Tag Archive: ghostbusters

Worse than crossing the streams

I love Ghostbusters. I’ve spent probably an unhealthy amount of my life memorizing lines from the movies, collecting action figures, and watching the cartoons. And yes, before you even ask, I am a god. I even enjoyed the brand new reboot with Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig—it’s not perfect, but it was surprisingly a lot of fun. So, it was nothing short of painful to have to apply our review process to Activision’s latest licensed dumpster fire based off the aforementioned reboot.

In the Ghostbusters game, the four ladies from the movie have taken their show on the road and are busting ghosts for the president in Washington D.C. However, they couldn’t just up and leave New York City defenseless incase there were any more paranormal problems. So, before they left, they recruited four brash afterlife aficionados like themselves onto the team to man the firehouse in their absence. And, wouldn’t you know it, as soon as the ladies leave, a handful of hauntings pop up.

Ghostbusters is an arcade action-shooter, done in an abstract art style reminiscent of cartoons like Extreme Ghostbusters. It works well enough, at least in terms of character design. The ghosts, ghouls, and even the ‘busters exaggerated looks and hard lines work to pop off the screen, even considering the high camera angle.


Unfortunately, the rest of the game’s design is a disaster. The levels themselves are boring and bloated, lasting anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes, completely jettisoning the speed you’d expect from the genre—not to mention you have to traipse through the same generic graveyards, subways, and interiors the entire time. To make matters even worse, the gameplay itself is as repetitive as the level design. Each character carries three weapons: the classic proton pack, specialty guns, and grenades. This helps offer a little diversity between each character, as the shotgunner with the electric grenades has to play differently from the proton mini-gunner with the slime grenades. There are also dual proton pistols and a proton assault rifle, but once you get past the weapons, it all boils down to blasting away the same handful of enemy types after you turn every corner.

Sometimes you’ll come across a more powerful ghost who you’ll have to throw in a trap. From there, a ridiculous minigame starts, which requires you to pull in the reverse direction of the ghost and button mash for score multipliers—an idea that quickly becomes as dreary as everything else the game tasks you with. At the merciful conclusion to each stage, you tally scores and get awarded experience points that help boost the strength of your characters, but only human controlled characters can keep their points.


When playing four-player couch co-op, this isn’t much of a problem—beyond the fact that you have four people bored out of their minds instead of one. (Misery loves company, but I’ll have to make it up to my fellow EGM crew members at some point for subjecting them to this torture.) Playing by yourself, the game is easy enough to get through, but the AI does absolutely nothing to help you out. In fact, they tend to get stuck on invisible walls more often than they do anything useful in regards to busting ghosts. From my solo and co-op play sessions, it feels like the game was balanced for one-player, since more human players speed up the push through each level (still not enough to make the experience tolerable). So, Ghostbusters doesn’t even scale difficulty for multiple players.

If all this wasn’t bad enough, it only gets worse with the story, which basically copies the movie’s plot nearly point for point. You have to catch all the ghosts the ladies let get away in the film, with only two original bosses added to flesh the game out. The boss battles are a nice change of pace, but considering it is literally hours between them, they can’t salvage what appears to have been a forcibly lengthened experience to try to quantify a ridiculous price tag.

Ghostbusters tries to channel the spirit of old-school, arcade action shooters of years past, but it fails to capture any of the fun those games are known for. Even the addition of four-player couch co-op can’t save this from being a boring mess of an experience. Ghostbusters comes off as nothing short of a lazy, hastily thrown together movie cash-in attempt that can’t satisfy even the most hardcore fans of this iconic franchise, and all copies should be locked safely away in a containment unit somewhere. Light is green, trap is clean.


