Ghostbusters The Video Game

ghostbusters
What we liked:
+ Co-op is really fun
+ Motion controls work well
+ Captures the feel of the movies
What we didn't like:
- Turning can be a pain
- Extremely short
Rating
7.8
DEVELOPER: Red Fly Studio   |   PUBLISHER: Atari   |   RELEASE: 06/16/2009

All the same fun in a different type of package.

Ghostbusters The Video Game for Nintendo Wii really shows the difference between the three consoles. While the 360 and PS3 version delivered realistic interpretations of the beloved characters, the Wii outing opts for a more cartoon approach. This is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact it works extremely well considering the limitations of the hardware, but it will not be for everyone. Everything else about this version follows the normal trend of Wii ports with a few exceptions. Bottom line is, if you own either of the other versions than this one is probably not worth picking up. However, if you are a Wii only customer, this game has a lot going for it that makes it a worth addition to your library.

Much like its console brethren Ghostbusters for the Wii follows the same story. You take on the role of a mute rookie, but as a catch this version offers a choice between male and female. The funny thing is that the dialogue remains mostly the same, so often times you will hear the other team members refer to you in that context. The story itself is nearly identical to the PS3/360 versions where you will visit the same vistas including The Sedgewick Hotel, Natural History Museum and the like. The only real difference is how the levels are broken down. Instead of one cohesive area, you are now given smaller portions to play through, which lends to the casual nature of the Wii.

Dubbed as the third entry in the Ghostbusters saga, this game was penned by Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis respectively. Instead of creating a game that follows the events of either film, the team was lucky enough to get an original script, and even all of the original actors to perform their voiceovers. The story takes place two years after the events of the second movie, and pays homage to a lot of what made the series so incredible. The story plays out similarly to either of the movies. The Ghostbusters are still one of New York’s most beloved icons, and even have the support of the Mayor. Before the opening of the new Gozer exhibit at the museum a supernatural shockwave blankets across the city. The chaos ensues and many of the famous icons from the movies make an appearance.

The Wii controls are actually well done, and mimic the other versions while retaining their own panache. You aim with the Wii remote, which also controls the camera as you walk around. The B button fires your proton pack, and you can lock the camera onto enemies with the press of a button. It is worth noting that the lock-on feature does not lock your aiming reticule on the ghost, just your view, meaning you still have to aim properly to hit them. The idea works the same, blast the ghost until they are weak and then lock them in your capture stream. The difference with the Wii version is that once in the capture beam, you will then have to match directions on the screen by flicking the Wii remote in different directions. This weakens the ghost allowing it to be trapped. You can toss a trap by holding down a button and flicking the nunchuk forward in a bowling ball motion.

The controls work well, but they aren’t without problems. For instance using the Wii remote for camera and aiming controls can be frustrating at times. The sporadic movement from the slightest motion can sometimes throw off your aim. It is also extremely hard to keep track of ghosts that move swiftly as the turning speed is not as quick as it could be. I do prefer the PKE meter controls in the Wii version though, as you can opt to scan in third person, or switch to first person to get a better view. You can also see scripted events and traps place in the first person view, which is a nice touch. The other issue derives from the awkward placement of the d-pad on the Wii remote. Switching between weapons can become a real pain at times, forcing you to stick with one unless the situation requires otherwise.

The biggest change to the game outside of the control scheme though has to be the visuals. Instead of going for the realistic look akin to the HD versions, the developers decided to go with a more cartoon-inspired look. Seeing your favorite Ghostbusters in these disproportionate look is unsettling at first, some characters look far better than others, but it works in context with the system it is on. The lighthearted approach feels more tailored to the Wii, and is much more appreciated than low-res counterparts found in most Wii ports. The sound is equally impressive thanks to the colorful dialogue of the original cast. The sheer amount of presentation in the game is truly what makes this such a fan-inspired treat.

Instead of the four-player online mode from the HD version of the game, Red Fly has opted to instead include a two-player split screen option. This is actually a lot cooler than the individual campaigns found on the other versions, mainly because you can play through the entire game with a buddy in co-op mode. This makes up for the fact that the game is a little on the short side; roughly five hours to be exact. Of course you can always go back and attempt to collect all of the ghost scans for Tobin’s guide, but outside of that there isn’t much to keep you coming back for.

Ghostbusters The Video Game for Wii is an amazingly fun game that utilizes the strengths of the console well. If you own the PS3 or 360 version already there isn’t much reason to experience this one, as the story is mostly the same. The split-screen co-op makes up for a lack of online, and the motion controls work surprisingly well. If you only own a Wii and loved the antics of the masters of paranormal activity, then there is no reason not to pick up this version. It really feels like a spiritual successor to the series we all grew up with and loved.

Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.