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New Ghostbusters II (NES) artwork

New Ghostbusters II (NES) review


"A couple of years ago, I reviewed “New Ghostbusters II” and gave it either an eight or nine out of ten. Now it’s 2009, the 25th anniversary of the first “Ghostbusters” movie. A new game based on the franchise has been released for every major platform, which I haven’t played yet. Its guiding vision was to achieve what “New Ghostbusters II” already had nearly two decades ago: create the ultimate game to the “Ghostbusters” movies. "



A couple of years ago, I reviewed “New Ghostbusters II” and gave it either an eight or nine out of ten. Now it’s 2009, the 25th anniversary of the first “Ghostbusters” movie. A new game based on the franchise has been released for every major platform, which I haven’t played yet. Its guiding vision was to achieve what “New Ghostbusters II” already had nearly two decades ago: create the ultimate game to the “Ghostbusters” movies.

I’m now upgrading my rating to a flat-out ten out of ten. I no longer see the point in depriving one or two points from a game that has completely realized its goal. There’s only five levels? “Shinobi” only had five missions. Neither game is about how long the player’s butt is planted in the seat. Holding a game to its ability to monopolize a player’s time is stupid, when what’s really important is what the game gives back in return for the player’s attention. “New Ghostbusters II” gives us the opportunity to do what video gamers have yearned for since 1984: strap on a proton pack and capture ghosts.

It not only does this, but it does it very well. As a matter of fact, no game has done it better. I doubt even the recent game is as good. The controls are so simple: one button fires the proton stream, the other slings a trap. The set-up is simple: go from room to room clearing out waves of spirits. There are two Ghostbusters, one in charge of ensnaring the ghost and the other handling the trap mechanism. You only have to worry about one of them being vulnerable to enemies. There’s no unfair practice of having your game cut short because some idiotic A.I. caused your partner to keep running into enemies. The moment you lasso a ghost, you partner arrives on the scene as quickly and efficiently as possible. Hiccups in artificial intelligence are rare, and when they happen it’s never game breaking.

“New Ghostbusters II” is wholly immersed in the mythology of the intellectual property that spawned it. Fans of the 1989 movie “Ghostbusters II” will recognize familiar adversaries and sights: slimers, jogging phantoms, the two resurrected convicts, mood slime, a ghost locomotive, bathroom pipes oozing amorphous blobs…one gets the feeling that the developers absorbed the movie as much as the game’s target audience. The background music is comprised of 8-bit remixes of songs from the “Ghostbusters II” soundtrack album, including “We’re Back”, “Spirit”, and “Flip City”. All of the stages are based on settings from the movie: the court house, the underground railroad, Dana’s apartment, and the river of slime, which flows to the museum.

There are five substantial levels. There are proton packs and slimers. There’s the groovy music. Everything you could ever want from a retro 8-bit “Ghostbusters” game can be found in “New Ghostbusters II”. People have been waiting 25 years for Atari to release the definitive “Ghostbusters” video game, when the real deal has been sitting under fans' noses for nearly 20 years. With console emulation, you have the tools. Now you just have to bring the talent…to “New Ghostbusters II”. Did you get that?

Rating: 10/10

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Community review by joseph_valencia (July 01, 2009)

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randxian posted July 01, 2009:

Ah yes! I remember watching a You Tube video of this game. I looked quite good.

I like your review, except the part in the second paragraph where I think you got a bit overboard defending the game's length. I think a lot of people would be tolerant of a short game as long as it's a good one, particularly older games.

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