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SummaryBustin' makes me feel good!
The GoodThere was a time where I believed that the best ghost busting experience that could be had on any console was playing Luigi’s Mansion with the Ghostbusters theme song playing on a stereo in the background. It wasn’t perfect but it was a hell of a lot better than any of the actual Ghostbusters games. I was wrong, of course, because one particular Ghostbusters game had gone completely under my radar. That game was “New” Ghostbusters 2.
Now you may say, “Hey, I played Ghostbusters 2, and it sucked hard,” and you’re right, but that’s not the game I’m talking about. Because, while that game was pooped out by Activision, “New” Ghostbusters 2 was created by HAL Laboratory, makers of Kirby’s Dream Land and later, Super Smash Bros. It was also only released in Europe and Japan, which means if you’re from those territories, this paragraph is entirely lost on you and I apologize.
“New” Ghostbusters 2 is actually quite unique, because it appears to have been made by people who both watched and understood the movies. There’s no vacuum cleaner proton packs, no shooting ghosts to death, and there certainly aren’t any ghost infested stairways. You control two of Ghostbusters (your choice), with one handling the proton snaring and the other whipping out the trap to eliminate the ensnared ghost. Gameplay consists entirely of the two Ghostbusters clearing each room before moving onto the next.
What really struck me, besides the game’s faithfulness to the source material, was the licensed soundtrack from the movie. It’s stripped to 8-bits, but still recognizable. It’s a lot better than simply looping the Ghostbusters theme at you the whole time, which was the case in the original NES title.
The Bad“New” Ghostbusters 2 does what it does quite well, but that might be a little bland. You die in a single hit, and some of the ghosts can be a challenge, but busting ghosts is all you ever do. Room to room, level to level, all there is to do is capture ghosts with the odd boss battle thrown in. It’s hard to fault the game for that; the problem is with the source material since ghostbusting is essentially just a job the characters do. To be fair, the game is relatively short, so it doesn’t overstay its welcome, but is that a good thing?
Having to rely on an AI controlled counterpart can sometimes lead to problems. Every so often, your buddy will become trapped against a wall, or will wander around in circles while you hold a ghost in place. It doesn’t occur too often, but it is a noteworthy problem. It would have been nice to allow a second player to control the other Ghostbuster, but I suppose that might’ve just complicated things.
While being able to pick which Ghostbusters to use in the game is a cool feature, it really doesn’t really add anything. None of them have added talents, nor do they control differently. It’s hard to fault a game for an additional feature, but it would have added variety to the game if the characters handled differently.