And That Ghostbuster Is You!

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Posted by sbritton (10 posts) -
Atari dropped by last week to give Brad and me a look at the Xbox 360 and Wii versions of Ghostbusters: The Video Game. In addition to getting some hands-on time with these versions, we also sat down with Andrew Bermudez, associate producer on the Wii version, and Alexis Habert, a tester at developer Terminal Reality, and recorded a brief podcast discussing the game.

Wii


Atari's paranormal visit to the Giant Bomb office kicked off with a look at the Wii version of Ghostbusters. When dealing with multiplatform games these days, it's a pretty natural instinct to dismiss the Wii version out of hand, so I feel it's important to make it clear here that Ghostbusters on the Wii isn't going to be just an ugly, slapdash port of the “real” game. It certainly shares a lot of key elements with the other versions of Ghostbusters: The Game, such as plotting, voice-acting, and so on. But Atari's claims that developer Red Fly--which most recently produced the well-received Mushroom Men--developed this version of the game specifically with the Wii in mind seem to hold water. Or at least, ectoplasmic residue.

What's most immediately striking about the Wii version of Ghostbusters is the cartoony art style, which may be somewhat reminiscent of the old Real Ghostbusters cartoon if you yourself happen to be old, though I think that's selling the look of the game short. All of the returning Ghostbusters look like extreme caricatures of themselves, which seems to benefit Egon in particular, and the environments are similarly colorful and playful. This art style seems to allow the game's visuals a level of simplicity as a choice, rather than a technical necessity. This, I think, will be key to making Ghostbusters on the Wii feel like a real, standalone game, and not just a cheap-looking afterthought.

Once I actually started playing the game, more unique features became apparent. The controls have, of course, been custom-built for the Wii, and in my short time with the game, they seemed relatively intuitive, letting you move with the analog stick on the nunchuk and aim with the Wii remote. With your unlicensed positron collider strapped to your back, the game basically plays like a third-person shooter, and while I encountered a number of enemies that could just be blasted out of existence, there were some that still required the old wrangle-and-trap method, a process that seems to benefit in particular from the Wii controls.

The Wii version of Ghostbusters promises some platform-specific touches, which we got to see a few of during our demo. Unlike the other versions, you'll be able to play as either a male or female version of the silent rookie character that joins the Ghostbusters at the start of the game. While Atari isn't talking about co-op play in the other versions of the game, we got to participate in a little two-player splitscreen action, as well as a single-screen battle against the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, which saw our characters dangling over the edge of a skyscraper whilst Stay-Puft climbed it, Kong-style.

I'll admit, my affinity to the source material could certainly be clouding my judgment here, but I came away from my time with Ghostbusters: The Game on the Wii eager to see more.




Xbox 360


In terms of broad game mechanics, not much has changed since the last time I got my hands on the Xbox 360 version of Ghostbusters. You've still got multiple weapon types installed in your proton pack, many of which approximate existing shooter weapon archetypes. There was a general level of refinement in this new build, though; the Ghostbusters' character models are looking more like their real-life counterparts and also a little more animated and lifelike than they did a few months ago. Atari was showing off a couple of new levels, one in the bizarro alternate dimension you'll enter from time to time, where everything is off-kilter and creepy-looking. The other was set on top of a building, where I had to trap the spirits of some lewd-talking construction workers before facing off against none other than the Staypuft Marshmallow Man. Or, at least, I got to see him climbing up the side of the building--then I had to give the controller back.

Even though you're not shooting and killing stuff, per se--the ghosts, ghouls, and specters are already dead, I think--the game seems like it will be immediately accessible to anyone who plays third-person shooters. Your nameless rookie Ghostbuster has a lateral dodge move you can use to get out of the way of trouble, and you can go into a short sprint, Gears of War roadie run-style, to cover ground quickly. The process of wrangling a ghost with your beam, throwing out a trap, and maneuvering the ghost into it is different enough from a typical shooter to give Ghostbusters a unique feel, though.

