Diabolical double disc debacle of digital death

Ghostbusters 2 logo

HOLY cow... Oops, sorry - wrong hype. Ahem. When there's something weird in your outside toilet, who you going to call? Not a plumber anyway. Suffice to say the present day equivalents of Peter Cushing, the Ghostbusters, are back.

As you enter the world of the Ghostbusters you will be treated to a wonderfully display of cunning Amiganess. Then, of course, it asks you to swap discs. Oh well.

This time large amounts of slime are forming an underground torrent and converging on the downtown museum. There is also the small matter of Dana Barret's (you remember her, played by Sigourney "I'm having a baby" Weaver) little sprog being snatched.

The first level of the game concerns Ray collecting a sample of the slime by abseiling down a haunted sewer. Swinging from left to right enable Ray to collect extra weapons, bits of the scoop with which to scoop up the slime at the bottom, and the odd bottle of dutch courage.

Floating down through the clouds of steam, ghostly hands come rushing up to meet Ray as he tries to collect the slime.
Some uncharitable ghosts in the shape of outsized fingers attempt to sever your cable as you descend. Altogether an unpleasant experience, especially from the gameplay point of view - the whole level is too difficult.

In contrast, level two is incredibly easy. It is possible to get through the whole thing by firing just a few shots. You control the giant Statue of Liberty, hot-footing it down to the museum and protecting gangs of mindless helpers. Nice animation of Miss Liberty.
Various squadrons of flying ghosts and denizens of the nether-worlds attack in formation, but they're nothing to worry about.

Lastly the action moves to the museum, where all you have to do is rescue the ungrateful sprog from the altar. You cannot just write off this final scene however, because there are still two fearsome baddies to overcome.
The first of these is Jonosz. He will terribly resist your efforts to snatch the sprog by firing at you. Unfortunately the entire range of death-dealing weaponry possessed by our heroes is not sufficient to give him cause for concern. Likewise Vigo, who emerges from the picture eventually.

The opening sequence and the filters between level feature excellent animation, digitised stills and good samples and arranged sounds. Animation and well defined graphics are equally brilliant throughout the game, though the disc swapping gets a bit of a pain.

While Ghostbusters II is undoubtedly an audio-visual feast, there is little game in it that is fun to play. Rather like a Peter Greenaway film, we are treated to a high degree of polish and art with very little underlying substance.

Ghostbusters 2 logo

ACTIVISION £24.95 * Joystick

Five years later and once again the world is under threat. Evil slime has been building up under the city of New York ever since the intrepid Ghostbusters saved the world all those years ago and now, thanks to Vigo the Carpathian who is an evil spirit determined to live again through the baby of one of the GBs' friends, evil looks likely to burst forth and have us all wishing we would have never been born.

The game is divided into three major parts: the first part has you controlling a GB as he descends into the Van Horne airshaft to collect some slime. The problem is, the shaft is full of nasty ghosts that appear from above and below and from out of the walls. Everyone knows ghosts cannot really hurt you, but what they can do is scare you, so as the chappie descends, every time he gets hit by a ghost he loses a little courage (displayed to the right of the main display) and once he gets completely scared he falls off of the cable holding him and into the river of slime at the bottom, removing one of his three lives.

He can also fall off by having his cable cut by sawing ghosts. These customers attack the cable until destroyed by either the Proton beam or a PKR bomb. Bombs and shields can be collected during the descent by swinging the Ghostbuster from side to side and picking them up; bottles of elixir to restore courage are also collected in this way, as are the three parts of the scoop that are needed to get the slime. Make it to the bottom and fill the container with slime and you then go into the next section.

Here the Statue of Liberty has come to life and the race is on to make it to the Museum of Art before the New Year arrives. It is a horizontally-scrolling shoot-em-up where the player controls the statue's torch which fires bolts of flame that destroys the flying and walking ghosts and turn them into slime which the people at the statue's feet collect and return to the statue, for it to keep moving.

Make it to the Museum and you are then into the final part of the game in which you control all of the Ghostbusters as they abseil in and try to rescue the baby Oscar and destroy Vigo. For ever?


There are some nice digitised shots and speech between the levels and the rest of the game looks good and is well animated (especially the little people in the second section). Again the sound effects and title music are fine.


The game is a good translation of the film and a worthy successor to the original game. As a game in its own right it is not the best ever written, but it is a lot of fun and will keep you playing for some while.

Ghostbusters 2 logo

Ein ganzes Heer von Mitarbeitern hat Activision an dieses Projekt gesetzt, damit "Ghostbusters II" noch besser wird als der legendäre erste Teil von David Crane - das meistverkaufte Game aller Zeiten! Entsprechend hochgeschraubt waren unsere Erwartungen...

Wer sich das Spiel zulegt, bekommt zumindest ein paar Goodies für sein Geld: In der Packung finden sich neben zwei Spiel-Disketten und der Anleitung auch noch ein Poster, ein Abzeichen und ein Luftballon mit dem berühmten Emblem. Nichts gegen ein bißchen Extra-Spielzug, aber am meisten hat uns natürlich interessiert, was sich denn nun auf den beiden Disks Gespenstisches verbirgt:

Das Spiel hat drei Level, die so unterschiedlich sind, daß man schon fast von drei (kurzen) Spielen sprechen kann. Im ersten läßt man den Ghostbuser Ray Stantz an einem Seil durch einen Luftschacht herab; am Grund befindet sich der "Schleimfluß", von dem Ray eine Probe entnehmen muß. Während er in Richtung Fluß schwebt, muß er sich gegen eine Unmenge fliegender Gespenster und aus den Schachtwänden auftauchender Geisterhände wehren, die ihn bespucken, festhalten und sein Seil kappen wollen. So ganz nebenbei soll Ray auf dem Weg nach unten auch noch etliche Gegenstände einsammeln: die Einzelteile einer Schaufel, Nachschub für seinen Waffenvorrat und Lebenselixier. Hört sich zwar unspielbar schwer an, ist aber dank der genialen Steuerung durchaus machbar. Ist man am Fluß angekommen, einfach Joystick nach unten drükken, Schleimprobe entnehmen und ab in den zweiten Level!

