The Real Ghostbusters

by John May, John White
Activision Inc
Sinclair User Issue 86, May 1989   page(s) 18

Label: Activision
Author: In-house
Price: £8.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

Who ya gonna call? Well, not the Ghostbusters. The Real Ghostbusters in fact. It has to be said that I don't really understand the link or difference between Ghostbusters and The Real Ghostbusters. The most important difference between the games is that the first one which Activision brought out about three years ago was released was deemed to be pretty good though over-hyped, whereas TRGB has hardly had any exposure so far and isn't as good.

The ghosts are playing up again. It's up to the Busters to give them a good seeing to. Well, a good sucking to be precise (Fyak fnurk etc). Once you've got them in your sights you whack then with your plasma beam and suck them into your back pack. Once you've got enough ghosts in your pack, you've got to despatch them before moving to the next level.

All pretty straightforward on two fronts. While some of the ghosts are in "ghosty" form and just waiting to be sucked up, most of them are half way between ghostdom and monster-state. They'll attack you, slime you and otherwise resist capture. The other problem is that there are simply too many ghosts to handle at once. While you're holding down the fire button for a second or so in order to activate the Proton Beam, enabling you to capture incapacitated ghouls, you can't shoot the other monsters which will be attacking you. Some pretty shrewd strategy needed here.

Real Ghostbusters wins and loses on the presentation front. The graphics for the monster/ghosts are fab. They're colourful, and really look like the characters in the cartoon. Unfortunately, they all carry black mask-lines and suffer from attribute clash. I also feel that the nature of the screen layout, half plan-view with a side on presentation of the characters, could well have been improved. Even isometric 3D would have been better than this.

The animation is shaky to say the least. From time to time the guy you control simply appears in another position. I think there's a lag in the motion control and the machine registers your moves without updating the position of the character.

The further into the game you get, the tougher life becomes. You become even more heavily outnumbered and you'll have to start working out where the ghosts will and won't go, and try to herd them into trap areas.

Amongst the oil barrels and wheel barrows scattered throughout the play area are these vital objects which make your life just that little bit more bearable (Scotch, fags, etc. AS) like a super-shot rifle and even a friendly ghost which acts as a slimey guardian, fending off some of the bad guys while you do your work.

So what's the verdict? There are nice touches, but for every plus there seems to be a flaw.

Graphics: 65%
Sound: 70%
Playability: 60%
Lastability: 64%
Overall: 65%

Summary: Adequate conversion of TV cartoon. One for the fans only.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 110, Apr 1991   page(s) 36,37

Label: Hit Squad
Memory: 48K/128K
Price: £2.99 Tape
Reviewer: Phillip Fisch

When you see comments like "a brilliantly playable game... graphically it couldn't be better... this is a compulsory purchase", you sit up and take notice.

The packaging says that it got a Cr**h Sm**h - I can only believe that the game must've given their staff the willies in order to score such a mark.

The Real Ghostbusters, was arguably of the biggest loads of slime ever to be put out by Activision, who have since ceased trading and in retrospect SU was too generous in our original review, when we awarded it 65 and decided this coin-op conversion featured a combination of nicely designed monsters, absorbing action, shaky animation, loads of attribute clash, and lousy screen layout.

Basically it follows the format of the coin op, as you steer your Ghostbusters through ten levels of haunted buildings presented in a cak-handed sort of top-down perspective. You shoot the ghosties with your plasma beam and suck them into your ghoulie pack, which has to be emptied at regular intervals.

It's all a bit too frantic unless you're in two player mode, when each player can protect the other's back. But basically I wouldn't bother with it at all - this is a half-hearted effort and even Real Ghostbusters fans will find that it really puts the willies up them, as it's only a shadow of game.

Who you gonna call? No-one, that's who 'cos no-one's the only person who'll want to play this.

Ahhh! EEeeeek! Nooo, it's horrible, take it away - I'm scared, really scared!

Graphics: 45%
Sound: 57%
Playability: 45%
Lastability: 46%
Overall: 46%

Summary: Even hardened Real Ghostbusters fans will be hard-put to enjoy this spiritless offering.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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