In the last preview, I talked about how you can use your PKE meter to investigate the scene for paranormal clues. This time, I saw how Terminal Reality has taken a cue from BioShock's camera mechanic by also letting you scan and research ghosts with the PKE device. When you jump into first-person view, you can target and scan an enemy to add it to your database. If you only catch it in the side of your viewfinder, the enemy merely goes in the list. If you get it centered right in your reticle, however, you get a full scan that adds a lengthy description (written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) to your library. You also get a 10 percent damage bonus against that enemy, so it will be pretty worthwhile to get some scanning done

Lastly, I feel the need to point out that everyone's least appreciated Ghostbusters villain, Vigo the Carpathian, will figure into the game. During a cutscene in the Ghostbusters' firehouse HQ, I noticed Vigo's painting hanging out in the background, and a rep for the game remarked that you'll be interacting with the ol' prince of darkness from time to time during the storyline. Add Vigo to the list of minor characters from the series, like Walter Peck and Annie Potts' Janine Melnitz, who are popping up in the game, and you get the impression Terminal Reality is really cramming everything but the kitchen sink into this game.


#1 Posted by sbritton (10 posts) -
Atari dropped by last week to give Brad and me a look at the Xbox 360 and Wii versions of Ghostbusters: The Video Game. In addition to getting some hands-on time with these versions, we also sat down with Andrew Bermudez, associate producer on the Wii version, and Alexis Habert, a tester at developer Terminal Reality, and recorded a brief podcast discussing the game.

Wii


Atari's paranormal visit to the Giant Bomb office kicked off with a look at the Wii version of Ghostbusters. When dealing with multiplatform games these days, it's a pretty natural instinct to dismiss the Wii version out of hand, so I feel it's important to make it clear here that Ghostbusters on the Wii isn't going to be just an ugly, slapdash port of the “real” game. It certainly shares a lot of key elements with the other versions of Ghostbusters: The Game, such as plotting, voice-acting, and so on. But Atari's claims that developer Red Fly--which most recently produced the well-received Mushroom Men--developed this version of the game specifically with the Wii in mind seem to hold water. Or at least, ectoplasmic residue.

What's most immediately striking about the Wii version of Ghostbusters is the cartoony art style, which may be somewhat reminiscent of the old Real Ghostbusters cartoon if you yourself happen to be old, though I think that's selling the look of the game short. All of the returning Ghostbusters look like extreme caricatures of themselves, which seems to benefit Egon in particular, and the environments are similarly colorful and playful. This art style seems to allow the game's visuals a level of simplicity as a choice, rather than a technical necessity. This, I think, will be key to making Ghostbusters on the Wii feel like a real, standalone game, and not just a cheap-looking afterthought.

Once I actually started playing the game, more unique features became apparent. The controls have, of course, been custom-built for the Wii, and in my short time with the game, they seemed relatively intuitive, letting you move with the analog stick on the nunchuk and aim with the Wii remote. With your unlicensed positron collider strapped to your back, the game basically plays like a third-person shooter, and while I encountered a number of enemies that could just be blasted out of existence, there were some that still required the old wrangle-and-trap method, a process that seems to benefit in particular from the Wii controls.

The Wii version of Ghostbusters promises some platform-specific touches, which we got to see a few of during our demo. Unlike the other versions, you'll be able to play as either a male or female version of the silent rookie character that joins the Ghostbusters at the start of the game. While Atari isn't talking about co-op play in the other versions of the game, we got to participate in a little two-player splitscreen action, as well as a single-screen battle against the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, which saw our characters dangling over the edge of a skyscraper whilst Stay-Puft climbed it, Kong-style.

I'll admit, my affinity to the source material could certainly be clouding my judgment here, but I came away from my time with Ghostbusters: The Game on the Wii eager to see more.




Xbox 360


In terms of broad game mechanics, not much has changed since the last time I got my hands on the Xbox 360 version of Ghostbusters. You've still got multiple weapon types installed in your proton pack, many of which approximate existing shooter weapon archetypes. There was a general level of refinement in this new build, though; the Ghostbusters' character models are looking more like their real-life counterparts and also a little more animated and lifelike than they did a few months ago. Atari was showing off a couple of new levels, one in the bizarro alternate dimension you'll enter from time to time, where everything is off-kilter and creepy-looking. The other was set on top of a building, where I had to trap the spirits of some lewd-talking construction workers before facing off against none other than the Staypuft Marshmallow Man. Or, at least, I got to see him climbing up the side of the building--then I had to give the controller back.

Even though you're not shooting and killing stuff, per se--the ghosts, ghouls, and specters are already dead, I think--the game seems like it will be immediately accessible to anyone who plays third-person shooters. Your nameless rookie Ghostbuster has a lateral dodge move you can use to get out of the way of trouble, and you can go into a short sprint, Gears of War roadie run-style, to cover ground quickly. The process of wrangling a ghost with your beam, throwing out a trap, and maneuvering the ghost into it is different enough from a typical shooter to give Ghostbusters a unique feel, though.

