Ghost in the Shell
Description official description
Ghost in the Shell is a 3D shooter based on the original comic by Masamune Shirow rather than Mamoru Oshi's film. The story is set in the future and focuses on a team of policemen led by the female cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi, which fights technology-related crimes. The player takes the role of a new member in Kusanagi's anti-terrorist squad and gets to accomplish missions on the Fuchikoma, a spider-like AI equipped tank. During the course of the twelve missions a plot starts to surface concerning a giant skyscraper, the Aereopolis II.
The Fuchikoma can be controlled from either third- or first-person view. It is permanently equipped with a machine gun, homing missiles (which are activated by holding the attack button), and limited supplies of grenades; there are no other weapons or tools in the game. The Fuchikoma can also jump, strafe, stick to the walls, climb on them, and even move on the ceilings. Missions mostly take place in enclosed outdoor or indoor areas and often involve destroying specified targets. Two of the missions are rail-shooting sequences.
Credits (PlayStation version)
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|Based on The Original Manga by|
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Average score: 76% (based on 17 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 14 ratings with 1 reviews)
Ghost in the Shell is a fundamental piece in the history of animé, and as every piece of successful Japanese media does, it had it's videogame incarnation. The joke is, however, in the fact that the game is not based on the Ghost in the Shell motion picture that everyone knows and loves, but rather on the comic book series that started it all but which is only known by sweaty, nerdy, comic-book geeks that wear Optimus Prime T-Shirts. Instead of being placed in the shoes of Major Kusanagi as she tries to come to terms with the meaning of life while chasing a mysterious hacker, you take the role of an un-named rookie member in Kusanagi's Fuchikoma squad.
Whazzat?? says you. Well, while the plot of the comic book series eventually turns into the puppet master crisis just as in the movie, the bulk of it is made of several individual stories of counter terrorism and similar events undertaken by Kusanagi and co. with the help of their trusty Fuchikomas, man-sized tanks with the shape of a beetle that possess and AI of it's own and are also able to jack with the user for what I assume is a better wireless connection. These Fuchikomas are also fully armed vehicles with thermo-optic camouflage features and the ability to climb, jump and swing from buildings a-la Spider-man.
The game puts you at the helm of one of these Fuchikomas, and sends you out to complete a variety of missions that boil down to shooting a series of key objectives, to gain access to a gigantic boss you have to shoot down, while shooting everyone that gets in your way and uh... well, you get the idea, right? Yup, this is a 3D action game, where you see the action from your standard 3rd person perspective (switchable to a 1st person view anytime) from which you ride your Fuchikoma around different scenarios based on different locations of a futuristic Tokyo filled with mecha-riding terrorists and armored troopers that constitute the grounds for each mission.
These locations are built around several themes, and exploit your Fuchikoma's ability to jump around and stick to walls and ceilings (much earlier than Spidey ever decided to swing by the psx) and thus take you through the streets, rooftops, vents, ceilings and other locations that add an interesting twists to what are essentially generic 3D arcade levels. It has to be experienced to be truly understood but it's quite a cool experience to dodge a couple of laser blasts by jumping into a beam and then to a nearby building or entering a skyscrapper's lobby from the ceiling as you strafe around raining hell from above with your arsenal of weapons. Arsenal that includes twin machine guns, screen-clearing grenades and up to 6 simultaneous swarm homing missiles that shoot out of your Fuchikoma and rush to their targets doing all sorts of swirls and leaving cool smoky traces in their way.
Furthermore, the levels are well designed aside from that gimmick and take you through all sorts of challenges that include chasing a camouflaged spy through the slums and eventually facing him over a flooded street as in the movie (complete with the water splashes as the only telltale sign of his position), or taking to the sewers to access an underground military station, or a couple of high-velocity chases through a highway and the local port as you fight oncoming vehicles, etc. etc. Truly good stuff tailor-made to exploit the many cool gimmicks brought to the table by the gameplay but also entertaining on it's own.
The graphics rise to the challenge presented by these lavish stages and produce substantially cool environments that still look good to this day if you take into account the resolution limitations of the psx. The textures won't knock you off your feet but they do their job effectively and add considerable detail to the surroundings. The real showstoppers however are the lighting and special effects, that include the aforementioned smoke trails, incredible laser beams that make each boss fight look like a bonafide lasershow, and other assorted effects that put the glitz in the game.
The sound department is equally detailed with excellent surround effects, movie cast voiceovers (except for Kusanagi herself, who is voiced by a different actress) and a bitching techno soundtrack that while a tad monotonous fits the game's high-tech theme like a glove and also provides a thumping, driving soundtrack for the many firefights in the game.
A special mention must also be made about the game's cutscenes which didn't resort to dodgy cgi crap and instead were done by the same animation house responsible for the movie's superb 2D cel animation and which bring the same level of quality with the only change being the use of more cartoonish character design that mimicks Shirow's comic art instead of the realistic, almost western, drawings of the movie. The cutscenes connect the game's missions and tell the plot of the game and are truly sights to behold, including the most beautiful cel-animated cutscenes ever to grace any videogame on any platform. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the game is worth the buy just for a look at it's cutscenes, which are the crowning feature in a game that includes one of the most carefully crafted production packages that I've seen, with superb production values, spotless control, streamlined menu screens and briefing animations that mimick the movie's 3D Network displays and assorted extras such as bonus cutscenes and "challenge" training stages that rank your progress as you go.
The levels are incredibly cool, but also pretty short unfortunately, and I get the feeling that the game as a whole was a bit on the easy side. Also while the plot works for an action game, it's miles away from being anything that even remotely comes close to the movie or comic's groundbreaking material.
And where's my two-player support???
The Bottom Line
An exciting and amusing arcade shooter that incorporates cool level design and interesting gimmicks into a tried and true design complemented with simply astounding production values and details. A must for action gamers and worth the look for other gamers thanks to the moderate/easy difficulty level and additional features.
And check out those cutscenes!!
PlayStation · by Zovni (10502) · 2004
The main animation studio responsible for the Ghost in the Shell movie, Production I.G., contributed over 10 minutes of new animations to the game using the original character design (by Shirow) instead of the one featured in the movie. Also, the entire cast of voiceactors from the movie (save for Kusanagi) return to reprise their roles.
Related Sites +
Wikipedia: Ghost in the Shell
Information about Ghost in the Shell at Wikipedia
- MobyGames ID: 4903
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Game added by Zovni.
Game added August 29th, 2001. Last modified October 21st, 2023.