+ Weapon Upgrades
+ Capturing Spectres
+ Tackling the stages how you want.
- You can’t switch your Ghostbuster.
- It could use a password feature.
- Six stages makes it a little short.
What’s the story: This SEGA Genesis version of Ghostbusters was released in 1990 and takes place after the movies. Paranormal activity is once again on the rise in New York City and it’s up to The Ghostbusters, Ray, Peter, and Egon (Winston is missing) to put an end to it. The game is a Platform Shooter but has a lot of unique things to make it stand out from the crowd.
What’s to like: Each of the three squatty Ghostbusters are selectable from the beginning. Peter is strong but slow, Egon fast but weak, and Ray is average in both categories. This ability setup is typical for a brawler so it’s nice to have a little variety in a shooter like Ghostbusters. The game also lets you select one of four stages to start off in, leaving it up to you to decide which order to tackle the stages (Mega Man anyone?).
Your character has a life bar as well as an energy bar. The energy bar is primarily for the use of your special weapons, which can be bought at the easy-to-access weapon store. You’ll earn cash putting an end to the four initial stages or “cases”. Money is also found in some hard to get chests throughout the levels. The 3-Way Shot, Bubble Projectile, and Phaser are just a few of the items you can upgrade your Ghostbuster with – there’s even defensive items like Barrier. The shops and customization of your character add a lot of style to this little 8-bit cart.
Besides the obvious boss battle at the end of each stage, there are also “Specter Spirits” (mini bosses) to fight. One of the coolest things in the game is the battles that ensue while attempting to trap the specter’s “specters” after you defeat them. It’s an actual fight that will require some heavy “B” button abuse and then steadying it in to the trap! Not very easy but doing so will give you back all important health and energy.
There are a few more things I need to mention with “the goods” of Ghostbusters. Level maps are awesome, not many games had maps to help you along your way and the ones here help out nicely. Your laser beam is pressure sensitive – always awesome, and the music is a great fit for the game (very catchy) – rounding out Ghostbusters.
What’s not to like: Not much really. Once you select a Ghostbuster he’s yours for the game. You can not go back and change your Ghostbuster, so choosing between Ray, Peter and Egon becomes a crucial decision. As I sit here and praise the game for it’s freedom this is one thing should have been changed…in 1990 (damn you SEGA!). Another negative would be the fact that you can’t save your game, ever. No password either. It’s not that long of a game, but there is just enough “figuring out” to do (boss patterns, following your map), that you’ll most likely want to save and take a breather. Now I know this is somewhat common for games of this era so its not that big of a knock. I think I’m either getting lazy, or just so use to having the ability to suspend play at anytime that I want the option all of the time.
The video below shows off gameplay from the game’s first four stages, the “trapping” spectre spirits, and a boss battle with the Stay Puff Marsh Mellow Man. Check the overall at the bottom.
Ghostbusters for the Genesis is the most fun I’ve had doing a retro Review. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Ghostbusters as a kid, so this one kind of got lost in the crowd. After playing it all week I can say that I 100% missed out. It’s a fun platformer with solid controls, great shoot-em-up gameplay, and a little bit of freedom to help it stand out from the crowd. If you never got a chance to play it and are a fan of the genre or the Ghostbusters, I can’t recommended it enough. As the years go by, this one’s rarity and value are both increasing. If you can find it, grab it, and get out there and start bustin!