack, this is your chance to do it and you wonít be disappointed. With the addition of multiplayer, you get tons of extra gameplay that will be fun and enjoying just like story mode. The game has its drawbacks like I spoke of earlier, but these arenít deal breakers and wonít ruin your gameplay experience. This game is a definite buy for your collection.


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