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Ghostbusters: Final Smack

Overall, the game was worth the time. The story is entertaining enough, and the core game is good enough that it overcomes the truly bad design problems. Nonetheless, there are truly bad design issues you need to ignore to enjoy the core busting goodness. Rent it and see if you like it enough to do the LIVE play — if so, it’s worth the purchase.


  • Narrative is actually quite good. The plot holds together without any loose ends or cheesy moments that actually bothered me too much. Dialogue is flat at times, but generally lives up to expectations (at least as set by the second movie) and is actually funny in a couple of places. The ending is really nice in terms of tying everything up.
  • Graphics are generally good. The Island scene is beautiful. NY locations feel like NY. The only strike here is that the characters are mildly creepy during close ups, but nothing close to Polar Express fiascos. And they even manage to make the atmosphere mildly unnerving in a few places, which is no small feat in a game. Kudos for that.
  • Music rocks. It’s just not GB without the soundtrack, and they faithfully delivered all of it. Proton pack sounds are great as well.
  • Busting Ghosts is fun. It just doesn’t get old for me. The combat feels generally like it should — that five nearly incompetant amateurs are firing weapons of mass destruction around NYC.


  • The game has major problems with feedback. It simply does not tell you what you need to know from health meters to puzzle feedback to basic player controls. I give the game a failing grade in its tutorial (which is way too short and does not explain core concepts) and in the UI, which even at the end of the game is almost unusable.
  • The savepoint structure is atrocious. There is no excuse for it to be this bad. This is a largely solved problem in 2009. If I die in a fight, I want to start again at the beginning of the fight, after the cut scenes. Anything less than that nowadays is either lazy, sloppy, or misguided.
  • The early difficulty on medium setting is too high. It takes about four hours to get comfortable with the game, and that’s long enough that you will lose casual players.
  • And there are pointless bits of cut scenes or meaningless agency to get to the next cut-scene. Moral of the story: agency should have a point, and if it doesn’t, just film it and make it pretty instead.

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