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Ghostbusters (Sega Master System) artwork

Ghostbusters (Sega Master System) review

"How come Winston isn't in this game? I know he shows up later in the film, but still... "

How come Winston isn't in this game? I know he shows up later in the film, but still...

Though, when you first start out, it doesn't seem like he's really needed. After purchasing one of four cars (you know which one you want), and stocking up on items with the limited amount of money you have, you begin your busting of ghosts. And that's literally all you'll be doing as you drive from one flashing building to another on the single-screen, overhead map. When you get to one of the buildings, you'll have to do another driving sequence again... Yeah, if it sounds weird, it's because it is weird. Basically, the distance you've traveled on the overhead map translate into how long you'll have to drive in this closer driving segment, where you'll have to avoid reckless drivers and road repairs.

Once you finally get to the building, you'll get the chance to capture some ghosts floating in front of it. Even though you have three Ghostbusters, the game will only allow you to use two (both of which look like Bill Murray), and with the help of their proton packs, you'll have to herd the ghosts above the trap to catch them. It's real tricky at first, because you're still trying to figure out the order you'll have to press the two buttons on your controller. Press the wrong button at the wrong time, and you'll accidentally open the trap earlier, catching only some, or even none, in the process. Depending on what item you have in your possession, the free ghosts will attack one of your Ghostbusters right away, most likely forcing you back to headquarters to heal.

Through trial and error, you'll get it right, with the occasional screw up every now and then. Though, that won't make the game better, just a bit more easier to get through. Driving to a building, driving again, and then capturing ghosts in front of buildings may seem neat for maybe the first five times, but it gets old fast. Unfortunately, you'll have to do this almost nonstop for the first 15 or so minutes of the game, because you need to gather up over $10,000 in order to enter the building that "Gorza" is in after that time period ends. However, if you don't have enough, you'll have to start from the beginning again.

You're probably thinking it's a good thing making it into the building eventually, since there'll be a change of pace. Yeah, there's definitely a change of pace, but that's also when the game goes from being repetitive to frustrating and annoying. Greeting you in front of the entrance is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, who hops wildly in front of the door. With your three Ghostbusters, you'll get three chances to enter, and you'll need two of them to pass in order to get to the next segment. It's harder than it sounds, because you only have such a tiny space to squeeze into, and the hit detection is a bit loose. Fail to get two in, and you're forced to play from the very start. And that's where the urge to burn the cart starts.

The ascent up the building isn't so great, either. As you climb up flights of stairs, you'll be met by ghosts that'll randomly appear throughout, above and below you. Some will slowly gravitate towards you, others will float back and forth, and then there are those that throw plates at you. Yeah, it sounds stupid, but those are the worst ones, because they'll throw them at different heights and at different speeds. And it doesn't help that the plates bounce off of walls, hitting you in the back. Now, this probably wouldn't have been so frustrating if it weren't for your limited attack range. One button shoots forward, while the other shoots upper right or upper left. That's it. Of course, if you lose all three Ghostbusters, you know what happens. Man, Winston could really come in handy here...

I'm not gonna even begin to tell you how annoying the final battle on the rooftop is, because after those last two segments, you can pretty much guess it anyway. Ghostbusters had a lot of potential to be a fun release about busting ghosts, but it just turned out to be one big, tiring exercise. Some more variety could have really improved this game, like being able to capture ghosts in different environments and circumstances. A lifebar would have been very helpful as well. You're better off trying out another Ghostbusters title than to torture yourself with this one.

dementedhut's avatar
Community review by dementedhut (October 09, 2007)

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