Developer: FireForge Games • Publisher: Activision • ESRB: E10+ – Everyone 10 and older • Release Date: 07.12.16
Ghostbusters is a bloated, boring piece of trash that forcibly lengthened an already miserable experience to try to justify a ridiculous price tag. We can only hope to return it forthwith to its place of origin—or the nearest parallel dimension.
The Good I don’t have to play it anymore.
The Bad It is the worst kind of licensed video game. It is a cheaply thrown together, boring, repetitive mess that isn’t worth anyone’s time.
The Ugly I think I’m starting to develop PTSD from all the awful Activision licensed games I’ve had to review over the years.
Ghostbusters is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Primary version reviewed was for Xbox One. Review code was provided by Activision for the benefit of this review. EGM reviews games on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 5.0 being average.

An absolutely massive week made this Pullbox a little harder than normal as it seemed comics were coming from everywhere! Marvel, DC, and a cavalcade of indie stuff was successfully sifted through though and now we have this week’s Pullbox!

IDW – Ghostbusters #11 – The Ghostbusters continue their tour across America, battling pesky poltergeists all over the country, and this time they end up in Roswell, New Mexico on behalf of that state’s governor to take on a whole slew of alien ghosts!

Still probably my favorite monthly book that I’m picking up, Ghostsbusters does a brilliant job of coming up with new and interesting foes for the Ghostbusters to face while maintaining the humor that made the movies such classics. I literally can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud at a comic book before this monthly started almost a year ago. The best part of each book though is they are so easy to just jump right into because if you’re reading this book, you likely already know all the major players and what is going to be involved. I honestly hope writer Erik Burnham can continue the hysterical momentum he has going with this book as I continue to look forward to it each and every month.

DC – Batman: The Dark Knight #11 – Commissioner Gordon has been abducted by the Scarecrow and Batman is hot on his trail after finding traces of a variant to the Scarecrow’s infamous ‘Fear Toxin’. The Dark Knight though stumbles right into a trap laid out by the villain and ends up with a dose of this new toxin himself!

While reading this book, I was a little worried that, like with Mr. Freeze, they might be twisting The Scarecrow’s origin as well, and unfortunately I was right as it seems Jonathan Crane had a father who liked fear more than the boy ever did. At the very least, he is still the villain he always seems to have been, just crazier and with ‘Fear Toxin’ being in the BatComputer database, we at least know Batman should be more than aware of this new look Dr. Crane’s potential. Seeing where this rather generic, at least up to this point, Scarecrow story goes from here though should be interesting as this book tried to pull itself from the doldrums towards the end.

DC – Green Lantern #11 – After saving Sinestro from the Indigo Tribe and reformatting his ring, Hal Jordan wants to start enacting a plan to save the Guardians of the Universe…from themselves. Sinestro though points out that in Jordan’s haste to save him, he let Black Hand escape and in his mind, that is a far greater threat at the moment. So the unlikely duo travel to Sinestro’s secret layer where he hides the Book of Black in the hopes it will give them insight to both their problems.

I admit that I’m starting to tire of the world’s worst buddy movie pairing in Sinestro and Hal Jordan and long for this ‘Third Army’ arc that clearly looms on the horizon. Where exactly the relationship between Hal and Sinestro is heading, I have no idea, but I sure hope it gets there soon as I’m a little sick of it. At the very least, the re-introduction of Black Hand as a villain and his ability to re-animate the dead should prove a worthy adversary for the Green Lanterns for the time being and is the only thing keeping me interested in this book at the moment.

Marvel – Secret Avengers #29 – Max Fury, the evil clone of Nick Fury, has succeeded in putting together a hive of scum and villainy that would make Mos Eisley cower away. With many of the Marvel’s major and B-list villains congregated in one place, the Secret Avengers have their work cut out for them, especially as whatever it is this new Masters of Evil is planning could spell doom for the world as we know it.

It’s nice to see Secret Avengers get away from the AvX event and get back to the story that was being told before all that nonsense started. Unfortunately, it was such a convoluted storyline to begin with that if you’re like me, you can barely remember what happened a few months ago and how everyone is connected. All we really need to know though is the world is in trouble, Ant-Man is a traitor, and Venom and Taskmaster are gearing up for a battle of epic proportions next issue. And honestly, Venom seems to be the only interesting character in this bunch now as Cap and Beast are still dealing with AvX so the more he is featured the better. His little ‘disguise’ was absolutely brilliant as well and made a relatively boring book somewhat interesting as a whole.

