All posts for the month July, 2009
Posted by WildcatJF on July 28, 2009
Posted by WildcatJF on July 27, 2009
Posted by WildcatJF on July 27, 2009
When I think of the Dreamcast and its impact upon me, the very first thing that leaps to mind is the rich legacy of Capcom fighters that graced it. That’s what I got the system for in the first place – promises of arcade quality ports of the arcade games I loved or wanted to try out. You see, I never had the opportunity before the DC to have fighting games of quality in my house. The NES only had one proper fighter, which was a somewhat watered-down TMNT: Tournament Fighters, and I never even saw it on the shelves when I was a kid. The N64 had Smash Bros. near the end of its lifecycle, but it’s a very different beast. Dark Rift did not impress me for long (although I liked it more than most), and the remainder of the N64′s fighters got middling reviews at best. The Commodore 64 had some fun karate games like Way of the Exploding Fist, but it wasn’t the same as Street Fighter II. I wanted to learn how to fight in a Capcom fighter. I wanted to be able to figure out how to throw Hadokens and perform Shoryukens, how to combo, how to best counter moves, how to be able to hang on against somebody else who had a sense of what to do. The brief playtime with a borrowed SNES and the original SFII was tantalizing. I bought an old Gamepro guide to SFII Turbo and spent hours upon hours studying it. The art, the movelists, even the horrible puns thrown out…it didn’t matter. Street Fighter, despite my lack of understanding and access of it, became a vital part of my youth. The designs cemented themselves into my brain, the few times I stumbled across the game in arcades I cherished (despite never knowing what I was doing), and the thoughts of one day being able to have my own copies of Capcom’s finest fighter series paraded my dreams.
So when I heard about Capcom’s heavy fighter support for the upcoming Dreamcast, with promised ports of Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Marvel Vs. Capcom, I knew right then and there that I needed a DC in my house as soon as possible. I wasn’t there at launch, alas, but I did work out a deal with my parents to make my big gift that year for Christmas a bundled Dreamcast from Costco that came with Sonic Adventure, a VMU and a spare controller. My mom’s best friend at the time chipped in and added two more controllers to my Xmas festivities, giving me a full set of controllers right off the bat. Marvel Vs. Capcom was what went in first.
You see, I had already bought the game TWO MONTHS before I even had the system in preparation. It was a no-thrills port, but it was as solid as the arcade original, and I relished every second. I picked up on the basics quickly enough, and I still recall the first time I was successful in a Shoryuken that countered an air attack. I packed up the DC and took it with me to my friend’s houses, and spent most of our time duking it out in MvC. I learned a lot from my friend Chris (who I mention in my favorite games article on Zelda: Ocarina of Time), and considered him to be my sensei of sorts. He knew how to play these types of games better than I did, but together we perfected our art. I lost a lot then. But I took lessons from each battle. Learned how to pull off charge moves with Jin. Got the hang of the directional commands that most the other characters required to pull off their specials. Began seeing when to use moves to be most effective. Whiffs were punished when they used to be simply blocked. I got the hang of throwing in the air. I could pull off supers without the Easy system. I discovered I could mode switch into Ken or Akuma with Ryu. I landed a Shin Shoryuken on Chris. All steps into becoming more than a mere novice who mashed the buttons.