Dort darf man die amerikanische Freiheitsstatue ausführen, die von winzigen New Yorker bürgern begleitet wird. Bei diesem ziemlich monotonen Spaziergang ballert Lady Liberty mit joystickgesteuerten Feuerbällen auf die fliegenden Geister, Zombies etc.. Ihre kleinen Begleiter (die die alte Dame mit dem lebenswichtigen Schleim versorgen) werden per Spacetaste dirigiert. Im dritten Level geht es dann dem Oberschuren Vigo an den Kragen, der im Körper von Danas Baby Oscar (Oskar? Das erklärt manches...!) wieder auf die Erde zurückkehren will. Nachdem man die Ghostbusters einzeln in die Galerie abgesellt hat, muß man das bedauernwerte Kleinkind in Sicherheit bringen und Vigo im Kampf besiegen. Die Handlung ist praktisch identisch mit der entsprechenden Szene im Film, die 3D-Grafik verstärkt diesen Eindruck noch.

Wie lautet nun das Urteil? Grafik und Animationen sind sicher das Beste an diesem Game, sieht man von den digitalisierten Bildern aus dem Film ab, die am Beginn jedes Levels auftauchen. Die Steuerung ist beim Abstieg zum Fluß hervorragend, läßt im zweiten Level aber deutlich nach. Zum Sound: Anfangs ertönt ein Remix des Ghostbuster-Themas, im Spiel gibt es nur Geräusche. Nachteilig fielen die endlosen Ladezeiten und das Fehlen von Highscores auf. Insgesamt ein recht ordentliches Game, wenn es auch die hohen Erwartungen nicht ganz erfüllen kann. (mm)

Ghostbusters 2 logo

Price: £24.95

It has been five years since the Ghostbusters saved New York by bubbling a 100 foot marshmallow man and blowing the top three floors off an uptown high rise. Since then we have had countless spin-offs in the shape of cartoons and coin-ops. Now in the sequel we find that the citizens of New York believe that they had been the victims of a colossal hoax. The Ghostbusters now earn their living hiring themselves out for parties, running occult bookshops and appearing on TV shows.

Dana Barrett has returned to live in the city with her baby, Oscar. Then, as she walks through New York, Oscar is snatched by invisible hands and narrowly escapes death on the road. There is something strange in the neighbourhood, who you gonna call?...

Ghostbusters II is designed around three sequences from the film. First you must guide a Ghostbuster down an airshaft in order to collect a sample of slime. You must swing left and right on a rope to avoid assorted ghosties and collect useful items from the edge of the shaft. A courage meter drops each time you come in contact with the ghosties.

Next comes the race down Broadway. Having enlisted the help of the Statue of Liberty you must shoot ghosts to stop them attacking the Statue or the citizens. If you do not make it to the Museum of Art before the New Year then Oscar gets it.

Finally you take control of each Ghostbuster as he abseils down the museum in an attempt to save Oscar and destroy Vigo the Carpathian.

More often than not film tie-ins make pretty awful computer games, not so with Ghostbusters II. The graphics are large and detailed as well as being very varied and nicely animated. Colour is used to good effect and not only enhances the graphics but also gives the game atmosphere.

There are plenty of digitised sound effects in each level and lots of music as well (including the inevitable Ghostbusters theme tune).

Every level is like a different game, all three of which are extremely playable, and beautifully presented. Although each level is easy to get into, it takes plenty of practice before you can finish any.
My only gripe is the awful loading system, the whole thing is reloaded every time you start, creating annoyingly long gaps between games.
All in all, a game that will appeal to almost everyone.

Ghostbusters 2 logo

Activision, Amiga £24.99

After saving New York from being grabbed by the ghoulies the Ghostbusters were sued for making a hoax! Five years on, the Ghostbusters earn a living appearing on seedy TV shows. Dana Barrett now has a baby son Oscar, who is nearly killed by mysterious forces... The game comprises three key scenes from the film. In the first, Ray Stantz is lowered down a sewer air-shaft. At the bottom there's some slime of which he needs a sample. By swinging left/right you must guide Ray down to the bottom, collecting weapons and parts of the slime scoop on the way. Ghosts attack Ray reducing his courage and ghoulish hands scratch at the cable, weakening and eventually snapping it.

In the second scene, the Statue of Liberty has been brought to life. As it walks down Broadway, you must protect it from ghosts by controlling a shooting fireball. Getting hit by ghosts reduces the Statue's slime - replenished by sending people out to collect the blobs of slime dropped when ghosts die (?!).

The third and final section takes place in the isometric 3-D Museum of Art where, after abseiling in from the roof, you must rescue Oscar and destroy Vigo the Carpathian (the baddie).

Phil King Although sound is okay with two sampled tunes and a nice rendition of Auld Lang Syne, the graphics are mostly only adequate. Each of the sections is playable enough in a simple way, but even with the inter-level sequences they don't really gel into one good game. Perhaps a couple more sections would have made a difference, but as it is this is poor value for money.
Stuart Wynne Ghostbusters 2 isn't great, but level one is an attractive, if easy introduction to the game. Level two is an usual and tough shoot-'em-up which is good fun - especially with someone to control the vital, energy-gathering men. It's a pity level three is disappointing, but nevertheless there's and oddball feel to all the graphics which match the film well. Sonics are also good, and overall this deserves consideration by fans.