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Ghostbusters Day#4 – Busting Actually Makes Me Feel Good

The game impresses me today by actually coming into its own and finding the right difficult level. The feedback issues and weird narrative moves continue, but busting has found a rhythm that makes it just plain fun to do, and does anyone honestly need more than that? Spoilers within.

Okay, so maybe I was a bit unfair to these boss fights. There always seems to be a trick you can exploit. In the one I returned to (boss fight against the Collector), it’s the portals. There are portals lining the outside of the arena that teleport you around the room. It allows you to fight the tornado of the Collector and get away quickly when the boss charges you. Once I figured that out, I was only one Mission Failed away from completion. Of course, I must have died ten times before I ever noticed the mirrors existed.

I seem to be narrowing down on a thesis about this game. Fun elements, but major problems with clear feedback.

This game also loves the pointless control. After you finish the library, the guys return to the HQ to study the data they found. You regain control in the HQ. I decided to run around and see what I could do, just because they did give me control rather than force me to go into the next cut scene.

Nothing. There is nothing to do. Okay, you can pantomime playing an arcade game, drink from a water fountain (one step closer to the water fountain achievement!) slide down the pole, and throw a switch on the containment unit. It’s all of five minutes of activity, and there’s no interesting choice in any of it. All this wasted interactivity — sigh.

I eventually gave up and went to the cutscene, which explained that the architect behind Dana Barrett’s building actually built or redesigned a bunch of buildings and all of them add up to some occult occurance. We seem set up to run around the city to the different locations — a decent enough hook to get through the game. I give up my quest for something interesting in the HQ and take the mission. The first stop is the Museum of Natural History, where the opening party for the Gozer exhibiton is happening (ooh, and Peck will be there!) The plan is Venkman goes to the party with our mysterious female lead while the rest of us meet the curator in the basement and sneak in.

We transition immediately from the conversation directly to the basement to hear Ray say, “Okay, now we’re in the basement of the museum.” When my head stops spinning from the whiplash, I take out my PKE meter and start scanning along my standard procedure. I see a spike behind some boxes, so I blast them and uncover some electrical box on the wall. When I approach it, I get an Interact button call, so I hit the button. My character moves around the box, but nothing happens. Okay. I leave and I find Ray and Winston hanging out in front of a door that needs an eletrical signal to open. Aha. So I go back and interact again. Nothing. Maybe a bug. Reload the level. Wait this time until Ray and Winston get to the door, and let them tell me they need a switch. Go back to the crates and blast them. Go to the switch and Interact. Nothing. Try again. Nothing. Blast the area up. Blast the box. Run away and come back. Interact again. It works; the door opens. If you get what just happened, let me know. I shrug and move on.

We then run around the basement, free the curator from a box (by blasting the box he’s trapped in — seems a little reckless), and head upstairs. I’m introduced to a new kind of ghost, a possessor, that (surprise!) possesses people such that you have to shoot them with green slime to get to the ghosts out of them. We beat one and then head upstairs. Cut-scene confrontation with Peck, mysterious love interest gets possessed and goes skyward, and a fight with four new possessors begins.

Okay, and here’s where the title of this blog comes in. This fight is FUN. Capital F – Capital U – Capital N. Possessors zipping in and out of people, switching between sliming and blasting, big open rooms to run around in — the game got it all right for this fight. My faith in the game made a big jump. One other thing. You earn money as you bust, and you can spend the money on upgrades. There’s an upgrade called “Slamtrapping.” If you slam a ghost into a trap with your capture beam, it’s automatically trapped no matter how much health it has and without any roping struggle. It is OSSIM. The single most satisfying thing in the game is snaring a ghost you’ve been chasing around a room for minutes, and then trapping it with a solid slam into the trap your buddy threw.

I decided to end on the high note when this battle was finished. I’ll take it from there next time.

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  1. Decaen says

    Just wasting some in between class time on Stumbleupon and I found your post . Not normally what I prefer to learn about, but it was certainly worth my time. Thanks.

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