Then one day, I won. I won a match. Without Easy, without tutorials, without guides. With my skills that I had been building, I had beaten the master, the friend I had looked up to as my teacher. And I won again. Ryu and Gambit were my dominant team then. But Chris stepped up his game to match my newfound glory, and once again, I lost. But it didn’t matter to me that I had won or lost here. What mattered was that I managed to play on equal ground with my well-experienced friend. That I was no longer cannon fodder, but a true opponent at last.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 came out next, and that was my next Capcom fighter. Alpha 3 had a much larger cast, and because it wasn’t a Vs. title, ran on a different fighting engine. More lessons. It was around this time that I made a new friend in my high school cooking class named Anthony. He was an awesome guy, who was into many of the same things I was. We formed an unbreakable bond that continues to this day (although we have drifted apart as life has pressed on, I still consider him to be the best man I’ve ever known…which is fitting, since he was the Best Man at my wedding). Part of that bond was spent playing Capcom fighters. Much like how Chris taught me, I passed on my knowledge to him. And he was a quick learner. We battled each other, but more often we worked together to try to conquer Dramatic Mode in Alpha 3. It took us two years to finally reach the end. To manage to have us both survive bouts with every character and make it to Bison, and then proceed to dethrone him together. It was a landmark day. Preceding that was my conquering of the difficult final stage in World Tour mode, one that pushed my own gameplay merits into new frontiers. Having to beat Evil Ryu and Akuma, then 5 Bison and Shin Akumas, then TWO Boss Bisons…I screamed when I finally overcame this immense challenge. My pride as a fighter had never been higher. That was a glorious day. And Anthony was there to share in it.
Following that victory was a new challenger. One that would probably be the one fighter of them all that impacted me, my own training, my teaching, and my future of fighting forever. One I will get into detail next time – my acquiring and devouring (not literally, of course!) of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.
Posted by WildcatJF on July 27, 2009
I’ve been playing a little bit of Skies of Arcadia lately – one of the handful of traditional JRPG’s I can really get my weight behind (the others being Tales of Symphonia, Super Mario RPG, and to an extent (only because it’s hard to classify this as a traditional JRPG), The Word Ends With You). Wildcat will agree with me: something about the atmosphere, the attitude of the main characters, and the message the game delivers all comes together and feels right.
For the uninitiated, Skies takes place in a fantasy/steampunk world where continents and islands float in the sky, rather than in a sea. Flying ships designed to look more like boats than planes are used to cross from one island to the next, and fueled by magic-infused rocks called Moonstones. Moonstones are also used for seasoning food, forging weapons, making fires…so on, so forth. The world is currently at war with the country of Valua, the most industrialized of the six continents, and the skies are sailed by pirates. There are two kinds of pirates: the Black Pirates, who pillage and murder regardless of who they’re pillaging and murdering, and the Blue Rogues, who are more morally aligned and only steal from assholes who done got it coming.
You play a Blue Rogue named Vyse, a teenager with big dreams and a never-say-die attitude. Vyse, along with his party, will go from being dreamers to big-time explorers, taking on Valua on multiple fronts in a quest to beat them to the legendary Moon Crystals, which have the power to control destructive living weapons, called Gigas. While at first Vyse and co. are hopelessly outclassed, they always manage to pull through with a win by outsmarting their enemies until a time comes where they are capable of standing on equal footing.
Now, this is a fucking fantastic game, and I will stand by that sentiment on my deathbed. But it still has a fair share of flaws, and I’ve been fantasizing lately about what can be done to improve it in the event Sega ever decides to revisit the series. (Personally, I’d prefer it to be an update to the original rather than a sequel; so far as I’m concerned, the story of Arcadia has come to a very definite close, and if Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is any trendsetter, it proves that Finished For Reals stories shouldn’t have new chapters written in.) So, what can be done to make an incredible game even better?
- Graphical update - Contrary to popular belief, the graphics of a game can affect how you enjoy it. Skies was a beautiful, colorful game and I wouldn’t trade that for the world – however, it suffers from the technical limitations of the Dreamcast and GameCube. Keep the colors and the flamboyancy, but make them look better; it’s hard to look at, say, Gilder or Drachma or Enrique and see that their facial features are still pixelly from the DC incarnation of the game. I’m not suggesting to go for 100% realism, but update the visuals to match contemporary standards.
- Orchestrated music – Skies‘ soundtrack is one of my favorites ever amongst video games. For Dreamcast music, this stuff was incredible; the only thing that would make it better is if it had been done with a live orchestra rather than synthesized. This seems to be a standard for gaming nowadays, so reviving familiar tunes with a fresh, even-more-epic-than-it-used-to-be sound.
