Ghostbusters: The Video Game PSP
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by: Red Fly Studio
A few months ago we looked at the PlayStation 3 version of Ghostbusters: The Video Game (which you can read here) and I think it's fair to say that it was an enjoyable game, especially for fans of the original movies. Here we have the PSP version of the game but unfortunately it isn't as enjoyable as the PlayStation 3 version of the game. It has a wealth of problems that prevent it from being a worthwhile experience and it's probably a game that should be avoided if you have the option of purchasing the game on another system.
Essentially the PSP version of Ghostbusters plays out in a very similar way to the PlayStation 3 version of the game although a few alterations were noticed here and there but nothing that dramatically changed the flow of the storyline. You'll play the role of a rookie Ghostbuster who's just joined the team as things are about to go seriously wrong. You do have the option of playing as a male or female Ghostbuster in the PSP version but it doesn't appear to have any effect on how the game plays. The game offers three difficulty settings and three profile slots to which your progress is saved.
Seeing as the PSP doesn't have a second analogue stick, some control compromises have had to be made. The circle, X, triangle and square button have essentially taken the place of a second analogue stick and you'll use these to look and aim. As you'd expect, this makes aiming and looking around much more cumbersome than it should be, although in fairness this is a limitation of the PSP rather than a problem with the game. The process of catching ghosts appears to have been simplified in an effort to compensate for these less than ideal controls but that also serves to make the game less satisfying in the long run.
The PSP version was never going to look as good as the PlayStation 3 version and it's no surprise that a different visual style has been adopted for this version. The game has what you would call a cartoon, caricatured visual style which looks decent. Given the simpler visuals on offer you might expect there to be no performance issues but that isn't the case. The game suffers from long load times, frame rate dips, graphical glitches and a small amount of screen tearing. All of these issues add up to take the shine off the experience.
At least the game won't cause deaf gamers any real issues. The game is subtitled and although the subtitles aren't enabled by default for the main game, the opening movie, which is shown as soon as you load the game, is subtitled. The subtitles display the speaker's name meaning you'll always be aware of which character is speaking, even if they are not on screen. Objectives and tutorial messages are shown in text so you're always fully aware of what needs to be done. There are no captions for the noises that the ghosts make and this does mean you'll be at a slight disadvantage on occasion but for the most part the game is fairly accessible.
If you have access to a PlayStation 3 (or Xbox 360 or Wii) console then you're going to be better off doing your ghost busting on those consoles. The PSP version of Ghostbusters: The Video Game isn't a disaster but it does have a number of issues that prevent it from being a game that's easy to recommend. Visually the game is quite good but there are a number of performance issues that bog down the experience. The lack of a second analogue stick also hurts the experience (although that's a problem with the PSP rather than the game itself). In short it's only for Ghostbusters aficionados that don't have access to another system on which the game appears.