In the last preview, I talked about how you can use your PKE meter to investigate the scene for paranormal clues. This time, I saw how Terminal Reality has taken a cue from BioShock's camera mechanic by also letting you scan and research ghosts with the PKE device. When you jump into first-person view, you can target and scan an enemy to add it to your database. If you only catch it in the side of your viewfinder, the enemy merely goes in the list. If you get it centered right in your reticle, however, you get a full scan that adds a lengthy description (written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) to your library. You also get a 10 percent damage bonus against that enemy, so it will be pretty worthwhile to get some scanning done

Lastly, I feel the need to point out that everyone's least appreciated Ghostbusters villain, Vigo the Carpathian, will figure into the game. During a cutscene in the Ghostbusters' firehouse HQ, I noticed Vigo's painting hanging out in the background, and a rep for the game remarked that you'll be interacting with the ol' prince of darkness from time to time during the storyline. Add Vigo to the list of minor characters from the series, like Walter Peck and Annie Potts' Janine Melnitz, who are popping up in the game, and you get the impression Terminal Reality is really cramming everything but the kitchen sink into this game.


#2 Posted by af7lm (75 posts) -

who you gonna call?

#3 Posted by canucks23 (1087 posts) -

Who you gonna call? lol looks decent. Hopefully it'll live up to the movies.

#4 Posted by Cipher (22 posts) -

GHOSTBUSTERS!

#5 Posted by Absurd (2934 posts) -

Nice

#6 Posted by Jolly_Lolly (3537 posts) -

Ghost Busters!

Du-du-du-du dun dun dun DUN!

#7 Posted by N3onThr33 (380 posts) -

=D

#8 Posted by Metiphis (388 posts) -

Dear god I need this game.

#9 Posted by jakob187 (21759 posts) -

Way to shut down the Wii haters like a muthafucker, sir!!!  I'm psyched to play BOTH versions of the game.

#10 Posted by Meteora (5787 posts) -

The Wii version (graphically) actually looks fine. Why? Because it's got a different art style and direction than the Xbox 360 one. It's not like it's carbon copying the models from that console and just dumbing it down 5 times more than needed, they look like two different games if you know what I mean.

#11 Posted by pedantics (62 posts) -

I never thought I'd say this about ANYTHING, but I'm more keen for the wii version than the next gen version.

#12 Posted by Jared (563 posts) -

This is personally my most wanted game of not only the year...but possibly my life,lol!

#13 Posted by wrecks (2318 posts) -

Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown...

Can't Wait!!
#14 Posted by Raven_Sword (3447 posts) -

Why do people keep shafting teh PS3 version? I wanna know if its good too?

#15 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

"Why do people keep shafting teh PS3 version? I wanna know if its good too? "
How different do you expect it to be from the 360 version? Typically the 360 and PS3 versions of games are pretty much identical, I don;t know why people get pissy when only one version is talked about.

#16 Posted by RiddleBrother (511 posts) -

Hmmmmmmmmn. Didn't exactly outright say that he liked the 360 version, did he?

#17 Posted by XaiaX (111 posts) -

Man, Huey Lewis must be super stoked about this reprise of the Ghostbusters.

#18 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -

Looking good.
I just went ahead and created a page for Vigo. Because everyone loves Ghostbusters II, right? Right?

#19 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

It's just...I dunno. Movie to game translation pretty much means guaranteed 3 stars or less right?

#20 Posted by crimped (15 posts) -

wow, the Wii seems like it was made for light gun games! glad to see some 3rd party support.

#21 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12114 posts) -

Uhh... Sure? I haven't seen Ghostbusters in a long time, so I really don't remember that much about it. I really need to see that movie again.

#22 Posted by Double0hFor (410 posts) -

PLEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAASSSSE BE GOOD!!!! :(

#23 Posted by carlthenimrod (1599 posts) -

I'm calling it right now:

This game will probably be better then the NES version.

#24 Posted by HT101 (1179 posts) -

"Is it true?" 
"Yes, it's true that he has no dick."   Bill Murray at his finest.
I really, really, really want to play this game.  This is definitely a day one purchase for me.

#25 Posted by StarFoxA (5163 posts) -

This game is really intriguing. I'll have to keep an eye on it.