- Voice acting – Another contemporary gaming standard that Skies could stand to meet. Voice acting can make all the difference in a game, and Skies is the sort that could pull in some serious talent; listening to what little exists in Skies and its GameCube port-plus-some, Skies of Arcadia: Legends, is pretty painful. Having most off the narrative in a game verbalized is much more immersive and engaging, since now you have an audible investment in what they have to say.
- Decrease loading times between doors – This is my one gameplay-related gripe; opening any door, regardless of context, initiates a short pause between you issuing the command and Vyse going through said door. It’s not terrible, but it could certainly stand to be smoothed out, as that two-second break in the action is disruptive.
- Give Gilder his Goddamn cigar - In the Japanese versions of Skies and Skies: Legends, party member Gilder spent most of his on-screen time nonching on a cigar. For at least the US release (not sure about the PAL version), Gilder’s cigar had been taken away entirely, often giving him what I like to call “Two Face mouth,” where one side of his mouth would be closed and the other would be open with clenched teeth. I understand where Sega was going with this, but Skies‘ overall contents don’t make the cigar over-the-top, you know? Especially since the game features a light peppering of cusses (“damn” and “arse” being the worst), multiple character deaths, the occasional bouncing/flopping boobs (bouncing or flopping dependant on age), and at least one gay bounty. I think cigars are okay in this context.
Nothing else about the game really needs changing. The script is fine as it is, and any changes to what’s already there should be minuscule at best, and any additions shouldn’t cripple the story or characters (the Piastol/Moonfish storyline in Skies: Legends is a fantastic example of an addition done right). Otherwise, I recommend just sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the game.
And if you don’t have Skies or Skies: Legends? SHAME ON YOU. Go out and get it right this moment. I recommend Skies: Legends over the original only because of the increased content and the fact that Wiis and GameCubes are easier to get a hold of than Dreamcasts.
Posted by TEi on July 25, 2009
Zack (Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure)
Since Tatsunono Vs. Capcom is heading to the Wii, perhaps Capcom’s Wii exclusive Zack & Wiki would be a fitting combination? Zack has a lot of tools he gains throughout his adventure, and Wiki’s ability to transform items into enemies and back could make for some intriguing combat possibilities. Imagine Zack bowling a Pirate barrel, only to switch it back into being a pirate that could grab opponents? Or the Frog Bomb? The normal frog would be harmless, but a quick switch and it’s suddenly a powerful explosive! I can imagine a super involving a ton of Goblins boiling your opponent, or Johnny Style flying through the screen…fun thoughts.
Captain Commando (Captain Commando)
Captain Commando is screaming to be added to the roster. Imagine him going up against Tatsunoko’s finest! I can easily see him duking it out against Yatterman or Hurricane Polymar without much difficulty. His frantic screams, his fellow Commandos, and his powerful fighting style would be a perfect match. I think that CapCom has a very high chance of being one of the new fighters added in. As for new techniques…I really don’t know. He’s pretty much set with his Marvel Vs. movelist. Picturing Captain Storm in 3D though is a very pleasant thought, though.
Sir Arthur (Ghosts N Goblins)
Sir Arthur SHOULD have been in a Vs. title by now. (and I mean playable, not merely an assist as he was in MvC). Red Arramer’s even had a chance to shine in SNK Vs. Capcom Chaos, and he’s merely one of the enemies (an awesome one, mind you, but still)! His various G’nG appearances have granted Arthur a vast collection of weapons and spells to use for moves, and if Capcom decided to, he could even go the Jill Valentine route and summon the undead ghouls he has to conquer in the games. And of course, he would lose his armor when he took a certain amount of damage. It would almost be wrong not to let him be able to do that. :p
Jill Valentine (Resident Evil)
Speaking of Jill, I have been really getting a kick out of playing as her in MvC2, and she could become a fascinating character in TvC in her own right. She could have some of her original moves altered to reflect her later appearances (Nemesis over Tyrant, and instead of a flaming zombie, she could summon a Crimson Head to dash across the screen and slash opponents), and maybe throw in a new move that revolves around those nifty battery packs Jill could pick up in the REmake. Besides, Resident Evil is one of Capcom’s most popular series…it’d certainly make sense to include her in their latest crossover.
