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1:11 AM on 06.26.2009

A Ghostbusters review for the impartial.

I haven't seen Ghostbusters in a VERY long time, and as such my experience with the game was not filtered by much nostaliga. Because of this, I may have a different opinion of the game than many others.

The short version: Buy it if you're a huge Ghosbusters fan, rent it otherwise unless you find it for a good price.

The long version: The game is essentially a movie tie-in for a third Ghostbusters film that never happened. The story is original and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. It's good, for the most part, but falls into some cliches later on. Also, there seems to be a little too much of doing things that are a homage from the previous films. Don't get me wrong, the films were good, but this makes the game a bit predictable at times. Like, you KNOW you're going to have to fight the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. There are a couple unexpected things near the end, however.

The voice acting is excellent. All the original cast is there save for Rick Moranis and Sigourney Weaver. Even the Mayor and Peck are voiced by the original actors, which greatly surprised me. The one weak point is Alyssa Milano, who plays a new character that is fairly devoid of personality. I'm not sure if this is more the fault of the writing or her performance, but I'll blame her because she's not Harold Ramis.

The gameplay is very similar to other third-person action games, most of all Dead Space, which is not at all a bad thing. You get cash for bustin' ghosts, which you can use to upgrade your different weapons. The weapons are nothing too unique. They essentially play like a lazer with a magnum-like secondary fire, flamethrower with a grappling hook, freeze ray with a shotgun, and machine gun that has a tracking beacon much like one of the guns from the Resistance series. They all LOOk unique, but they operate much like weapons used in other games, except that instead of reloading (you have infinite ammo for every weapon on singleplayer) you need to stop and vent your weapon when it becomes overheated. Trapping ghosts involves weakening them with your weapons, throwing a trap down, then wrangling them into the trap using either the thumbstick or motion controls (if you choose) on the PS3 and probably the Wii.

There's also a bit of an investigation element. You can find collectible items worth money in the game by using your goggles and PKE meter. You also need to use this to progress through parts of the game, and it never ceased to be fun for me. This mechanic is like an extremely simplified version of the CSI-thing in Condemned 2.

I have two major complaints with the game that almost caused me to give up on it entirely. The first is that several of the bosses are either uninteresting, cheap, or altogether not very fun. The second problem, which ties in VERY closely to my first, is that the teammate AI is TERRIBLE at times. I have spent more time during boss fights reviving my teammates than I did damaging the actual bosses, and I was only playing on the medium difficulty setting. Some of the enemies can incapacitate you or your teammates in one or two hits, and running around reviving teammates make the game feel more like an escort mission during some battles (or, in a sense, a bit like a tower defense game). Imaging playing Army of Two or Gears of War, and you lose your health and need a teammate to revive you. Now, imagine that said teammate is mostly worthless, and you have Ghostbusters. Thankfully the moments when you have more than one Ghostbuster with you seem fewer than when you either are alone or only have one person with you. Reviving one teammate is far more tolerable, save for one moment in a graveyard which had me cursing at Ray Stanz repeatedly because he could neither defend himself nor revive me without dying.

The multiplayer is, very surprisingly, my favorite part of the game. I have yet to try every mode, but the ones I've tried were entertaining, though not especially creative. You choose one of four main weapons (though you have the ability to pick up temporary weapons) and as you gain XP (cash) during multiplayer you gain upgrades to that weapon. Your choice of player models is limited to the Ghostbusters, and you can't create a character, so that was a slight annoyance of mine. Another small thing that I noticed and loved was a sort of title given to each player at the end of matches, much like the ones given to players at the end of sets in the Rock Band series. It's a bit useless, but it's fun and keeps things interesting.

On the PS3 it was good, but I felt it wasn't quite worth $60. $40 at best. The PC version of the game DOES in fact cost $40 (I believe) but I would recommend against buying it because it's lacking multiplayer of any kind. I'd wait until that version costs $20 or until they release a multiplayer mode.

Speaking of multiplayer, why, oh why was this game made without a co-op campaign mode (online or otherwise)? Nearly all of my problems with the game would have been solved if they either spent more time on the teammate AI or just given me the option of playing with PEOPLE. Nearly any human player would be smart enough to revive their teammates when THREE of them are unconscious at the same time. But I digress...

In summary, if you're a fan of the Ghostbusters franchise, you probably already own this or are planning on getting it, and rightly so, because it is extremely faithful to the series (perhaps to a fault). If you aren't, wait until it's cheap, or simply rent it sometime. Or ignore it entirely, because you're not missing a whole lot that hasn't been done in other games.

ARBITRARY NUMERIC SCORE = 5/12, unless you're really into the films, in which case add one point for the amount that Geez, I don't know. I can't measure love.

As an aside, I got a free movie ticket for buying it, so that was kind of nice. It expires after July.   read

1:47 AM on 10.14.2008

DS games, me selling them OR I almost bought WAR for $25 today

I'm hope I'm not breaking any usage guidelines or anything by doing this, but I'd like to state that I'm selling two DS games on eBay. I'm selling Gyakuten Saiban 2 (an imported Japanese copy of the sequel to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney) and Professor Layton and the Curious Village.

