Wow … you know, I’m a fan of the Ghostbusters, but I was unimpressed with the way that the Xbox 360/Ps3 editions of the games looked from preview footage. In fact, it wasn’t until the game was released that I realized the Wii edition is a very different game – taking the original levels and making them shorter, and taking the more realistic designs of the the higher end systems and replacing them with cartoony designs that look a little more like The Real Ghostbusters cartoon (they’re not exactly alike).
Early reviews of the games were saying the Wii version was significantly better – the cartoony designs were more eye friendly and less glitchy than the graphics on the other systems, and the control scheme was apparently a lot of fun.
How did it turn out? Read my full review after the jump!
Well, to start off with, if you’re not a fan of the Ghostbusters, you probably have little to no interest in the game. Preview trailers and art have been pretty underwhelming, even for a fan like me. The biggest draw to the game is the inclusion of all of the original cast members (except Sigourney Weaver) reprising the roles they made famous. And whereas Ghostbusters won’t win any awards in the graphical department, it delivers in spades in the fun department.
Returning to the world of the Ghostbusters makes you realize how much you missed it and didn’t even know. Much of the beginning of the new game involves reliving parts of the original movies, and revisiting some of the more memorable characters. You may roll your eyes a bit at how they get Slimer back in the hotel, or sliming Peter in the same hallway again, but it’s a pretty smarty way of almost having a movie game without actually making one based directly on the movie’s storyline. And with the incorporation of a new storyline and new ghosts and villains, the story lends itself to a lot of fun with our heroes and some pretty spectacular scenes.
As mentioned in our review of the Xbox 360 version of the title, the levels are shorter in the Wii title, which works extremely well. Having shorter, bite-sized chunks harkens back to the days of old where you could pick up a game, play a level, and put it back down, without having to set aside an afternoon just to watch 90 minutes worth of cutscenes.
The graphics may not be amazing, or even anywhere near as good as its counterparts on other consoles, but the Wii, instead of trying to mimick the imagery of its sister titles, actually does something different, as mentioned before, using a more cartoony style reminiscent of the old Real Ghostbusters cartoon. It’s a nice style, and the fact that the voices still belong to the actors we know and love, it adds to the experience of the game, rather than take away from it. Sometimes, when a game goes for realistic graphics, it ends up being just shy of looking perfect, which leads to just taking you out of the title when you stare at dead, glassy eyes, or see mouths that don’t move. By avoiding that issue entirely, the Wii version makes itself more fun than its counterparts, and avoids having its graphics compared to them.
Control-wise you’re in for a treat. While they do take some getting used to (my character spun around for a couple of minutes before I realized what I was doing), once you get used to them, you’ll find yourself really adapting to them and finding logic in the way they work. With the Wiimote, you aim at ghosts and zap them with your proton charger, with the nunchuck you roll out the trap, almost like you’re rolling a bowling ball.
You may find yourself getting a little tired of the rinse-repeat style of gameplay (zap a ghost, trap, zap a ghost, trap, zap a ghost…), but the variety of levels and ghosts helps to keep the game from getting monotonous. The shorter levels helps too.
All told, Ghostbusters: The Video Game won’t get any awards for originality, or for graphics, but if you’re a fan of the movies, it ends up being a can’t miss title. It’s kind of unique like that – fans of Batman don’t need to own a mediocre Batman game, but it’s been so long since we’ve seen these beloved characters, a game that may not quite be the greatest thing on the market ends up being more like comfort food.
Going to try doing something a little different on scoring this one:
Presentation: 9 out of 10 – A lot of work went into this game, and it shows. The story is fun, and, most importantly, feels right.
Graphics: 8 out of 10 – not the best on the market, but I like the style they went with for the game.
Sound: 9 out of 10 – the sound of all your gadgets is perfect, and hearing the distinctive voices return after all this time is a blast.
Controls: 8 out of 10 – they take a little getting used to, but once you do, they become second nature and help add to the fun of playing the game and trapping ghosts.
Replayability: 8 out of 10 – The shorter levels definitely helps here. Despite being a bit repetitious, being able to jump back to your favorite scenes will definitely be a fun activity when you’re in the mood to kick some ghost @$$.