Amaterasu would be a rather unique character in the Vs. canon. She’d be the first non-humanoid playable fighter in the series, her movelist could be a myriad of her sword, shield and bead weaponry, and some of her techniques could utilize the Celestial Brush. She has a ton of potential to be a fun brawler, and since Yami made it in as the final boss, why not give Ammy a chance to strike it down again? Her low stature isn’t much of an issue either, since Roll’s about the same height as Ammy is standing. XD
Jin Saotome (Cyberbots)
Jin Saotome’s insane, explosive fighting style is among Capcom’s simplest, but he manages to be very entertaining to play as, too. He certainly isn’t another Ryu clone, despite the headband. In fact, his charging tornadoes, his clothes-shedding shields, his screen-edge opponent dragging throw, and, of course, the Blodia he pilots, would make him a very powerful addition to the Capcom side. And maybe Capcom can extend his movelist a little. Make that sword he pulls out for a victory animation in MvC a special move, for one. Or maybe let Blodia sneak in as a super, so he can be the size of Gold Lightan briefly. Could be fun, and could open up some Tech Romancer homages, too.
Strider Hiryu (Strider)
Strider Hiryu is such an awesome character design. He perfectly captures the essence of a cyberninja. And Capcom took his arcade design, polished it, restored his scarf, and then beautifully animated him in the previous Marvel Vs. series. He has one of the largest movesets of any Capcom fighter, and I think he’d make a fantastic fit into Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom. Imagine Strider facing off against Karas? Or even better, uniting with him to be one hell of a team? (I haven’t seen the anime Karas, but watching him in the clips of TvC has me very interested in trying him out). I’d love to see what Ragnarok looks like in 3D, too. Out of my whole list, I think he’d be the one who has the strongest chance of making his way in.
Lady (Devil May Cry 3)
Lady, you say? Over Dante, Virgil, Trish and Nero? Yes! Lady is the greatest design to come out of the Devil May Cry franchise. I mean, a Catholic schoolgirl look with tens of gun clips as the skirt and knee-high military boots, toting a huge rocket launcher with a bayonet that doubles as a grappling hook, different colored eyes that work, and the mere fact that she isn’t annoying whenever she opens her mouth to speak (like Dante post DMC). Her moveset could be very projectile-oriented, and feature a lot of aerial specials, too. I picture her as the queen of air fighting, since that was her specialty in DMC3.
Posted by WildcatJF on July 20, 2009
Song Highlights – Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Chrono Trigger, Skies of Arcadia, Secret of Mana
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Spirit Temple (N64, Nintendo, Koji Kondo)
A lot of people consider Gerudo Desert to be the defining music from OoT, but I’d have to say that the Spirit Temple theme is also an excellent tune that captures the essence of the desert. The song creates a haunting, melancholy atmosphere, one of heat, loneliness and despair. Fitting, given its status as the last major temple before battling Ganondorf. It pushes Link to the max, with plenty of tough enemies, puzzles and its labyrinth-sized map. The music’s subdued gloom works well for such a decrepit tomb and its perils.
Chrono Trigger – Memories of Green: Present Day Overworld (SNES, Square-Enix, Yasunori Mitsuda)
Chrono Trigger is loaded with fantastic music. But this one song has stuck with me more than any other. As you lead Crono off into the present age wilderness he has barely discovered, this song captured the curiosity, the fleeting fear, the sense of going out on your own for the first time. It pushes you to explore further, but it also brings out a slight dreariness. All key emotions that one would feel leaving home to become an adult. Maybe I’m looking at it too deeply, but Memories of Green is that to me. A song that embodies the feeling of adventure’s beginnings.
