The Real Ghostbusters

by John May, John White
Activision Inc
Your Sinclair Issue 42, Jun 1989   page(s) 63

Reviewer: David McCandless

Ghostsbusters was the best selling computer game of all time. It sold endlessly in disgustingly large amounts to a population gone Ghostbusters gaga. Now, eager to reincarnate this spooky succes, Activision has tied itself up (honk) with the spin-off cartoon - The Real Ghostbustets, no less.

The cartoon follows the plot of the film fairly closely. The only big difference is that the four main Ghostbuster characters have been jazzed up with teenage appeal features, like oily quiffs and dry remarks about parents and puberty. The plain secretary in the story has suffered likewise, becoming instantly voluptuous and socially-aware. Also, that fat green 'disgusting little slob" ghost from the film has somehow become an ally to the Ghostbusters, and even pops up in the game...

The game? Well, it has practically nothing to do with the cartoon, just the odd ghost and occasional proton beam here and there make the connection. The tie-in sort of acts as a weak veneer to cover up the essential idea of the game shoot 'em up.

You play a member (members if in two player mode) of the Ghostbuster team, isolated from your chums, trapped in an eerie landscape populated by the gooiest, ugliest and moistest creatures you've ever seen or would ever want to see. Luckily, you're armed with a gun (plus infinite ammo) and a proton particle accelerator (laser gun to you) which has a limited charge.

The idea is to swan about each level, gun en garde (that's French), disintegrating demons, splattering spooks, massacring monsters, frying fiends... (That's enough alliteration Ed). Once shot, the creatures obligingly die, and then try to shuffle off this mortal coil in the form of ghosts. This is a cue for you to engage your proton accelerator and suck them into your backpack for the extra points.

At the end of each of the ten levels is the customary huge great gibbering monster. It requires a liberal dose of lead before its mortal ticket is punched. Once expired, it leaves behind a key, which unlocks the portal to the next level to be loaded in.

Bonuses can be found along the way. These are found inside objects like oil-drums, vases and wheel-barrows. They provide you with shields, extra shot power, proton energy and - most annoyingly - the appearance of Slimer, the spud-like spectre, who circles you, killing any creatures it comes into contact with.

The game uses the same graphic system as Karnov with big, brassy, multi-coloured sprites which move a character block at a time. The system worked in Karnov, but in this game the jerky four-way scrolling and movement seem painfully noticeable. Also, only a handful of the large range of monsters are well defined and animated, the rest are just depressingly mediocre.

This game had great potential, but is marred by the poor graphics which look, feel and taste bad. There's no real incentive for extensive playing. If the two player option adds anything, the unwieldy controls take it away. And the music is AWFUL.

Life Expectancy: 70%
Instant Appeal: 60%
Graphics: 65%
Addictiveness: 60%
Overall: 62%

Summary: Poor shoot 'em up that looks good in some places but plays bad in most.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 65, May 1991   page(s) 71


It's damp and it's dark
But it's always quite merry
When you're locked down the cellar

Hit Squad
Reviewer: Jon Pillar

About as real as Gordon the Gopher. The spooksome foursome lend their name to this one- or 2-player re-released shoot-'em- up which pits you against the biggest collection of ghastly 'Things'seen outside The Evil Dead. Memorable the first time round for the fast full-colour graphics (which, being well-designed and thankfully clear, still look good) the basic idea is to progress through the 4-way scrolling landscape, zapping the Things with your proton gun, then for extra points capturing the resultant ghosts with the proton beam attachment.

Naturally, some of the Things are too powerful for the gun, and equally naturally, the proton beam has only limited energy, so sniffing out the hidden power-up icons has a rather high priority. Battle through to the giant end-of-level nasty and then it's onto the next (multiloaded) level. For one player it's good but not great, as rushing around blasting everything in sight can get pretty repetitive. What saves TRG is the sheer variety of Things - there is nothing quite like legging it away from a couple of demons cos your gun is empty, rounding a corner and running into 20 or 30 slobbering zombies. For 2 players, let's ask our sample second player, my sister Rachel. "In 2-player mode the game is 17 times better, with the best co-operation-or-competition element since Gauntlet. The program can get a bit confused at times though, jamming player one when player 2 hits an obstacle, and the multiload's more annoying than the music from an ice-cream van. Oh, and it wouldn't load in 128 mode and the control keys on the inlay are wrong." Thank you, Rachel. So it's a big thumbs-up for TRG there (the 2- player part at least). "Can I have my money now?" No. (Slap.) Ouch!

Overall: 80%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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