Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Wii) — First Impressions

I've finally had the opportunity to briefly try out Ghostbusters on the Wii. While it was far from enough time to write a full review, I think I got a good enough impression of the game to compare it with the Xbox 360 version (henceforth referred to as the Terminal Reality version). The first few things worth mentioning are the visuals, controls, and features.

The most obvious change is in the visuals. Instead of trying to duplicate the realistic look of the Terminal Reality versions on the underpowered hardware of the Wii (or the PS2, the version for which is basically the same as the Wii's, save for the controls), developer Red Fly Studio created a more cartoony aesthetic for their game. While these caricatures are easily identifiable as the actors they're meant to portray, some of the designs are a little goofy, and leave me wishing they had licensed DIC's designs from The Real Ghostbusters. Voices, music, and sound effects are all carried over from the Terminal Reality version, which helps to lend this version some authenticity.

Controls in the Wii version are just what you'd expect: move with the Nunchuk joystick, aim with the Remote, shoot with the B trigger. Trapping ghosts is the same as the Terminal Reality version, except that the game tells you what direction to slam the ghost, instead of whatever direction you want.

The features offered are a little different in the Red Fly version. Story mode is basically the same, with a few minor differences, and one major one: co-op. You can play through the entire campaign with a friend locally. You can also choose the gender of the Rookie character (though in co-op there is always one male and one female) which can cause continuity problems, since the game dialog still refers to the Rookie as a male. Also, there is no online multiplayer, nor can you play any additional non-story-related missions.

The couple areas I played were familiar, based on my play-through of the 360 version, but obviously less detailed and a bit truncated. Layouts are changed in some areas; especially the firehouse, which is not nearly as accurately reproduced as the Terminal Reality versions'. Most of the differences, however, would only be noticeable if you had played both versions.

All things considered, Ghostbusters is still a great game no matter which version you get. While I wouldn't recommend the Red Fly version over the Terminal Reality version, if all you have is a Wii or PS2, and you're a Ghostbusters fan, you shouldn't be disappointed by what this version has to offer. If I was to give it a score based on what I've played, I'd give it a solid 8.0.

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