Marvel – X-Treme X-Men #1 – After returning home from a parallel dimension where X-Men were sacrificed to keep the planet powered, Cyclops was looking for a way back to help those he left behind. Meanwhile, three alternate universe X-Men in the forms of a youthful Nightcrawler and Emma Frost, and a grizzled Wolverine, serve as leaders for this new world and use the psychic abilities of severed Charles Xavier heads to teleport their world into a new dimension with an uninhabited Earth. Teleporting six billion people between dimensions is a little difficult though and it seems they’ve awaken almost a dozen new threats to the multiverse. Now joined by our Earth’s Dazzler and one of the Xavier heads, this odd grouping of multiverse X-Men must save us all!

If you couldn’t tell from the description, this book is out there. Like way out there. There’s even an octopus Charles Xavier. And some of that deals with the fact this feels very much like Exiles did for some time. I don’t know how long this book will last, as these multiverse adventures start to get a little confusing and drive folks away after a while, but it definitely seems to be a lot more fun and upbeat than any other X-book out there right now, even if with entire universes collapsing in one each other. The weird dynamic between characters is entertaining beyond words and with plenty of action promised for future issues, this is a new monthly that, at least through the first issue, has pleasantly surprised me.

A solid week all around in terms of releases this week, but it was difficult to pick the best of the best as there were a lot of good comics, but not necessarily great comics. Interesting twists abound as plots are further forwarded, so let’s see how by taking a look at this week’s pullbox!

1) IDW – Ghostbusters #5: After saving Ray from the hands of another minion of Gozer, the Ghostbusters are forced to try to get into shape by William Peck to meet the same standards as the NYPD and other civil servants. Meanwhile, as Venkman and Peck trade classic barbs, a new paranormal entity is causing havoc in Schenectady, New York, having possessed an entire amusement park and only the Ghostbusters are qualified for the job.

I can’t praise Erik Burnham enough for being able to capture the humor and absurdity of the situations that we loved seeing in both the movies and cartoons that many of us grew up with in terms of the Ghostbusters. After a brilliant 4-issue story arc to start the series off, I can’t wait to see what he does next as many details about this new ghost are minimal besides the fact that we know it is pretty powerful. Not to mention I love the paranormal files at the back of the book outlining the powers and abilities of the ghosts we’re seeing to give some insight as if we were a part of the team.

2) DC – Batman #5: Batman is trying his best to fight against the mind games of the Court of Owls, but as he remains lost in the ending labyrinth beneath Gotham, the world above can only wonder and worry what happened to their constant protector.

Almost feeling like a filler issue as most of the issue is simply seeing the effects of what the Court of Owl’s mind games are doing to Batman, the tricks used in the book might actually start to screw with the reader as panels start going sideways and upside down and so as you start turning pages, you’re also turning the actual book. A nice way to really help the reader feel just how upside down Batman’s world is becoming. But we’ve seen Batman overcome mind games before, whether with the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh sub-personality or some other mental training exercise he’s been through so again this is why as much as I love most of Scott Snyder’s work on Batman, this is a bit more of a filler issue, no matter how much I love the rotating panels effect.

3) DC – Green Lantern Corps #5: With John Stewart and some other members of the Corps being tortured clear on the other side of the universe, Guy Gardner is rallying the troops on Oa to stage a rescue mission and bring it to the Keepers. And Gardner is calling in the big guns, specifically a group of Lanterns who redefine the term “tenured” and who don’t know how to pull their punches called “The Mean Machine”. But will even this grizzled group of veteran Lanterns be enough to save Lantern Stewart and the rest in time?