#26 Posted by Roboto (25 posts) -

He is Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!

#27 Posted by sasnipes (111 posts) -

So, I haven't read up much about this game, but does it by chance have 4 player co-op?  That would be so sweet :D

#28 Posted by needforswede (492 posts) -

I haven't seen the movie since the theaters to be honest, and I don't think I've ever seen the second one.  But I've been more or less interested in this game since I saw just one screenshot from the 360 version months ago.  It just looked stunning, from what I could gather from a static image.  The Wii version sounds interesting too, but I only have a 360.

And this isn't really a movie-to-game translation is it? I mean from what I hear, it's an original story...there hasn't been a movie in over a decade, so it doesn't seem likely that it would follow either movie too closely.  Sure, it's safe to assume that when the next Transformers movie comes out, there will be a game released on every console that will be mediocre at best...but the Ghostbusters game isn't that sorta deal.

#29 Posted by Marzy (675 posts) -

The Wii version has been sounding good, I'll have to keep my eye on it. I love the cartoon style they have chosen to do it in and I prefer it to the realistic visuals.

#30 Posted by Landmine (528 posts) -

Wow Ryan.. thanks for calling me old! I remember Real Ghostbusters. *grabs cane and hobbles away*

#31 Posted by AspiringAndy (332 posts) -

Garnett from 1up seemed to like the wii version quite a bit, hopefully this game will do the franchise justice.

#32 Posted by Sunjammer (925 posts) -

He is Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!

#33 Posted by PenguinDust (12629 posts) -

Are the Ray Parker Jr. and Bobby Brown songs in the game?

And, Ryan, you didn't answer the one big question on everybody's mind...How is Elvis, and have you seen him lately?

#34 Posted by Death_Unicorn (2838 posts) -

Who is sbritton? A new staff member?

#35 Posted by zityz (2360 posts) -

Both versions look good. I'll probably get the Wii version, and just borrow the 360 from a friend or something.

Also, can you unlock a gaint brown ape with a fedora on it? if so awesome :)

#36 Posted by Kohe321 (3533 posts) -

Hope it's good!

#37 Posted by Brackynews (4094 posts) -

*kitchen sink flies out window*

#38 Posted by kennybaese (683 posts) -

This looks like it could be a ton of fun. Looking forward to getting my hands on it.

#39 Posted by LordAndrew (14430 posts) -
Death_Unicorn said:
"Who is sbritton? A new staff member?"
I think he's one of the guys who work behind the scenes. Probably a site developer, judging by the emblem on his GameSpot profile.
I've noticed that sometimes they will post news articles on the behalf of another staffer.
#40 Posted by Lepuke (327 posts) -

This game is going to be a nostalgic smorgasbord to take in, so it better not be a bad or I will get indigestion.

#41 Posted by Media_Master (3283 posts) -

Now, which one to get....

#42 Posted by Pibo47 (3166 posts) -

Hope this game turns out well.

#43 Edited by GameON (31 posts) -

Sad that Sigourney Weaver was too late to the party to reprise Dana for completeness sake, but we still have Janine <3

Lepuke, I share your sentiments. It's looking pretty good though.

#44 Posted by 45ysdfgsd g35t3t54 3t4 (48 posts) -

With stuff like this i always get the feeling that everyone is going to be let down. I really hope we dont.

#45 Posted by RossF (7 posts) -

What you sayin about my gran?

#46 Posted by EisforExtinction (78 posts) -

So by having "key elements [...] such as plotting, voice-acting, and so on" does that mean the story in the game is the same? I was kind of hyped by the Wii version but if you're playing the same game but with different graphics and controls I think I might pass. I thought the two versions were two completely different games but this post makes me think different. Anyone else bummed by this possibility?

#47 Posted by Death_Unicorn (2838 posts) -
LordAndrew said:
"Death_Unicorn said:
"Who is sbritton? A new staff member?"
I think he's one of the guys who work behind the scenes. Probably a site developer, judging by the emblem on his GameSpot profile.I've noticed that sometimes they will post news articles on the behalf of another staffer."
Thanks. =)
#48 Posted by afrokola (547 posts) -

Vigo shouldn't really be kicking but if he's in the game I can't see any reason to complain.

#49 Posted by Kaylila (5 posts) -

I am getting uber excited for this game! I am definately buying it! Don't cross the beams!

#50 Posted by Geno (6477 posts) -

Totally not feeling this game. Then again I didn't like the movies either.

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