If it helps this post be less spammy, let me state exactly why I'm selling these games. You see, I'm saving up money to purchase a half-decent PC. With said half-decent PC, I plan on buying Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning and, eventually, Dawn of War 2. My laptop can't run WAR, and it probably won't be able to run Dawn of War 2. I'm contemplating selling my Xbox 360 for a PC, but if I did so, I would miss out on games like Rock Band 2. I would still be able to play Fallout 3, so that wouldn't be a problem, but there are some console-only games coming out in the near future that I would prefer not to miss out on.

Let me ask, first of all, in the opinion of the good members of the Destructoid community, is WAR worth the time? Is it truly better than WoW?

Also: Would it be better to buy individual PC parts from or Tiger Direct and assemble a computer myself, or should I configure one from Dell, Alienware, or CyberPower? Or, OR, as a third option, should I buy a fully built PC from somewhere and the replace the video card/RAM/whatever?

There. Surely now the post is more than me advertising my eBay sales. Oh yes.   read

11:10 PM on 03.14.2008

Not my Turning Point gaming rig OR $30 laptops are not good for gaming.

Well, here it is, my entry for the Turning Point PC contest.

There it is. I got it for roughly $30 from a very lucky bid on I can play some games on it, but not very well. I mostly use it for Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War (which runs okay if I turn everything down), and I would use it for Team Fortress 2, except that it can't run the game without crashing at random intervals. So, that was a waste of $30 (for TF2, I mean). :/

I do, however, have a bitchin' Futurama mousepad. I looked all over teh Internets for an official one, but the best one I could find was a custom job from eBay. I enjoy it thoroughly.

One last shot, from a different angle. I'm hoping to win this contest primarily for the ability to play three games: Team Fortress 2, Dawn of War 2 (which I'm pretty sure is going to use the Company of Heroes engine), and Warhammer Online (which I don't know the requirements for, other than the FAQ which says "The second best system for sale next summer"). I'm mostly a console gamer, but I would REALLY love to try Warhammer Online. I never got into WoW, mostly because I would feel a bit aimless playing it. Like, there's no overall goal for me other than to get phat lewt, or whatever. With Warhammer, however, there's more of a competitive nature to it, from what I've read. Also, Warhammer Online is Warhammer, which instantly makes me interested in it.   read

6:51 AM on 11.25.2007

Incredibly shameless self-promotion FTW!

I have a Wii. I am selling it. If this interests you, go here:

And then give me all your 2k monies.   read

1:21 AM on 10.08.2007

The d20 System can [do unsavory things] to [parts of my body] OR Ethan Haas is a nerd

Years and years ago, back when Star Wars was unspoiled by the sheer crapitude that would come from the prequels, I used to play the pen-and-paper Star Wars RPG. Actually, I was the GM for it, but still, I was fairly heavily involved in playing pen-and-paper RPGs. For a while, I was without any friends who would agree to playing such an RPG. Recently, I found out that some of my friends in Saginaw used to play a TON of Shadowrun, Earthdawn, and the like, and they want to get a new campaign going with some game they haven't played before. I've been wanting to get back into this kind of thing for a while, and now I'm looking for a good RPG core book to get started with. Here's what I'm looking for:

-A non-d20 System game, because I dislike d20 combat.
-An interesting setting.
-Possibly a superhero-ish setting, because it's easier for me to come up with campaigns for that.
-A game that isn't too rules-intensive.

So far, I'm thinking of either Aberrant, Scion: Hero, the upcoming Alpha Omega, Champions, or even the Authority RPG.

Any suggestions for RPGs or reasons why the above are awesome/terrible would be greatly appreciated.   read

8:44 AM on 09.22.2007

The importance of "good" graphics OR I didn't like Gears of War that much.

After reading some of the comments on this post, I began thinking about next-gen graphics. To me, if a game runs well, without slowdown, jaggies, or other little technical glitches, I consider it to have "good" graphics. I don't care about normal mapping, bloom lighting, or anything along those lines, unless it directly affects the gameplay. Really, I'd rather play a game that has style over technical horsepower. For example, I'd rather play Paper Mario than Gears of War. But then, that's only if I'm playing games for something to LOOK AT, as opposed to something I can interact with. I can understand why someone would see a crappy movie simply for the special effects, surround sound, and so on, but would you play a crappy game just because it has good graphics? Really, if graphics are so important, then why isn't Lair selling like crazy? My point with this is to ask, are graphics really THAT important in the long run?

Ack. This is a rambling, incoherent post. But I'm writing after working the night shift, so I have an excuse.   read

8:28 AM on 07.17.2007

You should own and already be playing this: Part the First

The Hitman Trilogy for the PS2 and PC!

It got this for $30 off of Amazon a couple weeks ago, and let me tell you, I think this is a very, VERY underrated series of games. Granted, I'm still on disc one of the trilogy (which, actually, is Hitman 2: Silent Assassins, seeing as the original game was only on the PC), but still, this game is really amazing to me. I like the freedom in this more than the freedom offered in GTA, the stealth in this more than I enjoy anything offered in Splinter Cell or Metal Gear Solid, and the action in this game more than...well, actually, there isn't too much of that in the game. I mean, there CAN be, if you're either not very good at the game or want to simply mow everyone down and finish the mission, but you get so much more out of playing the game if you restrain yourself. And really, how many games can you make that statement with? I mean, the game is MORE fun when you kill LESS people. It's like the anti-FPS, in a sense.   read

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