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Aug 13 2012

Review: Ghostbusters Paranormal Blast iOS

I wanted to get this game because quite frankly “bustin makes me feel good”, pun intended. However, what I found was that it did not make me feel good at all. Actually, the contrary is true, the game forces you to put yourself in awkward positions in order to ‘bust’ anything. Hit the jump for the full review

When the game starts out you get a pretty nicely animated title screen, once you ‘Tap to Start’ you get to select from six different avatars. (three males, three females). Since the game takes place in first person, this is kind of pointless, but you do see your avatars face on the map screen. After that is done, you are brought to the map screen. From here you can receive calls for jobs (slide down to view), which are basically achievements/quests to allow you to progress in the game. Along the bottom of the map screen there is a HUB to help you navigate the menus: Equipment (where you can upgrade your damage, reduce capture duration etc.), Calls (this shows your current rank, and past ‘achievements’), Containment (where you can view which Ghosts you have captured), Locker (shows your stats), Settings.

Once you have explored it’s time to get ‘bustin’. On the main screen you will be shown a map of where ever you currently are in the world. The game is powered by FourSquare, so it is quite accurate, and the one thing I really like about the game is that fact that the ghosts are attacking actual locations in your area (i.e. the local Starbucks, or Community Centre). The level of the ghost is shown for each location, so choose wisely before you venture off to your first battle.

This is not my map, so don’t bother trying to find me :)

At first glance the experience is awesome. The game uses you iOS device’s camera as a background, and puts the ghost in your surroundings, Augmented Reality Style. The only issue here is, if I took a call at a McDonalds, why am I in my living room? That aside, it is really cool to see the ghost flying around your surroundings as you look at your screen. However, here lies the problem with the game, the ghosts move around WAY TOO MUCH. Chasing the ghost in your surrounds can become and back breaking exercise as the game forces you to keep looking up and up and around; to the point where sometimes you are better off laying on your back and rolling around. The ghosts always stay out of range, which of course adds a challenge to the game, except you can’t actually move the ‘wand’, as it is stationary, so you have to constantly have the ghost exactly in the middle of your screen. Thus, you have to move your iPhone, or iPad around like crazy to line up the perfect shot for your stream. The thing that bothered me the most was that the ghosts have so much more freedom to move as they please, and your stuck spinning around like a ballerina on drugs. Either get on your feet and dance, or don’t bother playing this game. Also, I would suggest that you do not play this game in public, unless you like drawing attention to yourself.

When you are a lower level the game is much more enjoyable, not because they move around less, but because the ghosts play fair. As they get stronger, they hit really hard and the chase becomes really frustrating, Especially because you cannot dodge their attacks (over sight?). Once you have tired out the ghost enough, you will be prompted to open the trap and catch it. The funny thing here is, if the ghost is on the ceiling when you are prompted to use the trap, the trap will just sort of be floating in mid air (F you Gravity). Catching the ghosts isn’t too difficult, granted you are not in an awkward position before it triggers.

If you can play this game by just moving your wrist, you are a ‘dirty wizard’

Overall, the game needs to be tweaked a bit. To say I did not have fun playing the game would be a lie, but the fun did not last very long at all. The presentation needs a little bit of work, and maybe allowing the upgrades to be a little bit easier to achieve might even the score with some of the higher level ghosts (I forgot to mention that you can use real money to upgrade your character, perhaps it is this difficult on purpose?). In Closing, I would like to see more ghosts become available to keep the game fresh, and maybe restrict the movement of the ghosts a tad so I am not doing circles in my living room.

5/10

About the author

Mike

1 comment

  1. bboy

    Pretty much all ar games have this issue. Still a cool concept though.

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