Ghostbusters • Page 2

Wii ain't afraid of no ghost.

There are puzzles, but they're basic stuff. You'll find lots of batteries to restart lots of generators, wrangling them into place with your proton pack since Ghostbusters apparently don't have hands, while later on you'll use your spectral goggles to locate hidden objects. You may, for instance, have to find an invisible stone ball which must then be sprayed with green slime to allow you to manipulate it with the proton pack before firing it through a hoop. It's hard to ignore the fact that while the on-screen result may differ, all these rudimentary gameworld interactions use the same old aim and fire technique as everything else.

Noticeably and often unnecessarily abridged from the existing console version, it's hard to shake the suspicion that the Wii is being slightly patronised in its treatment here. Apart from the obvious disparity in visual power and fancy physics, there wouldn't seem to be much in the original version, gameplay-wise, that couldn't be done on the Wii yet while the game is structurally similar to its HD sibling, there have still been cuts and excisions. Online play has gone, obviously, replaced with a well-intentioned but cramped split-screen co-op mode. You can no longer earn money or upgrade equipment, for example. There are less collectibles, and the rewards for finding them are fewer and less interesting.

Mostly you'll be hunting for pages from Tobin's Spirit Guide, which occasionally include handy tips for defeating certain spooks, but mostly serve to fulfill your recommended daily allowance of pointless item-hunting. These pages are hidden inside smashable objects, so if you really want to find them all you need to destroy pretty much everything you see, right down to the last table lamp.

As with the ghost catching, this is fun for the first level but soon becomes a mindless chore with no tangible payoff. Pages must also be matched with scans taken from enemies and objects so you'll find yourself switching from proton pack to scanner in each room as you check to see if there's anything collectible to be found. Or, of course, you won't. This long-winded task is only good for accessing a handful of unlockable abilities - such as, ooh, faster scanning speed - and even that requires you to find half the secrets in the game.


Mission #1: Retune Dan Aykroyd's Freeview box before the digital switchover.

It's the visual change that is most bizarre though. The Wii is perfectly capable of handling realistic human characters, but perhaps labouring under the assumption that Wii owners are confused by anything that isn't broad and cartoon-like, developer Red Fly has instead opted for a squat caricature style. It's not unappealing, and even has echoes of The Real Ghostbusters in its design, but it does feel unnecessary and leaves poor Bill Murray looking like a zombie Ian Hislop.

Ghostbusters was, let's be honest, never a particularly good game. Coasting on the enduring appeal of its licence, and paying more attention to the cast and catchphrases than any long-term entertainment potential, it stops short of offering any real depth or engagement. The Wii version shows no more ambition than its big brother, boasting solid, repetitive action but little else.

Instead we get another merely serviceable theme park ride; a brief, unchallenging jaunt through linear corridors decorated with just enough "official merchandise" appeal to mask the threadbare design. That will likely be enough to placate eager fans for one weekend playthrough, but it doesn't really do justice to their long simmering passion or the film that inspired it.

6 / 10

Ghostbusters Dan Whitehead Wii ain't afraid of no ghost. 2009-11-03T11:00:00+00:00 6 10

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