…busting DID make me feel good.
A couple of months ago, I bought the PC version of “Ghostbuster” from Direct2Drive’s Halloween sale. I’d heard it was a pretty short game, but it was $10 and the writeups I’d seen on the game made it sound very much worth playing.
It is, by the way. I’ll get back to that.
It also has excellent controller support, which is handy because my gaming PC doesn’t have a keyboard hooked up to it usually. I have a mouse connected to launch games and a 360 controller connected to play them.
Problem is, you can tell that this game was designed with the PS3 controller in mind, because the developers liked to make you use the left bumper AND the left trigger at the same time. This is easy to do on a PS3 controller because of how it rests in your hands, but a 360 controller gets really uncomfortable if you’re holding it like a PS3 controller, especially if you settle in for a marathon play session.
But back to the game.
I remember reading that the goal in making this game was to make something that was, for all intents and purposes, “Ghostbusters III”; that is, a sequel to the movie.
Sadly, it is a sequel to BOTH movies, but I will cut them some slack. Ghostbusters II came out in 1989, and the world was a particularly tasteless place at the time; they were making a movie for the age.
They did one thing particularly right: There’s no Louis.
By putting the player in the role of a “5th Ghostbuster”, they actually do pull off the effect they were aiming for; you can be in a scene watching the other four characters, and the writing is easily up-to-par with the movies. You don’t feel like a fifth wheel, though: while you do have the other characters with you most of the time, they’re… well, competent but not brilliant at fighting. They’ll help you, but you do most of the Cool Stuff.
In another immersion-enhancing move, they stole the HUD-less status indicator idea from Dead Space. All of your important information is reflected in indicators on your Proton pack.
Between missions, you can roam the firehouse at will, which lets them stick in all kinds of neat touches. Listening to Janine take phone calls is particularly fun.
I did have one bug related to this, though: I had a mission end and put me back in the firehouse with a task of “go talk to this character you just rescued” – instead, I saved the game figuring that I’d come back and talk to her.
Instead, when I reloaded, it put me directly into the next combat mission, so I missed out on some story there. You can replay some cutscenes from the menu, but not all of them, and not that one.
Minor quibble I guess, it wasn’t a game breaker by any means.
Playing it on the medium difficulty level, it took me just under 8 hours to play through. It’s pretty tough on “medium” – I wound up having to redo several fights, and there’s one particular one near the end of the game that took me about 10 tries to get through. Came close to my controller-throwing-tolerance level, there.
Anyway – it was fun AND it represents, in my mind, a redemption for the disappointment that was the second movie. Shame it took them 20 years, but I guess some things just shouldn’t be rushed.
Oh, and a small milestone: This is, if I believe WordPress, my 500th post. Not exactly daily updates… but, I think, not too bad.