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Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered

Ghostbusters: The Video Game was originally released in 2009 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. When Ghostbusters: The Video Game was announced, the game garnered a considerable amount of ambition but had a higher degree of skepticism put against it. At the time, it was decreed that video games based on licensed properties were of extremely average to criminally terrible quality, some reaching and falling below bedrock expectations. There were a few shining examples, such as The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, and Tron 2.0, though the consensus remained the same with a multitude of examples, such as Terminator: Salvation in 2009. However, Ghostbusters: The Video Game arrived to completely change the expectations of gamers and redefine what games could do for existing pop culture properties. Lauded for presentation, production value, and gameplay, Ghostbusters: The Video Game became a wild and successful hit, becoming not just a great game but a game that wound up on the many lists for 2009’s best.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered takes place in 1991, roughly a few short years after the events of Ghostbusters 2. It’s business as usual for the Ghostbusters team, but the time has come to bring on a new recruit: You. Shortly after training, a massive wave of paranormal activity surges throughout New York City. An old nemesis has returned to bring paranormal darkness to The Big Apple, and new ghoulish demons have arrived to terrorize the world. With a proton pack and a revved-up Ecto-1, the Ghostbusters are off again to clean up the town and save the day.

One of the most remarkable parts of Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is the enthusiastic authenticity and striking presentation the game presents. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered provides an exceptional amount of fanservice and makes that level to detail the center of the entire game. Visually, the game looks like the films, despite dated textures and assets. The ECTO-1, the firehouse, and the Ghostbusters themselves have been recreated with unerring accuracy. This is doubly true during the boss fight with the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man and revisiting the fictional Sedgewick Hotel.  Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, and Bernie Hudson reprise their roles from the films with both their voices and likenesses. The talent is shown prominently throughout the duration of the game, cracking quips, jokes, and witty humor as they venture through the city. Music from the original films, composed by Elmer Bernstein, plays through the games many titular moments. Sound effects from the films, namely the proton packs, are sampled and wisely used during the course of the game. The fanservice in Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered goes even further, as Ramis and Akroyd doctored the script for the game and helped to shape the story. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is essentially the Ghostbusters sequel audiences wanted but never quite received.

As for the gameplay, Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered offers a distinct and tailored gameplay mechanic that still holds strong. Throughout the game’s several levels, players fight various types of ghosts, with some being familiar but many unique for Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered. The goal when fighting ghosts is wearing them down, using the proton packs to shoot, freeze, and slam the ghost. Once weakened, players deploy the classic ghost trap, wrangling the ghost into the trap. Players start with the classic Proton stream to blast and subdue ghosts, and eventually, will have a small arsenal to choose from, including ectoplasmic slime and the freeze ray. These weapons are essential to fighting the various ghosts. Smaller ghosts, such as flying books, and deadly marshmellow minions can be easily eliminated, but the bigger challenges are in the larger, floating ghosts, what the lore would call a “free-roaming vapor” These ghosts act more like minibosses, as they fight hard with the player. From throwing objects to emitting interdimensional phantom energies, no ghost is ever easy to eliminate. They fly, go through walls, and are constantly moving. Fighting these ghosts is fun on easier difficulties, it becomes a sharp challenge on higher difficulties. The proton pack, and all of its weapons, are upgradeable, and make a huge difference in combat, though these enemies are not pushovers. In 2020, playing with these mechanics can feel rather dated, but overall, the mechanics still hold strong. It is highly recommended to play Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered on Easy

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered greatly succeeds as the gameplay has you actually feeling like a Ghostbusters. There is a sensation of weight and danger, as the ghosts work to use every dirty trick possible to stop your efforts. Firing the proton pack thrills and excites, and wrangling ghosts with body slams are only part of the fun. It’s when you trap that big bad ghost does and hear it screeching into the void, and Venkman giving a zinger do you get the real sensation of being a Ghostbuster. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered has a multitude of boss fights as well, from the classic StayPuft Marshmellow Man to The Librarian and many other paranormal monstrosities. in terms of the enhancements for Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered, the framerate is improved, and the textures and overall presentation is great. The only aspect that I feel could have been improved on are loading times, as they seem shorter than the original but a bit longer than expected. Still, Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered looks, feels and plays great.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered originally released with an online multiplayer mode in 2009, featuring traditional multiplayer setups. The only negative that I could make in regards to Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is the lack of this mode, though it’s honestly not that big of an omission. The multiplayer mode was innovative, neat, and a nice experiment to the existing ideas, but nothing groundbreaking or truly necessary. The release of Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered centers squarely on the single-player experience. That being said, I would have liked for more levels to the base game, or an entirely new but smaller game to have been incorporated into the base game. With Ghostbusters: Afterlife on the way, more content relating to that particular movie, or even a small game based on the Ghostbusters animated series would have been a welcome extra.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is a one-of-a-kind experience that is made with such enthusiasm that it’s impossible not to like it. The gameplay is strong and the presentation is an absolute treat for anyone who is a fan of the original movies. In 2020, many argue what really makes Ghostbusters a special property, and Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is a great example of why Ghostbusters remains so strongly more than thirty years later. It’s a simple game about everyday people busting ghosts, quipping jokes about the strange and odd predicaments finding themselves in, while they work days and nights on an everyday wage. Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is a great time. Just don’t get slimed.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Prices: $19.99

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 thanks to a key generously supplied to Stack-Up by Sandbox Strategies in New York City, NY. 

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