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Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered Review - A Blast from the Past

With the original Ghostbusters game releasing in 2009, it has now returned a decade later with a remastered version. This has seen a release on multiple platforms, but the version I'll be looking at is on the Nintendo Switch. So how does the ghost busting experience feel on the TV and on the go?

I remember growing up watching Ghostbusters and while I was fairly young at that point in time, I can vaguely remember this game's release, but never really got a chance to give it a crack until now. You can never really pinpoint the reason a game returns after being in the vault for such a long time, but what works in its favour is that it can possibly appeal to a whole new generation.

Old school heads know this is probably the closest we will ever get to a Ghostbusters 3, but as a video game, how does it hold up and does it really capture that magic?

Well to begin with I received a huge dose of nostalgia as these characters who I have not seen in god knows how many years graced the screen. Seeing the whole crew back together at HQ really warmed my heart and now they are recruiting a new person to join their ranks which interestingly enough will be the character you'll be playing.

If there is any down point to this, its the fact there there was no customisation in order to make this character your own. The Ghostbusters have such large personalities which in comparison to your character, it doesn't come close. Heck I would have been happy with a simple name change, but I will admit that what is done really well is how the rest of the team interacts with you as it comes off very natural.

Your first day on the job very quickly spirals out of control as some of the Ghostbusters greatest enemies return to wreak havoc. Armed with the trusty Proton pack and with the backing of your team mates, we go all over the city to zap 'em, cap 'em and trap 'em.

As this was my first experience with the game, I did appreciate how it went about showing me the ropes and also how it tied this into the overall story. Basic functions such as shooting a blast stream and capturing your first ghost are explained here, all thanks to a familiar friend making an escape.

When attacking an enemy, you will see a circular overlay which hovers around with them. The game calls this their PK energy and this will slowly deplete the more damage you cause. Once the PK energy is at zero, your stream will automatically switch to capture as you witness the ghost desperately trying to flee.

Holding on to the ghost or moving them in the opposite direction will build up your slam meter which will allow you to cause some extra damage to ghost which will eventually knock it out. From here we throw out the trap and finish the capture. Since we knocked it out, this made the process a lot easier, however its not mandatory to do this.

To balance this, you are not able to constantly throw out your blast stream until the job is done as the Proton pack can overheat. This is noticeable by the alarm sounds it starts to make, but also the red indicator on the pack which essentially means you are doing too much. Simply vent the Proton pack to cool it off and you can go back to doing what you do best.

Another big part of the gameplay is exploration and this is where the PKE Meter comes in as it allows you to scan the environment for hidden things and to scan ghosts to get more information on them. Usually if there is anything important in the area, the game will nudge you to use it, however for those looking to collect everything, I would recommend having it on, especially during the quieter moments.

The PKE Meter uses PKE Signals and these are divided into three types, each identified with a different colour:

Red - Hidden ghosts and other entities.
Green - Environmental phenomena.
Blue - Cursed artifacts.

As mentioned earlier, the PKE Meter can be used to scan ghosts and I believe this is where it comes in the most useful as it can give you its weaknesses and let you know the best weapon to use. Some ghosts will need multiple scans before you get all the information and this is shown via the three circles on the meter. Those scanned within the outer ring receive a 25% scan. Those scanned within the second ring receive a 50% scan and those scanned within the center ring receive a 100% scan.

As you continue to play through the game you will come across new weapons/ items with their own benefits and uses. These can be upgraded from their base forms to give you a better fighting chance against the supernatural threat. Upgrades come in the form of being able to use the blast stream for longer or obtaining a bigger trap. I would recommend taking the time to acquire these as it can ease your play through a little. In order to unlock these you will use the in game currency which you can earn from playing through missions.

Difficulty can depend on how you play the game and I found that while my team mates are not the most reliable as I seem to be saving them quite a bit in crazy situations, they have come in clutch when I've been down and thankfully saving them is as simple as pressing a button while you are next to them and away they go.

The enemies can also be slightly tough to deal with, but once you are aware of the best weapon to use, the rest is pretty straightforward. Sometimes it can be a little insane and at one point I definitely felt that I did not have enough Ghost Busters around me to deal with this, but as mentioned earlier as long as you know what to use and have some idea of the enemy's patterns, you should be able to overcome it.

In terms of best experience, the game is touted as remastered but the visuals are not too great to look at. Some of the pre-rendered custscenes are not too bad, but overall I feel that a lot more could have been done. In docked mode, these areas become a lot more noticeable and therefore I would recommend playing in handheld as it can hide quite a lot of this, but make it look better overall.

Ghostbusters in one sense is great to see as the franchise itself is a classic, but this release shouldn't be seen as a remastered version. I think the biggest thing it has going for it is nostalgia and while this is good in its own right, it could be because of this that it wasn't given as much care as it should have been.

Playing this on the go has been great and overall I have enjoyed my time with the game. If they ever do another one which I would be totally down for, a boost to the visuals would be a welcome addition.

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