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Ghostbusters (Amstrad CPC)

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3.8
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Written by  :  Wertzui (176)
Written on  :  Aug 21, 2012
Platform  :  Amstrad CPC
Rating  :  0.75 Stars0.75 Stars0.75 Stars0.75 Stars0.75 Stars

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Summary

May be worse than the NES version? ---UPDATE---

The Good

--- Okay, I was a little bit harsh last time when I reviewed this port, since then I did some research. Also, a Youtube review notes that there are two slightly different Ghostbusters for the Amstrad CPC for tape and disk. I reviewed the tape release. ---

The original Commodore 64 game was pretty fun. Not the best game around, but it was charming to drive around the city the way I wanted, and earning money by catching ghosts while listening to the G.B. theme music and digitized speech. Things start out slowly, but as the PK meter goes up, chaos unleashes. Marshmallow man appears randomly and leaves destruction behind, for which you have to pay certain amount of your earned money if you were not pre-cautious enough to prevent it. It even has a boss fight (kind of) and an ending, what was a novelty back then.

The Amstrad CPC was a brand new machine by that time, they also ported the game for this computer. What I recently saw of it, I say, THEY FAILED MISERABLY!

The Bad

--- I watched some footages of it, tried out different emulators (yeah, I know, it would be the best to run it on real hardware if had a CPC), and many of the flickering and gameplay bugs were gone, or at least reduced. I Still find the choppy animations (in the tape version), speech and music irritating though. ---

Okay, some of the problems might be caused by the emulator, but still.

- "GHSTBSKHHH KKKKKKK" ...WHAT THE!?? Yeah, the speech. Extremely loud, noise filled, barely recognizable and... ugh. It's not just in the intro, it pops up whenever you catch a ghost or escapes one, just to scare the **** out of you.

- Once you survived the intro "speech" you are soon threatened by the music. It's flat, the pitch is too low, it's full of off-notes, it's slow, in overall, it's quite badly done. The sing-along text also contains spelling errors, the bouncing ball is not synced to the music, and several hits that discourages you to see the actual gameplay. By the way, this music follows you through the entire game and always restarts after the speech.

- the animations are quite choppy and they flicker horribly. It is especially bad at the driving stages, you don't see that the car is supposed to go, it's just a big flickering. The travelling ghosts can be quite interesting sometimes, multiple ghosts can stick together and create interesting (flicker free!) shapes.

- There is rarely any job, even if the PK meter gets higher.

- Other small, annoying bugs and missing bits I am sick thinking of.

The Bottom Line

--- Plus information: The disk release (which requires either a CPC 6128 or a 464 with an external drive) has some advantages and disadvantages: a re-drawn intro logo, some missing bits (compared to the C64 version) are present too, some graphics were changed compared to the tape release, flicker free and prehaps less choppy animations and it has the ending "cutscene". But it is multiload, and the load times during gameplay are long (at least compared to the tape release which loads into memory in whole and needs no further data, but that might be the cause of it's problems as well). Unfortunately, the music and speech is the same in both releases. ---

It lacks the charm of the C64 version, it's rushed and buggy, it really goes on your nerves if you let it go more than ten minutes.

It might be because it's one of the earliest games for this platform, but soo many later Amstrad CPC games do not live up to their potential too.