When I was about 11 or 12 I was OBSESSED with the first two Ghostbusters movies. I bought a 2 disc double feature pack and it was one of the first film-related things I ever bought with my own money I watched them both right when I was starting to look at movies through a more critical eye. I watched the first one an unhealthy amount of times and while it wasn’t as good, I always appreciated the second movie for its unique ideas and trying to move the story forward. I even re-watched both of them recently in preparation for this review and it only reaffirmed my love for the. They’re both witty, well-acted, well written, filled with charm, and both balance comedy and horror in a great way. While the first movie is FAR superior in terms of pacing and general story, they’re both easy recommendations for fans of comedy and science fiction. Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson are all fantastic actors and are masters of comedic timing and line delivery and created characters that went on to stick in my mind for years to come.
And as if the universe was witnessing me appreciating these films for what they were, it was then announced that Atari was going to publish a brand new Ghostbusters game that not only followed in the continuity of the first two films with a new story headed by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis but also brought back ALL FOUR of the original actors to reprise their roles. This was a pipe dream come true for many a Ghostbuster fan back then and when they released a demo for it that had the Library section playable on XBLA I played it to near DEATH. I was hooked on it and wanted the game so bad.
Then, for whatever reason, I just never got it. Maybe it was excitement for other upcoming games or maybe I just never saw it for a good price but for one reason or another I just never got around to playing the full game. Then, right the hell out of nowhere, Saber Interactive announced they were remastering the game for its 10th anniversary, which just so happened to also be Ghostbusters 35th anniversary. Truth be told I didn’t even know the game CAME OUT when they announced it until I saw a physical version up for pre-order on Amazon. I pre-ordered the Switch version for $20, patiently waited for it to arrive, and there it was. The Ghostbusters game I slept on for a full decade. Was it worth the wait to finally get sink my teeth into it?
For the price? Hell yeah! But it’s not without its faults.
Ghostbusters :The Video Game was originally developed by Terminal reality and published by Atari and was released on June 16th 2009 while the Remaster was handled by Saber Interactive and published by Mad Dog Games, and company I cannot for the life of me find ANY information on. All I know is that they’re owned Embracer Group. the same company that bought the THQ name after they went bankrupt. The game is more-or-less the same as it was in 2009, for better or worse. While the game has slightly upgraded textures and I assume other minor improvements it VERY MUCH still looks like a game that was released in 2009. The game uses an over the shoulder styled camera with free movement of your character. It’s basically Resident Evil 4 without tank controls. You play as some nameless white guy and go from area to area exploring, solving puzzles, and shooting ghosts with the Ghostbusters in a fairly short but entertaining campaign. As you progress through the story you unlock extra do-dads for your Proton Pack that basically function as extra side arms. The “Dark Matter Generator” gives you a freeze ray and an equivalent to a Shotgun, the “Composite Particle System” basically gives you a rocket launcher and machine gun, and the “Plasm Distribution System” gives you a slime gun to get rid of hazardous black slime and the Fucking Awesome slime tether which is my favorite thing in the entire game. While the game play is nothing to write home about it’s still a good time.
With all that being said though, this remaster isn’t perfect. Not by a long shot. Aside from the fact that I am playing a VERY inferior port of this game (the Switch version has a lower frame rate than all other versions, but it’s consistent) were a lot of corners that were cut in order to bring us this game, the most glaring being the games multiplayer. In the original release, there was an option for online multiplayer which had players complete various missions with other players, including a wicked cool survival mode. It was reported that the multiplayer was going to be added at a later date but the game has been out for almost a year now, I doubt its happening at this point. While less egregious and more so baffling, the remaster also got rid of the rotatable Proton Pack and Ghostbusters theme during loading screens which just kind of sucks a bit as a fan. In terms of gameplay aka, complaints that actually matter, the game tends to have issues with hit detection sometimes and while it’s awesome that the Ghostbusters follow you around during missions, there are times when the AI can be pretty brain dead and cause you some pretty unnecessary deaths during missions. The game also has a STUPID difficulty spike near the end that I had to replay for almost 40 minutes, which is odd since the game was fairly breezy up to that point. These complaints aside, I still think the game is fun..I just wish they included some form of multiplayer in it. But you know what? Screw the gameplay. Screw the cut content. Screw Everything because you know what this game excels at the most? The charm.
This game was made for Ghostbusters fans, plain and simple. It has the actors, it has the humor, it has the creepy atmosphere, it has EVERYTHING a die-hard Ghostbusters fan could ever want. The writing and story are easily this games biggest strength in terms of it being an entertaining product. While the story is certainly Made For A Video Game and has the Ghostbusters going to places I flat out would never envision them going to, it’s still presented with that tongue and cheek tone that the original movies had while having the threat still be prevalent. My favorite thing about it is that Bill Murray sounds like he flat out doesn’t want to be there. While all the other Ghostbusters sound like they’re talking in-universe about what’s going on around them, Peter Venkman is just sandbagging everything and barely raising his voice. I love it so much please never change, Bill Murray. I flat out refuse to go into any story detail because I think any self-respecting fan of this franchise needs to check this out. It is filled to the brim with references to older movies it is an absolute blast to experience.
In case I haven’t made it clear, I love this game. I really do. Sure it has its problems and won’t set the world on fire with its quality but speaking as a fan of Ghostbusters 1 and 2, it warmed my heart to finally experience it. Now if you’re going to play this remaster, just keep in mind that there IS missing content from the original and that the Nintendo Switch version is far from the best way to experience this game. I would personally get the PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One version of this game just so you can experience it in full 60 fps. A physical version goes for about $20 and in my opinion, is the perfect price considering what you’re getting. The campaign is pretty short, clocking in at about 4 hours, but has enough there to keep players coming back so they can fill out their ghost encyclopedias and find hidden collectibles in the levels. If you’re a gHostbusters fan you NEED to play this game and if you’re someone that’s just looking for a good way to spend an afternoon, I can’t think of anything better than to spend it with Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore and, of course, Egon Spengler.