Skies of Arcadia – Valua City – Lower Valua (DC, Sega, Yutaka Minobe & Takayuki Maeda)
Depression seeps into every pore of this piece. It is the epitome of unbreakable dire. Lower Valua is a desolate slum, and the dirt, trash, and isolation that it encompasses is wrapped up into this song incredibly well. The music is a mirror reflection of the people’s hopelessness. I don’t know if I’ve heard a song that is can better represent this feeling better than this one song. It’s remarkable.
Secret of Mana – Into the Thick of It: Forest Area After Getting Kicked Out from Village (SNES, Square-Enix, Hiroki Kikuta)
This fantasy-fueled overworld theme is the first one you hear when you step outside of your now-forbidden village. It captures both the sadness your hero feels being denied the past he had held dear, and the bolstering aspect of exploring a new world. It’s not a particularly happy or sad song, but it rides the line between these emotions gracefully. It fits the forest you’re wandering around in wonderfully, and has tinges of hope attached to it. A beautifully well-written score.
Posted by WildcatJF on July 20, 2009
Posted by WildcatJF on July 20, 2009
Dear, dear Matches fans,
We’ve spent 2009 soul searching, as a group and separately, starting new projects and having lives outside of our little white tour van. We’ve been lucky to have been 4 artists (well, 5, really) involved in a nearly decade-spanning group project, and have been even luckier to have you as an audience. However, our time to start new projects has come, and right now, The Matches has become something we prefer to look back upon proudly.
Not knowing if or when we might play together as The Matches again, we’ve decided to play a couple going-away shows in our home state of California in August. Sorry this could not be a world tour, for all of you who won’t be able to make it. And for those of you who can, we want to make the shows a celebration of all of our years playing for you; including songs from our whole catalog, (yes, E. Von Dahl too!).
We extend our endless gratitude to all of you who have listened, seen us on tour, bought a CD or t-shirt, and inspired us with your energy and enthusiasm for our art. Matches fans have always been known as being uncommonly intense and dedicated. We thank you for supporting us over the past 8 years, and hope that you’ll continue to be fans of our future music and life endeavors.
Saturday August 22 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
Sunday August 23 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Justin San Souci will be joining us on a few songs at The Fillmore show.
Some of you in Northern California may have caught one of Jon’s solo shows in the past couple of months. His new band (currently unnamed) is debuting at Blake’s On Telegraph in Berkeley, CA on Friday August 21. Advance tickets are available through http://www.ticketweb.com. We’re all going and so should you. He has acoustic versions of a few songs on his Myspace, http://www.myspace.com/jonathandevoto.
This is a tragic shame. The Matches have been one of the most exciting bands I’ve ever listened to. The amount of growth from their days as the ska-infused Locals to their punk powerhouse E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals to the amazing piece of rock awesomeness that is Decomposer to the experimental successes that was A Band in Hope…man. What a downer this news is. If you haven’t listened to them, you need to. They were truly one of the best bands I’ve ever listened to, and until they reunite, they will be missed heavily by me.
I was introduced to them by Neomega.net, the site that I used to work for back in the day (see the About LVLs. page to look up their Internet Archive). I first had Audio Blood through a Warped Tour disc, but I then bought E. Von Dahl and adored it. Decomposer is one of my favorite discs of all time. That CD is just phenomenal. And A Band in Hope, particularly the catchy Wake the Sun, was a huge part of my honeymoon. So I am very, VERY attached to this band, and their departure is almost as if a piece of me is leaving with them. I do wish them all the best of luck in their sideprojects, but to me, it won’t be the same. Together, the Matches are something truly special. It’s such a shame that they never got any of the credit or success they should have had…because their music absolutely earned it. Til the (hopeful) reunion, take care, guys.
