When someone asks if You're a God,You say YES!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I was no more than four years old when I saw Ghostbusters for the first time. We lived in a trailer on some friend's property and I sat on our strange, matted down carpet playing with dinosaurs and staring at the TV. My parents had gotten a VCR not long before and my dad, (being my dad) went over to the school he and my mother worked at and grabbed every VHS he could carry. That night I was introduced to the movie that I would watch obsessively over the next couple months.

I loved Ghostbusters so much, I pretended I was a Ghostbuster whenever I got the chance. My brother actually built me a little Proton Pack out of an old tent, a few dowels and some surgical tubing that I carried everywhere until I lost it in the shop.

I'd run around the house screaming "AIM FOR THE FLAT TOP!" I'd draw the Stay-Puft marshmallow man on large sheets of paper and vanquish him over and over again. I didn't get the sex jokes, I didn't understand half of the things they said, but I loved that movie more than most could believe.

I wrote little stories about the Ghostbusters and watched the cartoon ever morning. If some blasted parent asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd reply "Peter Venkman" with a smug degree of disdain for not knowing already. Ghostbusters was my life.

Honestly though, who didn't want to suit up and fight ghosts with unstable technology? Check that, who doesn't want to suit up and fight ghosts with unstable technology? You see, Ghostbusters has mastered the entertainment formula, combining comedy, horror and action into one neat little package, covered in marshmallow debris.

With all that said, I have to say that I was very wary of the Ghostbusters video game. When I first heard the announcement last year I was excited, but felt the game was doomed to failure. When the game was roped in July, just as I had convinced myself the game would be worth playing, I thought the game was dead for good.

PAX was a particularly painful reminder that year, with the glow in the dark Ghostbusters lanyards, and the conspicuous absence of ECTO-1. Hiro and I spoke at length of what a huge money maker Activision Blizzard had passed up. Names were called, lines were drawn in metaphorical sand and one or two people may have died.

Then all at once, the light of day shone clear on my face when Atari announced they were picking up the game. All that led to a series of trailers and finally, just yesterday, the game was released to great reviews.

Ghostbusters The Video Game is spectacular in almost every way. The audio is spot on with the films. The first time you hear the proton pack switch on it's the same as you heard it in the film. Even the little things like the sound of the pack as you move and the sound of the trap hitting the floor are all there. Most games wouldn't bother with this level of fealty to the original material.

The voice acting and story is unmistakably Ghostbusters. From Ray's obscure occult knowledge, to Venkmans caustic wit, not a line is out of place and all members of the cast in top form. I actually forget sometimes that I'm actually playing a game instead of watching the third film.

Controlling the proton pack is intuitive without being too easy. It's nigh impossible to bag a ghost without damaging your surroundings pretty significantly. Blasting Slimer in the hotel, I strayed a little too high, and took out very very expensive. Suddenly something was vaporized and the damages icon flashed close to $5,000. Whoops.

Really though, Ghostbusters the Video Game has captured that same magic the original film had. It's perfect in it's portrayal of the Ghostbusters universe and that brings a tear to my eye. I can't thank the developers enough for their work on this title. Now if only the PS3 version had split screen co-op and Sigourney Weaver.

Thanks for reading everyone, I'll have more once I finish the game. Tune in Friday for the second part of my Adventure Game Field Guide. As always, tell your friends and bookmark our monstrous URL.