Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime

A review I wrote of the video game Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime for www.square-go.com

Someone once said that you should leave childish things behind but when these childish things involve particle accelerators you wear on your back and saving the world then that person obviously hasn’t seen Ghostbusters. Whilst it is clearly one of the greatest films ever made, that greatness has never really made the transition to video games, but there is a new downloadable game, Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime, that aims to fill that Ghostbusting hole in your life.

Now, you may remember that there was a game released a couple of years ago that had the full force of the Ghostbusters franchise behind it [And the instantly forgettable PSP game too – Ed]. It had the faces and voices of the original cast, the movie score, was written by the original film writers making it fan service the likes of which is rarely seen.

Sanctum of Slime doesn’t have quite the same budget.

The game is a top down, twin stick shooter with up to four players controlling a ghostbuster as they go about various places busting ghosts. The controls work quite well with you running about with the left stick and firing your plasma stream at any ghosts that come near with the right stick. Like in the previous game, there are several other weapons to use however, this is simplified to three colours: red, yellow and blue, with the each colour working best against the relevant colour ghost.

This is where the co-operative nature of the game comes in with you and your teammates needing to co-ordinate your attacks when up against lots of ghosts of different colours. It’s not the deepest game mechanic ever seen, but it does keep things a bit more interesting.

This is very much needed as the game itself isn’t that varied. It boils down to walking into a room, the doors locks, the ghosts appearing, zap the ghosts, then onto the next room. This can get repetitive quite quickly despite being broken up by the odd boss battle and car sequence.

A further issue is that because the budget of Sanctum of Slime is pretty low, you don’t control the original four Ghostbusters. They show up in the opening comic book style cut scene but are quickly replaced by a team of rookies. The music as well is okay but, other than the main Ghostbusters theme, it it new music that is quickly forgotten.

It’s not a looker either, to be honest. It’s not that it looks bad, nothing is broken and the ghosts look decent, but that’s about it. Online mode is enjoyable but no different than playing with your friends in the same room which is, lets face it, more fun.

When it gets down to it, your purchase of Sanctum of Slime will have to be based on your love of the Ghostbusters franchise. If you love it, you’ll find a pretty decent top down shooter that will sometimes annoy but will be fun while it lasts. If you hated it, take a star off that score and don’t bother, as you won’t be able to see past the flaws.

Three stars out of five

Originally published April 19th 2011

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