The original road to release for Ghostbusters: The Video Game was a troubled process; it was passed between pillar and post from various developers and publishers.  It had so many troubles that many of us never thought it would ever release and back then, it was even more difficult to escape the dreaded developmental hell, than it is today.  However, finally it did release and while the game had suffered in quality somewhat, , if you could look past some of its gameplay annoyances, there still was (and is) plenty of fun to be had, even ten years on with this “remaster”.

What was most interesting about this adaptation, is that it acted as the third movie in the series (and not that 2016 reboot), taking place about two years after the Ghostbusters II during Thanksgiving in 1991.  Seeing as this game released ten years ago, it’s also quite interesting that we have an actual Ghostbusters III movie releasing in 2020, so I’m very much intrigued to see if this video game adaptation has any kind of influence (if any) on the forthcoming movie, especially as it was co-written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis (RIP).

In terms of story, the Gozer exhibit displayed at the Museum of Natural History in New York City is believed to be the cause of extra-terrestrial activities in the museum, which should come as little surprise, seeing as Gozer is the ancient and powerful, malignant entity that tormented the Ghostbusters and the city in the cult-classic 1984 movie.  Seriously, what else did they expect?  So with the help of the new recruit simply known as the “rookie”, you join the Ghostbusters team to save the city once more from spiritual evil to the constant annoyance of Walter Peck.  While not perfect, Ghostbusters: The Video Game not only acts as the third movie in the series, but the likes of Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts and more reprise their roles, even Max von Sydow gets in on the fun as Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II with a cameo.  We also get to visit iconic locations such as the Sedgewick Hotel in the hunt for Slimer and the New York Public Library to finally catch the Grey Lady, making Ghostbusters: The Video Game a great fan service to boot.  Oh and course it is complete with the awesome soundtrack, which I can never, ever get bored of.

As you’re exploring sections of the city and zapping ghosts, the action will be in a third-person perspective, other than when you’re using the PKE Meter to track ghosts or search for hidden, possessed artifact, which is often a blast.  However, the same problems that were present in the original release such as being downed very easy with odd ragdoll physics, constantly reviving your downed NPC Ghostbuster team mates and at times, not so considerate automatic checkpoint saves are all present.  The game still feels just as clunky as it did in 2009 as from what I can tell in this remaster, no aspect of the gameplay has been improved upon.  This is a bog standard “remaster” in every sense of the term with only the basic improvement of being in 1080p (docked)/(720p handheld) and 60fps.  Though this is not always the case, because it seems that a fair few of the cinematic cut-scenes haven’t had the remaster treatment.

However, other than being at a higher resolution and a somewhat smoother framerate, even back in 2009, the gameplay issues that you were made to overcome then, you have to overcome now.  So you will have to overlook these issues once more, if you are going to enjoy this basic of remasters.  That said, if you can overlook these issues, especially if you’re a fan of the original Ghostbuster movies, today this is still one of the best movie licensed video games to date.  I know that doesn’t really mean much, as most movie adaptations suck, but with the fact that this was intended to be the third movie and it is an original story, it most certainly works in the games favour, and is somewhat of a saving grace.

The most fun to be had in the game with of course come via using the proton packs, all accompanied by the iconic sound effects, however, just remember not to cross the streams!  You’ll also be able unlock various Proton Pack improvements such as using dark matter and slime, each with their own uses and special abilities.  As you might expect, it is also a lot of fun trapping a ghost in the proton beam, before you roll out the trap and contain that ghost.  Each of your proton weapons and traps, as well as the PKE Meter and the Paragoggles are all upgradable with the money you earn through the game.

Sadly however, unlike the original release of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, this remaster does not include the co-op online multiplayer, which closed down the PS3 servers back in 2012, but at the time of writing, the Xbox 360 multiplayer which is backwards compatible on Xbox One, is still incredibly alive, but good luck finding any players out there.  I can understand why this remaster doesn’t have the multiplayer included, as it takes time and money to keep those servers running, but it still would have been a nice addition, at least for a little while during the first 12 months or so.

In this day and age of the modern remasters, some are made either as a fan service to entice returning fans, while some are made to bring in new fans that may have missed the initial release.  Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is a bit of an odd one, as it kinda sits firmly in-between.  Sure, you could say this remaster exists as fan-service, but there are no real improvements made over the original, other than slight visual improvements.  Yet, the same argument could be made that due to the lack of any major improvements, it perhaps doesn’t do enough to entice new fans either.  However, with the aforementioned Ghostbusters III set to release in 2020, I guess it can also be seen as a way for the game to add a few more sales, to the million or so that were sold following the 2009 release.

So who does this remaster appeal to most of all?  Well I suppose on the most basic of levels, just like the efforts made with this remaster, it simply appeals to anyone that wants to play it, either new or returning.  Yes there are still the same issues that were present in 2009, but it still offers fun for the exact same reason too.  I suppose you do have the added incentive of earning added Trophies and Achievements on the PS4 and Xbox One versions, but if you’re expecting a glorious remaster of the highest level, then you will be disappointed.  However, despite its flaws, Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered is still a lot of fun, I’d just wait for an inevitable price drop before taking the plunge, especially this close to Halloween.