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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Wii of the weekend: ‘Ghostbusters’

Holy crap, do I loves me this game something fierce. I rented it from GameFly — one of my first rentals from that most excellent service — and I was so reluctant to return it that I eventually decided that it really did make more sense to buy it (only 20 bucks, new from Amazon) rather than tie up half of my two-games-out-at-a-time GameFly subscription with it.

All the things that disappointed me about Toy Story Mania! are done right in this one. When I think about the prospect of a video game based on a movie, the thing I think is this: I want to feel like I’m inside the movie. And this is a movie I’d love to live in, for all the danger of being drowned in marshmallow fluff. I can’t believe how well Ghostbusters the game provides that feeling. Peter Venkman — with Bill Murray’s voice and everything! — is making sarcastic asides… to me! I get to shoot ghosts with my nuclear backpack! I get to whack the captured ghosts around in my particle stream while I toss out a trap! (I am actually seriously worried that I’m gonna sprain my wrist playing this game — I’m sure the Wii controller is sensitive enough not to need big movements, but I just can’t help it: I wanna whack that ghost against the ceiling.)
I think my favorite thing about the game is the fact that you actually cannot avoid causing enormous damage to your surroundings — hotels, museums: elegant New York City spaces — with your particle stream in order to find all the stuff you’re supposed to find. Those ghosts can hide anywhere, in anything, and there’s even secret stuff — pages from Tobin’s Spirit Guide you have to collect — lurking in unexpected corners. I love that there’s really no scoring, at least not on the baby level I’ve been playing, just the financial tally of the destruction you’ve wreaked.

That is very Ghostbusters. Tee-hee!

Oh, and the music! All those delicious cues from Elmer Bernstein’s excellent score for the film pop up in just the right places, which adds so beautifully to the sense that you’re inside the movie.

Did I mention how much I love this game? And that I’m gonna hurt myself playing it? That’s a new feeling for me. Hooray!

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  • JoshDM

    This was produced at the same time the PS3 and XBox 360 versions were; the exception being the poor graphics on the wii required the developers to make the Wii version separate, using a cartoon-style and limiting the levels. I don’t know the exact list of differences.

    Since you enjoyed this, you might like Metroid on Wii, or even Godfather.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I have this on Xbox, and I love it, too. As a game, it’s reasonably fun to play, with no major flaws, but no major innovations either. As a gaming experience, however, it’s outstanding. The script is in many ways more interesting than Ghostbusters 2. And you can’t emphasize enough the importance of having the original actors doing the voice work.
    It’s funny, though, the way Venkman keeps wandering off without the player character. Clearly, Bill Murray demanded a much higher pay rate than Akroyd or Ramis or Hudson. Or a much shorter script. Or both.
    Also, William Atherton! Woohoo! He’s like the nemesis of my childhood. Seriously, has he ever not played a sleezeball?

  • Jason M.

    MaryAnn, maybe you already know this, but if you ever enjoy a game just too much to send it back, sometimes GameFly will allow you to keep it for a substantially lower price than buying it new elsewhere. (Ghostbusters is not currently available for “Keep” on the Wii, but is $12.99 on XBox 360.) They’ll even send you the case and manual.

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