Previews

Ghostbusters

Exclusive! We're first to play the game that's got everyone talking, and - yes - Wii ain't 'fraid of no ghost...

It's 1991. It's the United States of America. It's Thanksgiving. The events of the Ghostbusters II movie - oil-painted villain Vigo the Carpathian vanquished by Dr Peter Venkman and team - took place two years ago.

But the city of New York has embraced the law of original Ghostbusters baddie Gozer, and a museum dedicated to his architecture and art is about to open. So it looks like the perfect time for our spook-smashing heroes to set up an offshoot franchise team - with you as the newest recruit.

Yada, yada, yada. All that really matters is this: Ghostbusters: The Videogame is everything we dream of from a movie tie-in. You get the real Ghostbusters, the real ghosts, the real New York - and, best of all, you get to wield a Wii remote like a Slimer-sucking, scenery-smashing Proton Pack. Let's get bustin'!

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Ghostbusters, people. Ghostbusters. If you grew up with a Ray Parker Jr 7" on constant rotation and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man on your lunchbox, if you helped the movie to its quarter of a billion dollars in takings and Bill Murray to an endless career in grump-faced comedy genius - you're already giggling excitedly. If you didn't, well, you're in for a treat.

The beauty of Ghostbusters: The Videogame is that, in essence, it's the third movie. Expecting one of those movie tie-ins that uses generic nobodies and made-up enemies? Not a bit of it. Original stars Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis are on board, "very excited" according to the developers, and playing a big role in writing, tweaking and tuning the script ("It's real feedback - our stuff isn't just being sent into a void," say the devs).

So you get the real Ghostbusters - and you get the real ghosts, with the team determined to deliver pretty much every spook from both films, from Slimer to the Scary Woman In The Library (our name).

But, of course, this is also one of those dream-come-true Wii games. We're getting lightsabers in Star Wars: Force Unleashed; we're getting maracas in Samba De Amigo; now - yes! - the Wii remote's a Proton Pack. We've gone hands-on, and it's ace: move with the analogue stick, aim with the Wii pointer, then press Z and - bssszzhhmm! - 500,000Mhz of particle accelerator beam arcs across the room, frazzling ghosts and furniture. When the beam turns blue, you can slam a trapped Slimer against the walls, Eledees-style. And, yep, you do push the Nunchuk forward to slide a Ghost Trap under a spook before guiding him in with the Remote, 'tugging' him toward you a stubborn fish. It really is Ghostbusters.

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The Wii version of Ghostbusters is its own beast compared to the PS3 and 360 versions you might have seen elsewhere. It's lovingly stylised, with a look to Egon, Ray and the crew that's not a million miles from this month's Battalion Wars 2. And, more crucially, it's designed with Wii's multiplayer strengths in mind: so not only will it have all 10 or so single-player levels, from the streets of New York to the mysterious 'Lost Island', but also a bulging grab bag of four-player modes and minigames. There's no Wi-Fi planned, unfortunately - but the devs promise Ghostbusters is "always fun" with you and three friends.

More on that in a minute, though. Let's talk single-player. The level we got to play on Wii was The Graveyard - a murky, spooky stalk up a rocky path. It starts with nightmare-inducing glowing babies emerging from the dirt - these Wisp-Class ghosts can be dispensed with one burst of the Proton Beam. But by the end, you're up against a colossal ghost boss with a gravestone on his head. This fella needs coordination: you've got your little team of Wii-controlled Ghostbusters (proper, talking ones from the movie, remember - including the mighty Murray as Dr Peter Venkman), intelligently searching for Proton Beam and Ghost Trap points. You all need to train your beams on the boss's head when he jack-in-the-boxes up from underground. Eventually, he'll make a run for it, prompting a hectic chase back down the hill.

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