Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Who you gonna call on the PSP… Ghostbusters


By James Booth

Ghostbusters The Video Game was one of the most eagerly anticipated games of Summer 2009. It was released on every major gaming platform except the PSP (Playstation Portable). Originally, the PSP was to be included as well, but for some reason developers backed out. Well guess what? Sony said, "No way, cough it up."

So it was, that with absolutely no fanfare whatsoever, Ghostbusters The Video game for PSP was released on November 3, 2009. Sadly, the community response to Ghostbusters on the PSP, shown in Figure A, has been less than enthusiastic.


Who you gonna call? (click for larger image)

It would seem all the hooray got played out back in June, but what about the PSP version? Is worth the effort, or is too little too late?

The premise

Ghostbusters The Video Game is set two years after the Ghostbusters II film. The team is still in business in New York City, and paranormal activity is on the rise once again. Business has picked up to the point where the 'Busters have hired an intern: you.

All of your favorites from the films are back. The triumvirate of Ayckroyd, Murry, and Ramis are there, as well as the supporting voice talents of Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, and William Atherton. Alyssa Milano joins the cast in the role of new female lead Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn. Paranormal-based film favorites such as Slimer, the Grey Lady, and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, shown in Figure B, return as well.


The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man returns. (click for larger image)

The locations

Many of the locations from the film return as well, such as the Sedgewick Hotel, from the famous banquet hall capture of Slimer. Other locations are the New York Public Library, home to the Grey Lady, the Museum of Natural History, and of course, the Ghostbusters Firehouse. Ghostbuster's creator Dan Aykroyd has said, "this is essentially the third movie."

As well as the familiar locations and people, film fans will recognize the proton packs carried by the 'busters; backpack-sized particle accelerators used to wrangle their ectoplasmic enemies. Throughout the game, upgrades to the proton pack include such additional features as a "good" slime blower, a stasis stream, shock blast, and others. Players will also make heavy use of the PKE meter (psychokinetic energy) to track down ghostly emanations. Scanning entities with the PKE meter and collecting the appropriate archive page will complete informational entries in Tobin's Spirit Guide.