One of the main problems with the early Ghostbusters games is that they tried to be more complicated than they had to be. All we really needed was a solid platformer where you run around and blast ghosts. It wasn’t until Ghostbusters on the Sega Genesis that we finally got just that.
In Ghostbusters, you’re allowed to choose between Peter, Ray, and Egon. For some reason, Winston’s not in the game. I guess Sega’s just a bunch of racists or something. Each character plays slightly differently… I prefer Venkman, since he’s the most balanced.
The game has a super-deformed art style, solid gameplay, and tight controls. You can shoot in all directions, and the goal is much simpler: just make your way through the stages and blast ghosts. There’s no ghost trap or anything, just your proton beam… though you do get upgrades and even bombs to help you along the way.
In addition to the stages, you can also go to two different stores: one that sells items, and one that sells upgrades. Both are crucial to completing the game… you don’t get your health back between stages, so buying food is a must. Upgrades make you more powerful, such as giving you a 3-way shot.
While fun, the game can be quite difficult at times. It’s far from the hardest game the Genesis had to offer, but it definitely requires some trial and error and patience. However, the difficulty is for the most part fair, and the game is fun enough to keep you playing till the end.
Overall, Sega’s Ghostbusters is undeniably leagues ahead of the Activision Ghostbusters games. The gameplay is fun and addicting, the graphics and music are quite good, and the game offers a challenge without being too punishing. This and New Ghostbusters II stand out as gems of retro gaming. However, a lot of time has passed since then. There’s been a couple of other Ghostbusters games since then… how do they fare?
2009 brought us Ghostbusters: The Video Game by Atari. Now, without getting into it too much, let me just say that this is my favorite game of the bunch. This is the first game to truly look and feel like Ghostbusters. The gameplay, though somewhat repetitive, is fun and engaging. The voice acting is, of course, great. All the classic Ghostbusters music is there, the script is well-written and witty, and overall, it’s GHOSTBUSTERS. There’s been some debate over whether a Ghostbusters 3 should even be made, but heck, this pretty much IS Ghostbusters 3. I still pop the game in to play it from time to time, and honestly I never really get tired of it. Maybe I’ll do a full review of it some day, but for now, trust me when I say that this, along with New Ghostbusters II and Sega’s Ghostbusters, are well worth your time.