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LONG BLOG

SD vs. HD: Ghostbusters

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I'm making a new semi-regular article about comparing both the SD (Wii, PS2) and HD (360, PS3) versions of the same game and going into detail whether pretty graphics and a nice presentation make the better game. Or fundamentally different controls and a streamlined interface are what make a better game

For my first SD vs. HD segment, I will be reviewing Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Dtoid has already reviewed both the Wii and the Xbox 360 versions. But I want to give a side-by-side comparison between the two.

graphics

As you folks may have already seen, the graphics on Ghostbusters are very different between the two versions. The HD version (for those who want to know I'm reviewing the Xbox 360 version) is more realistic, with the characters looking they their real life counterparts circa 1991 (in which the game takes place). The environments are rich with detail and look fantastic from a technical perspective. The ghosts and particle effects all look authentic as well. The animation can be a little stiff and overemphasized at times. Overall there was a lot of care into making the game look and feel like an authentic Ghostbusters experience.

The SD version looks like a cartoon, with the characters looking like goofy caricatures of themselves (In particular your character looks like Daniel Craig). The environments are all varied and colorful. They're obviously not as detailed as the HD version, but they hold up on their own merits. The character animation is just as wacky as the models themselves. One thing I did like over the HD version was the lip syncing and animation. It simply worked better with cartoon characters where as the HD lip syncing and animation came off as a bit robotic. Overall it works for what the Wii has to offer.

Overall which versions graphics are better is really a matter of taste. The SD version is more like a new CGI Ghostbusters cartoon, where as the HD version is more like Ghostbusters 3: The Movie.

Here's a quick summary:

[HD]
+ movie-like presentation
+ stunning environments
+ impressive particle effects
+ cool looking ghosts
- stiff, robotic animation
- framerate can take a dive

[SD]
+ fun, wacky character models
+ better lip syncing and animation than HD version
- weak particle effects
- BIG framerate drops when action get heavy

Winner: HD

gameplay

The HD version plays off more like an authentic Ghostbusters experience. You use your proton cannon to stun the ghosts, you smack them around the room, you lay your trap and capture the ghost. It seems needlessly complicated at first, but with a little bit of practice it can be an absolute blast. The HD version makes great use of physics. You earn money where you can purchase upgardes for use in both single and multiplayer. There is one big issue with the HD version though, there are ghosts that knock you back and stun you for a few seconds. This happens more and more as the game goes on and can really get frustrating. Multiplayer is exclusively cooperative. There are a few game types, like campaign, survival and defend the relic which are all fun and give the game a little more lasting power. One fatal flaw however, is a complete lack of local Co-op. And with a multiplayer that is solely co-op, that is a huge party foul.

The SD version is far more streamlined, with an almost arcadey feel. The SD version omit anything that may complicate thing like upgrades, needing to pick up your trap, collect PKE data etc. This makes the game more simplistic and therefore may turn off some people. There are no enemies that stun you so a lot of the frustration from the HD version is absent here. There is no dedicated multiplayer mode but the campaign can be played locally with another player. With the SD versions simpler approach, a 2-player local co-op game makes it that much more enjoyable.

another quick summary:

[HD]
+ really fun "busting" action
+ great use of physics engine
+ great multiplayer
- frustrating knockbacks
- no local multiplayer
- somewhat steep learning curve

[SD]
+ fun arcadey gameplay
+ far less frustrating than HD vesion (no knockback move)
+ local co-op[/color]
- may be too simplistic for some
- weak as a single player game

Winner: SD

The story for the game is the same on both versions. And if your a Ghostbusters fan, the story and dialogue alone are worth the price of admission. I prefer the HD version slightly over the SD version since it's more like how Ghostbusters 3 should have been if it were a movie. But to any fan of Ghostbusters, you can't go wrong with either version.
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About Arch649one of us since 3:01 PM on 04.09.2009

My name is Jared and I have a sexy voice. I've been playing video games since was about 4 years old (I think the first game I played was Kaboom for the Atari 2600). I joined Destructoid simply because I like to write about them too. Some of my all-time favorites include (in no specific order):

1. TIE Fighter
2. Wolfenstein 3D
3. C&C: Red Alert
4. Perfect Dark
5. Unreal Tournament
6. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
7. Super Mario Bros. 3
8. Star Fox
9. Quake II
10. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem


Me as of 2/7/2011


My 360 collection as of 2/7/2011


My Wii collection as of 2/7/2011


My ps3 collection as of 2/7/2011


My cat as of . . . well she always looked like that.
Xbox LIVE:Archers Voice
PSN ID:archi649
Steam ID:archibald649
Mii code:2425-7788-8614-7950


 

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