If you're a PSP owner who correctly answered the query "Who you gonna call?" when the other versions shipped back in June, then you've been waiting a long time for Ghostbusters: The Video Game to hit Sony's portable. We'd love to tell you that the layover went towards making the game a perfect fit for the PSP, but with compromised controls and presentation, Ghostbusters does little to differentiate itself from other so-so console action ports on the platform.
It bears mentioning that the PSP game isn't based on the best available version - that'd be the sharp Xbox 360/PS3/PC iteration with realistic visuals and genuine scares - but rather takes its cues from the less-thrilling PlayStation 2 game. As such, you'll experience the tale of being the newest Ghostbusters recruit in 1991 (two years following the conclusion of Ghostbusters 2) through a lighter, cartoon-stylized aesthetic. Also, like the PS2 iteration, the action has been simplified a bit to make the process of capturing ghosts with your Proton Pack and other gadgets more akin to blasting foes in a shooter, though you'll have to keep your stream on the ghosts to wear them down pre-capture.
It's not the most exciting approach, but with scripting assistance and voice acting from the original Ghostbusters writers and actors (including Harold Ramis, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson), the game boasts enough of the films' flavor to carry the sometimes-monotonous action for series aficionados.
The PSP version is the least convincing of the bunch though, as little care was shown for adapting the console game for the limited horsepower and control options of the handheld. Mapping the camera controls to the PSP face buttons makes sense on the surface, but tracking quick-moving ghosts around rooms proves to be an absolute chore at times. Elsewhere, you'll see flickering walls and textures, as well as occasional frame rate dips, plus hear dialogue clips that sound like they've been significantly degraded along the way.
As a result, Ghostbusters: The Video Game proves to be a mediocre port of a merely decent original entry, resulting in a functional but hardly enticing take on the series. PSP action fans are probably used to this second-class status by now, but this one's strictly for the franchise die-hards.
Nov 10, 2009