Posted by WildcatJF on July 18, 2009
It sure as hell ain’t He-Man, lemme tell you that much.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Xbox 360)
Pub: Atari/Dev: Terminal Reality
ESRB: T/Players: 1 – 4
Okay, so – I bought Ghostbusters: the Video Game for the XBox 360 about a week-ish ago (maybe a week and a half? hard to remember). Now, I went into it excited, which is usually a bad thing for me because I’ve done the same thing countless times only to wind up disappointed at the result (Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Boom Blox, Fur Fighters, Star Fox Adventures, Sonic Heroes, etc.). If it’s a game that I don’t have a guarantee it will be good, and if it’s still something I’ll really look forward to, nine times out of ten I’ll wish I hadn’t bought it in the first place.
Fortunately for me, this is the one out of that ten, because I’m genuinely pleased with this game. Now, I bought the 360 version for three reasons: 1// The delicious allure of Achievements; 2// I don’t own a PS3; and 3// the Wii’s graphics style is akin to those Made in China dollar-store knock-offs. So let me break down my thoughts on this for you:
- STORY: Nothing too fancy, here – in fact, it’s pretty much lifted right from the first Ghostbusters movie. Some great evil spreads through New York City (although this time it’s more obvious as a bright blue shockwave of spectral energy floods the city), Venkman falls for a girl who is “a real fixer-upper” and has some close ties to aforementioned great evil, and Walter Peck tries to shut the Ghostbusters down for being frauds. They even repeat the containment unit incident (albeit through different means). Now, this isn’t a bad thing, since the first Ghostbusters was epic, but it could have been better. And while Ghostbusters: tVG sort-of acknowledges Ghostbusters II, it’s for the most part passively accepted as canon while all of the huge events of the game are tied to the first (Gozer, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Ivo Shandor, so on). The added benefit for this is that Winston is once again the straight man of the group, rather than the comic relief.
- GAMEPLAY: Ghostbusters: the Video Game plays identically to Gears of War – over-the-shoulder third person shooter, and if you fall in combat, your fellow Ghostbusters can walk over to you and resurrect you (and vice-versa). Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because what separates Gears from Ghostbusters: tVG is that the Ghostbusters are all middle-aged New Yorkers with believable personalities. And Winston isn’t Cole Train, who JUST LUBS HIS WATAMELON, YESSUH HE DO. This is always a good thing. Anyway – comparisons to Stereotypes in a War aside, Ghostbusters: tVG works with a basic premise. You shoot a ghost with your proton stream with the right trigger, you wrangle ‘em in with the left bumper when their health is low enough, you slam ‘em around a bit with the left trigger, and you wrestle them into a trap. As the game goes on, you unlock new weapons for the proton pack, and each Ghost has at least one weakness to something in your arsenal. In the default setting, you can alternate between these weapons with the d-pad, which is hilariously God-awful with the 360 (the controller is known for having the worst d-pad of all current-gen consoles), and you’ll sometimes wind up with the wrong weapon equipped during a crucial moment. Other than that, it’s pretty basic and really fun; the face buttons give you certain options (A is to interact with things, Y is to use your PKE meter, X throws down a trap and B is your quick-dodge and dash function). Not the most intuitive system, but you’ll get it with practice. And it’s so much fun slamming ghosts into things. Seriously. The only thing I don’t understand, though, is why I can’t go back to old levels with my new equipment; Ghostbusters: tVG has an odd mission replay system, where it literally bookmarks your progress up to the checkpoints you reach in each chapter, so when you go back, you have the same weapons and upgrades you’d purchased up to that point. It strikes me as unnecessary and somewhat archaic, because I personally like to go back to old levels and tear-ass through them with all of my fully-upgraded equipment, and I know I’m not the only one.
- VISUALS: This is the only true downfall the game has. It’s hard to see pretty much everything. It’s not gritty, and there are colors, but you’ll wind up frequently traversing areas with poor lighting – and while I can understand the realistic importance of that, we’re also playing a game where you’re zapping ghosts with lazors pew pew. I think they could have gotten away with illuminating parts of the game that are supposed to be dark. However, when you are in an area with good lighting, everything looks fantastic; you can even see Bill Murray’s face-divots, recreated very realistically from the 1980s. And the lip-synching is off…but that’s small potatoes, really.
