Even though much of the pre-release hype surrounding this game has focussed on other systems, that shouldn't obscure the fact that Ghostbusters on the Wii is a very good game, worthy of as much coverage as the hi-def versions. Ghostbusters is a very different game to both the DS effort and the bigger, flashier titles on other consoles. Dan Aykroyd has said he prefers the Wii representation because it captures the romance of the movies, whereas the high-end production values of the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions felt colder and more clinical. Then again, Dan Aykroyd does spend his free time chasing flying saucers.
Instead of realistic visuals and detailed character models, what we get here is a more stylised look, not a million miles from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon on TV in the '80s. While it does all look decidedly muddy at times, this comical take fits perfectly with the sparky dialogue, penned largely by Aykroyd, and helps to give this game its own identity. For a refreshing change, it's not a diluted version of a more complex game shoehorned onto the Wii.
Anyone with a loose idea of how the movies went will be immediately familiar with this. Your first mission as a budding new recruit takes you to the Sedgwick Hotel of the original movie, where you first encountered Slimer. This time the lump of flying snot has escaped containment and headed back to his old haunt, so trailing Venkman, Stanz and Spengler, you head to the hotel to familiarise yourself with the controls. The analogue thumbstick on the Nunchuk is used for movement, but you direct your character's point of view (and weapon) by using the Wii Remote to aim the reticule on-screen. Great in theory, and it's a very responsive means of control, but the fact is that not everyone keeps their Remote pointed at the centre of the screen for the entire game.
During cut-scenes you'll probably sit back and relax, but then re-enter the game to find the camera spinning. Hugely annoying. A system like the one used in other games which has you only aiming with your Remote upon drawing your weapon would be a much more satisfying one.
The A button unleashes your proton stream in a flash of blue and orange, but you must watch the meter in the top left corner to prevent it from overheating and cutting out. The idea is to blast a ghoul with the stream to weaken it and then slam it into walls and objects to break its resistance. There's a lot of fun motion control business here - you wave your arms to slap the spectre about and then slide out the trap by holding Z and making a bowling motion with your arm. A mini-game crops up to successfully shepherd the ghost into the trap but these are actually tedious and overly long, with even the smaller ghouls at the start of the game requiring a good hiding before they give up the, er, ghost, so to speak.
Two Hot To Handle
The fire station of the movies is the hub of the experience and just before each mission you're given the option of playing on your own or with a second player. The entire game is playable in co-op, which is nice to see, but the framerate becomes noticeably unstable with a second player alongside you. This and a number of other small niggles add up to a generally shabby atmosphere which might prevent this spending too long in your Wii. For example, at one point we were referred to as a 'he', even though we were playing as the girl character. Lazy.
Nevertheless, Ghostbusters is a well-realised game with a corking sense of humour, some great film favourite bosses and sharp controls, at least when it comes to aiming your weapon. It's well worth your time, pennies and rose tinted specs.