Ghostbusters II – NES
Platform: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release Date: April 1, 1990
Nerd Rating: 4.5 out of 10
Reviewed by: bbpower
Is there something strange in your neighborhood? Probably, so who are you going to call? Ghostbusters, who else? The fearless foursome is back in action, baby! After reviewing Ghostbusters for the NES, I dove right into Ghostbusters II and figured, why not? It couldn’t get any worse than the first installment, right?. Well, I wasn’t completely wrong, but pretty darn close. However, this second installment does feel more like a video game versus its big brother. Grab your ghost catching gear, gamers, it’s time to save the city… again, but this time from the slimer and gang!
The object of this game is to stop Vigo from taking over NYC. The game gives players a one or two player option, but it is not a cooperative mode. So, first player goes until they die then second player gets a turn at playing. It’s a one player at a time game… aka why make it two player in the first place type game?
I noticed right away the Ghostbusters theme song playing on the title screen had nice clarity and you could actually make out the song. Also, the box art actually had the cast from the movie, which is an added bonus for shelf appeal and makes the game seem more genuine and exciting. The box is a great piece for any Ghostbusters collection. I enjoyed the theme song for a moment before pressing start.
With no mercy, I dove into the first level, which starts right away with one of the team members roping down into the sewer and leaving the other three up there to stand around. You are armed with a slime gun with endless ammunition to shoot endless slimers flying through the air. You can jump with B and shoot with A in this side-scrolling adventure. The gun has five directions so players can aim to better chance to slime the enemy.
I quickly noticed that there is no health bar and only three lives. Get hit once and you lose a life. Lose all three lives and it’s game over. There are three continues that take you back to the beginning of the level where you died. Having no health bar, nor many lives makes this game very hard. Especially when the enemies are very hard to dodge and some of them sneak up faster than lightning. There is no pause function, so when you start there is no waiting around, or taking a break to slurp a soda. Players have to book it through levels, because there is an overall time constraint to the game.
The levels consist of walking though sewers, to driving the Ghostbusters’ awesome station wagon down the streets, to controlling the statue of liberty like it’s a Megazord from the Power Rangers. In the station wagon driving levels, slime is fired out of the sunroof and straight forward to hit floating white ghosts that look like they were made in a kindergarten classroom. Also, these ghosts will throw slime at you. Get hit and a you lose a precious life. Touch a ghost and you die as well. On top of the ghosts, there are barricades and spikes to maneuver, or jump over. Yes, the car jumps, kind of like Speed Racers Mach 5, but not as stylish, or fast. Be cautious of the arrows seen on the roads. It will rocket the car forward and for the slow-reactors out there it’s an instant slam into the next barricade.
The one thing this game has going for it is that the levels are similar to the movie. Well, it better be, since the actual cast is on the box! They had to make it somewhat relevant to be able to sell the game, I suppose. Some of the levels are very long and do not offer very much excitement. I did not find myself wanting to play this game for very long, nor did it leave me wanting more. The first installment was not a good game and it surprised me that Activision made a sequel to an already poor game. Yes, Ghostbusters II did feel more like a video game versus the first installment, but it was still a pretty weak video game. Not the worst I have played in a long shot, but not a remarkable title. Still this was a game that rode on a franchise name in hopes it would sell. One thing worth noting; what other game do you get to drive the Statue of Liberty around NYC? Not that this is a huge desire to many, but still, it’s exclusive to this retro game.
I love the movies and remember seeing the second one in theaters, which pains me to give Ghostbusters II a generous Nerd Rating of 4.5 out of 10. Some games kick butt, and some do not. This title did not kick very much butt by my standards. Sure, it’s a title to grab at any garage sale for cheap just to have it on the shelf next to the first installment. You may even play it a time or two just to beat it, but if you have to pick and choose your games at a game shop, scope some other titles for better play-ability and enjoyment. For under four greenbacks, sure, go for it. Over that, stick with another title. Game on!
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