As we draw closer and closer to Halloween we are going to be seeing more and more scary titles being released into the market. Scary games have always been quite popular and have a big fan base. So Namco jumped in on the action and brought their very own scary game, it’s Ghosthunter for the PS2.
Before I jump into the review of Ghosthunter I would like to start off by saying that the horror genre of video games has had some bad stereotypes as of late. As developers strive to present a more cinematic experience, gamers are often left with bad camera angles, which hampers gameplay and the overall scare-factor of the game. Now with that being said this is something the developers of Ghosthunter had to worry about when creating Ghosthunter and seemed to have done a rather nice job of it.
In Ghosthunter you play the role of Lazarus Jones a Detroit police officer accompanied by his partner Anna Steele who are off to investigate a school. Now this is no ordinary school, construction workers refuse to bulldoze the place because they believed it is haunted. The story of Ghosthunter is a little quirky but it follows by you pressing a big red button and a ton of ghosts are unleashed. Well of course the ghosts end up taking his partner Anna. So this leaves you quite upset and of course you are now on your way to rescue your partner. The story is not one of the games stronger points but it is enough to at least get the game moving.
What I do like about Ghosthunter is that it’s not a full-on horror title, but instead kind of a mix of a little everything. The game provides plenty of action, with humorous and scary bits thrown in for good measure. You can tell that the game takes a lot of its gadgets and premises behind the cult-classic movie Ghostbusters. These connections only help the game in the long run as it brings back good memories from the movies. So as you can probably tell the game does a nice job of mixing a lot of things together.
The game is played in the third person perspective and provides plenty of action throughout the way. The game also hosts a lot of unpredictability of what is to come, which is one of the biggest upsides for the game. With this being said you may not know where you are going in the game but the objectives of the game seem to stay pretty consistent throughout. You will go through almost all of the levels of the game killing all of the enemies and grabbing items along the way.
To add some diversity to the game your body is inhabited by Astral, who becomes part of the game. When ever you reach Astral points when you can summon Astral and gain new abilities with her. This is one of the best parts of the game as it works quite nicely and gives you sometime away from the normal gameplay.
But with that being said the actual gameplay, which you will be spending the most amount of time doing is actually quite good. The puzzles in the game are pretty simple and don’t have much of a challenge to them but the combat in the game is very good. You are given plenty of different weapons some pretty basic and others are a little more technical. The game’s combat system is nicely done and works quite well in the third person. Although it can get somewhat tricky when there are multiple enemies but once you get over the slight learning curve that is in the game you will be just fine getting all of the ghosts in the game taken out. There is also some strategy involved as you have to capture these ghosts. This on paper sounds like it can be a lot of strategy but the more you play the more it becomes like second nature.
Ghosthunter is a game that doesn’t have anything overly complex or anything overwhelmingly great about it, but what it does have is some very average enjoyable game that stays interesting throughout.
It may just be me but the graphics of the recent PS2 games don’t seem to have the same amount of quality that is expected of them. All of the latest games released on the PS2 haven’t had the highest graphical quality. Well finally that thought has been thrown out of my brain as Ghosthunter has just filled the void.
Ghosthunters finest point is the amazing visuals throughout. There is really not one point of the game where the mouth stops drooling. The amount of detail that is placed on all of the environments is just remarkable. The developers did an amazing job making the environment scary enough yet still light enough to where you won’t have to strain your eyes to see what is going on. The game has amazing ghost models which just truly make the game have a beautiful spooky feel that we haven’t seen done well in quite sometime.
Overall the graphics of Ghosthunter are top notch. There is not one point of the game that I could even try to complain about. The game does an amazing job of creating a very spooky clean crisp gaming experience.
In my mind Ghosthunter had the potential to be a great game but there was one thing that plagued it and that was the repetitive nature of the game. The game does a great job of trying to mix things up but for the most part you will be completing the same linear puzzles over and over again. The boss fights though are not only challenging but also a lot of fun. Combine that with great graphics and you have a pretty fun game on your hands.
Ghosthunter is a game that is about one step away from being great. Almost everything about Ghosthunter is great, from the amazing visuals, genuinely creepy sound, and decent story. All it needed was a little bit more behind the gameplay and we would have been talking about a true winner here. With that being said anyone looking for a scary action title for your PS2 don’t shy away from this one it will be well worth it.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.