Ghostbusters is about the best movie ever made. Ghostbusters II however is not, but it is way better than watching nearly anything else that's not Ghostbusters. Ghostbusters: The Video Game is not the best video game ever, but it is the best Ghostbusters game ever and that might just be enough.
The player controls of a new hire to the Ghostbusters staff. The game is really set up to make you feel like one of the team, albeit the FNG who has to do all the sketchy stuff. Most of your training is on the job and you're usually accompanied by at least one of the other Ghostbusters to make sure you don't melt your face off or cross the streams. There's plenty of times when you're running with the whole crew and it's awesome.
The entire original cast returns to reprise their roles, even Janine and Walter Peck. It' really helps create the illusion that you are a Ghostbuster and it's the game you always wanted as a kid bt didn't have because you were dumb enough to be born in the 80's. There's a lot of dialog and good banter throughout the missions reflecting situations and there's enough dialogue where things aren't repeated ad nauseam. The game makes you feel like you're riding shotgun with the Ghostbusters and if that's not fun I don't know an apple from a pig's anus.
The story is solid and was written by Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis and it's basically like getting to play Ghostbusters III uncut. The plot has connections to the original movie. You learn quite a bit more about Gozar and Ivor Shandor and you get to fight the Stay Puft Marshamallow Man.
The proton pack is awesome. If you're gonna make a Ghostbuster game the proton back better be spot on. They did a great job with the look and feel of it I think. I always wanted one of these things as a kid, fuck I still want one. There are lots of other weapons, proton pack mods, that you accrue throughout the game to add variety to the experience. Aside from a few puzzle elements that require the use of the slime rope, you can use your proton pack full time though and while you have the option of other weapons they're mostly a novelty feature I think, not required at all. All right thinking people use the proton pack all the time.
After each mission you end up back at the Firehouse and there's lots of neat little things there collected over the years and from recent missions. You can chat it up with the haunted painting of Vigo the Carpathian and you can listen in on Janine taking phone calls. Some of them are pretty hilarious. There's an answering machine that usually has a fresh set of messages after each mission. Throughout the game you run across many bizarre haunted objects that are collectable and they end up in various places around the HQ. My favorites had to be the haunted disco pants, the haunted toaster (ala Ghostbusters II), and the Ghostbuster's DVD that Gozar worshipers had summoned from the future to see how their plans turned out (which was not well).
It's a pretty short game, I beat it in 9 hours and that was taking forever to do everything. I don't think this is a problem though. Making the game long for the sake of adding play time would have been a mistake. It's short and sweet and just like The Raven would not make a good 467 page novel, Ghostbusters: The Video Game would not make a good 25 hour shooter.
This game reinforces my motto: If any good evidence for ghosts ever turns up I am changing my name to Egon and building a proton pack.