Bustin' Makes Me Feel Good: Clichés aside, Ghostbusters delivers franchise fun | Film Events | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Screen » Film Events

Bustin' Makes Me Feel Good: Clichés aside, Ghostbusters delivers franchise fun



choose the form of your destructor.Dear Garrett,

I cheered when I saw your name listed atop Atari's credits as "Producer" of Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Congratulations on getting such an important job on such a high-profile project, and bravo for playing a part in the development of the defining art form of the 21st Century. It's always great to see a friend succeed.

It must have been a finicky job. I noticed multiple companies credited with the development of the game. Unfortunately, having one company design the main game and another design the multiplayer missions kept the multiplayer gameplay segregated from the storyline in a way that didn't feel Ghostbuster-y at all. Everyone knows the Ghostbusters are a group. Their camaraderie is what made the movie so charming, and I regretted having to play through the campaign with nothing more than computer-controlled comrades on my side.

Do you remember in college when we were on crew-you in varsity, me in junior varsity-and I had to join your boat because one of your boatmates was too drunk to compete? I was out of my league with you guys, no matter how hard I rowed. Well, playing with the computer-controlled Ghostbusters felt like that, only this time I was the only competent one. The Ghostbusters rarely helped me with the enemies that I was attacking, and they were remarkably slow at taking down ghosts on their own.

I read in an interview where you described this game as "Gears of War-lite." That might not have been the best choice of words. It gave no idea of how challenging the actual ghost-battles are. Airborne enemies are much trickier to track than foes who are sitting on the same plane as me. Pursuing the swooping spooks with my proton stream while leaving a trail of charred furnishings was a blast. The mayhem meshed perfectly with the combat, and made the bustin' feel good.

I also found that wrangling the ghosts into the trap was much trickier than I expected. It really did feel like I was tugging a conscious entity against its will into a shoebox-sized prison. And the ghosts themselves looked great. Translucent and glowing, they were better special effects than the ones in the movies.

Not many games tackle such active, 3D combat, nor do it with so much polished style. So I'm looking forward to your next project. Give me some heads-up when you know what it is, and write when you can.

Best, Marty

THE GOOD: P.S. Congratulations on getting all the original actors to provide the voices for their characters. Did you get to meet Bill Murray? His one-liners are still the comic highlights of the dialogue.

THE BAD: P.P.S. After a listless sequel and a lifeless cartoon, most of the good Ghostbusters jokes have been used to death. But here they are again, haunting this game like ghosts from a funnier franchise. Couldn't you have asked Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis to write something amusing or at least original?

THE BOTTOM LINE: Despite its brief, linear length and overreliance on overused Ghostbusters gags, the videogame is enlivened by plenty of free-floating, kinetic combat and a solid visual style.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game ★★★✩✩
Rated Teen; Windows PC, 360, PS3

About The Author

Speaking of Game On

Add a comment

More by Intern

  • The Other Half of the Yoga Equation

    The Source Issue 45 (Nov. 10) contained wonderful information about the forms of yoga offered in our vicinity. Most of the information covered pertained to the socially enjoyable forms of yoga enjoyed by the folks who use yoga mats and bendy posturing as they concentrate on improving their blissful breathing techniques. These physical forms of yoga are the beautiful compliments to the mental, mindful and meditative forms of yoga that balance the larger yoga (yogic) equation. Yoga is basically a non-denominational practice aimed at balancing the physical (body) existence with the meta-physical (mind) reality. The ensuing mind-body balance creates the union required for an increased "understanding" (consciousness) of the "living experience."
    • Jan 25, 2012
  • Walden's Corporate Servitude

    In the time-honored American tradition of peaceful civil disobedience, I am proud to be one of eight Central Oregon citizens arrested on December 5 in Congressman Greg Walden's Bend office. At our January 26 trial we plan to present a compelling defense. This act of dissent follows years of futile attempts to encourage the Congressman to hold open, unscripted town meetings accessible to a majority of his constituents. The Congressman has grown so suspicious of impromptu encounters with ordinary citizens that on Saturday he required a Bend Police Department intervention that enabled him to enter the Water Project meeting at the Chamber of Commerce through the back door. (Greg, we are nonviolent people who believe that democracy thrives on open dialogue and transparency; there is no reason to avoid us.)
    • Jan 25, 2012
  • Doors of Equality Swing Both Ways

    I had to respond to "What's Wrong with Siri," (News, 1-4) since Apple's Siri isn't the problem. Three hours before I read, "What's wrong with Siri," I went to a store in town and complimented the cashier that this was the nicest "dollar" store I had ever been in.
    • Jan 11, 2012
  • More »

Latest in Film Events