- DIFFICULTY: Ghostbusters: tVG has a nice learning curve (at least, on the first two difficulty levels – you’ll get your ass kicked a lot if you choose the hardest). It starts out easy, with you fighting off relatively harmless ghosts; as you progress, you wind up crossing paths with increasingly deadlier ones, as well as minions and golems (which are dispersable). However, there are points when you’ll be separated from the other Ghostbusters and you’ll have to do a large chunk of the mission alone; this is when things get frustrating because on your first playthrough you will die a lot during these segments, forcing you to replay that part of the mission and sit through any of the unskippable in-game cutscenes that may put the action on hold for up to as long as thirty seconds (which is agonizingly long in game-time). Near the last half of the last mission, though, that curve becomes a sheer cliff; you will have to fight off a mess of golems and super-powered ghosts and bothersome minions all at the same time, which will KO your fellow Ghostbusters frequently and force you to play clean-up more than actually busting ghosts, something the other Ghostbusters have trouble doing, as if once the trap goes out they develop a sudden case of the retards. And why the hell are you put up against an unending line of ‘kamikaze [stone] angels’ that can kill you in one hit on the medium difficulty with only Ray as your back-up all the while trying to meet an unclear goal? You have to slime tether aforementioned angels to the frame of an indestructible grate, something which takes time and deliberation all while you have an unending brigade of angel-reinforcements bum-rushing you and gravestone minions charge at you from behind. Even then, what part of the gate you have to tether these angels to is never specified! You have to do this up to three times with three different angels – but, sometimes I’ve done it with one, and I’m never sure what I did to make this happen. This is the mission you will have to replay the most, and it’s also the most frustrating. Hell, the final boss was easier than that.
- VOICE ACTING: I really enjoyed the voice acting in this game. Honestly, the worst voices come from the characters unique to the game – Mayor Jock Mulligan and Venkmen’s new love interest (because they couldn’t get Sigourney Weaver back to play Dana Barrett), Ilyssa something-or-other. Ilyssa is especially guilty of this – it sounds as if Terminal Reality, the game’s developer, brought some random Jane Smith from the coding department up and had her read some lines. As for the returning characters, of the four Ghostbusters, Bill Murray felt like the weak link – a lot of his lines were mumbled and sometimes unintelligible. Harold Ramis, Dan Akyroid and Ernie Hudson were all strong, though, and despite the fact that they were playing the characters they’d last represented twenty years ago, it was difficult to discern that. Sure, it doesn’t stop them from occasionally delivering some real clunkers, but for the most part, their acting is spot-on. Annie Potts reprises her role as Janine Melnitz and, like the Ghostbusters, mostly represents her old character really well, and William Atherton (returning as Ghostbusters epic-antagonist Walter Peck) was phenomenal, probably having the strongest voice acting presence of the entire Ghostbusters: tVG cast. Dialog for the most part is well-written, Harold Ramis and Dan Akyroid’s writing still as strong as it was in the movies, though the in-game lines (when being attacked, or when a character has gone down) get obnoxious at times due to repetition. And though I might have regretted it in execution, it’s a shame Rick Moranis wouldn’t come out of retirement to voice Louis Tulley, because his geeky once-stalker now wild-with-Janine personality would have been a warm welcome.
- SLIMER: Yes. Ray even addresses him as “Onionhead” (his in-production name for the first Ghostbusters) and “Spud” (his nickname in The Real Ghostbusters) on occasion.
Overall – a solid title and a definite buy if you’re a fan of the franchise. It’s not without flaws, and you’ll notice most of them as you play, but the level of fun and fanservice more than make up for it.
Also, you get paired up with Egon a lot, and he’s my favorite of the four. XD
Posted by TEi on July 12, 2009