Ghost Rider

ps2
What we liked:
+The character is pretty cool
+Took elements from some of the best games around
What we didn't like:
-Graphics are lacking, even for a PS2 game
-Camera control would have been nice
Rating
6.5
DEVELOPER: Climax   |   PUBLISHER: 2K Games   |   RELEASE: 02/13/2007

It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If this is actually true, then 2K games is trying to flatter Capcom and Sony with their latest game Ghost Rider. Read on to find out just how much!!

Who and or what is Ghost Rider? I think that a lot of people were asking this question when they first heard about the live action movie starting Nicholas Cage. Well allow me to tell you. Ghost Rider is stunt cyclist Johnny Blaze, who sadly sold his soul to the devil Mephisto (his name is Mephisto I don’t care what the movie calls him) to save his dying father.

Well as we all should know dealing with a dark lord is a twisted path, and yes Mephisto did cure his father from cancer, but in the end he caused his father to die from a motorcycle accident shortly thereafter. Naturally Johnny is pissed off, and rides off in a fit of anger, only to discover that when he is in the presence of evil he turns into “the spirit of vengeance” He becomes the Ghost Rider, that old flaming skull vigilante. Years later Mephisto returns to him and asks for his help in hunting down Blackheart, who is trying to over throw Mephisto’s rule and bring about the apocalypse. It is here that the game picks up.

This game could have been called “Devil May Onimusha Ghost Rider of War.” I say that because it doesn’t just borrow from those games-.it punches them in the face, and robs them blind! Even with steal-borrowing elements from those great games doesn’t really manage to save Ghost Rider. In this reviewer’s humble opinion Ghost Rider is not a great game, but it is not a horrible game either.

Maybe it’s the fact that I knew who the character was before I read the back of the box, or maybe it’s my love of all things Marvel but whatever the reason I really enjoyed this game. Touting a storyline written by some of the writers from the Ghost Rider comic series this game does not play into the movie, unlike most comic book games. The sad part is that these games feel the need to remind you that they are based on a comic by incorporating cut scenes that look like comic book panels. The biggest gripe about the cut scenes is that the sound quality is waaaay to low. So you end up having to turn the volume up on your TV just so you can clearly hear what is going on, but while doing this you can notice the flaws in the sound production.

Once you get into the game you will find a combination of God of War’s whip combos, and Devil May Cry’s style system. The game just as in DMC is about you killing demonic forces with as many combos and as much style as possible. Ghost Rider does give you some decent combos to get the job done at first.

It’s when you upgrade those by collecting orbs Onimusha-style that you unlock the really cool ones. Once in the upgrade screen you find a similar system that GoW employs. You will hold down the X button while the orbs you have collected fill up a meter which then grants you access to the new combo or ability. What you will find is just like in GoW that a few of the combos are so powerful that you can easily defeat most foes using it. I don’t care what anyone says GoW had maybe three combos that you could use throughout the whole game and still manage to beat it. The game just doesn’t have combos though oh no.

You will find a super attack that clears the screen of enemies as well as Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare. If you have never read a Ghost Rider comic, the penance stare how ghost rider passes judgment on bad guys. He demands that they look into his eyes and his enemies feel the pain that they have caused others. In essence paying penance for their sins. Over the course of the game some of the enemies appear with a shield that forces you to get your style meter up to whatever the shield says before you actually destroy them. Sounds easy, but it’s really not. You can’t use the same old combo’s over and over; you have to mix it up in order to move your style meter up. The problem is that the meter will reset if you are hit by anyone, so when you have a screen full of baddies it is a good idea to finish all of them before taking a crack at the shielded demon. It would have been nice for a little more variety with the enemies. With something like demons, you could get really creative and come up with some really sinister creatures for Ghost Rider to pwn!

In between levels you will get to ride Ghost Rider’s “Hell-Bike” This fiery motorcycle is our hero’s main source of transportation. You will get to ride from point A to point B, all the while killing demons and jumping ramps. You will encounter other enemies on bikes, at which point the game takes from another classic, Road Rash. So as you ride on the cycle you can swing your flaming chain to the left or right and knock foes off their bikes and send them back to hell. I thought that the controls were a bit loose but not enough to make it unplayable. You might run into a problem where you end up going the wrong direction because you missed a jump and over compensated.

The graphics in Ghost Rider are a little bit rough. They are somewhat grainy in places, and most of the backgrounds are just plain, and ugly to look at. Some of Ghost Rider’s combos offer a few cool animations, but most are pretty generic. The camera can sometimes work against you rather then with you, and since you have no control over it you may be caught in a situation where you can’t see what you’re hitting, or who’s hitting you.

Problems aside I like this game. I realize that what you have read may seem like I hated it a lot, but I am just trying to be honest, for those that might have a problem with some of those issues. If you are a comic book fan, or just curious about the character of Ghost Rider, you should really pick this game up, and with a price tag of only 30 bucks, I mean come on-It will at least give you something to do until GoW 2 comes out.