I really like how this issue is expanding the Lanterns a bit more and adding a bit more personality to Corps members outside of those from Earth. I also like that it’s getting Guy Gardner back to his no-holds-barred, dirty tricks, all about results roots as he will do anything to save his friends and you have to love that about this character. All in all, this is a really well-written issue as it looks to build up to an explosive confrontation between Guy and his group of semi-rogue Lanterns and the Keepers, whose awesome origin story as a new enemy of the Lantern Corps is also pretty sweet and is revealed this issue.

4) Marvel – Daredevil #8: The second part of a two-issue crossover with Amazing Spider-Man ends here as Black Cat, Spider-Man, and Daredevil hunt down the thieves of some cutting edge hologram technology. But ol’ Hornhead may have bitten off more than he can chew as it becomes a bit more personal with the Cat. But can her motives be trusted and if he can’t or can, I don’t think Daredevil’s radar sense would be able to figure it out anyway.

The personality that Daredevil gives off and the constant making fun of Spider-Man makes this a particularly great issue and sets itself up that Black Cat, at least for the next few issues, will likely be a guest star as the hologram technology only scratches the surface of what could be a larger and more innate plot with Hydra and other evil global organizations. No matter if you’re just getting into Daredevil or have been following this new series since the start though, this book is most likely Marvel’s best written overall monthly and it only continues with this issue.

5) Marvel – Generation Hope #15: After another mission to find one of her “lights”, Hope doesn’t realize she has actually brought the mind-wiped Sebastian Shaw back into the midst of the X-Men and Cyclops is not happy about it. The X-Men must now decide the fate of one of their once greatest enemies as he is a blank slate and looking for refuge in Utopia. Meanwhile, the rest of Hope’s team come head to head with some Morlock refugees who are furious over their second class status even amongst their fellow mutants.

There were a lot of great X-Men books this week, but the banter between Emma Frost and Hope Summers as they argued over the fate of Sebastian Shaw put this over the top for me. Absolutely hysterical as you see things start to come to a head in the Utopia War Room. Throw in the return of the Morlocks who have almost been forgotten about in Utopia and I think this could continue to be the most interesting of the X-books in the near future.

A mild week for DC made it difficult to pick two that rose above the hoi polloi, while Marvel provided the exact opposite problem as there were more than a handful of worthy contenders to choose from this week. No surprise on the Indie side though as more pretty pesky poltergeists fall to everyone’s favorite guys in gray as they spearhead this week’s Pullbox!

1) IDW – Ghostbusters #3: The agents of Gozer continue to plot ways to bring their master back as the Ghostbusters see a spike in paranormal activity because of it. Old nemesis Walter Peck makes his presence felt as a new threat, loosely termed “The Terror Bear”, as the primary threat on Wall St. Sorry occupiers. I think Ghostbusters is easily the best independent monthly we’ve seen in a really long time as it adds onto the canon that is beloved by so many in ways that make perfect sense. Full of the same humor and dynamic we loved in the movies and video game along with some awesome “case files” on all the new ghouls they face at the end of the book makes this book a joyous read from cover to cover. I only wish it came out more often than once a month as there is no book out now that I enjoy reading more. Hopefully IDW understands the gold mine they have here and backs this for a long and prosperous run.

2) Marvel – Fear Itself #7.3 – Iron Man: Even though Marvel has already moved on and are three issues deep into The Fearless, the aftermath of the Fear Itself event, they pushed out three secondary aftermath issues detailing with what happened to those most affected by Fear Itself: Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. And each issue has gotten better and better. From the rumors of Bucky’s death being greatly exaggerated, to how Asgard deals with the death of Thor, and now to Iron Man dealing with one of his and Thor’s classic villains, The Gray Gargoyle, and what he did when he had one of the hammers, petrifying all of Paris. I don’t understand why Iron Man is sad, it’s only Paris. Anyway, as Iron Man contemplates what to do with The Gray Gargoyle and works to undo his damage, you really see why Tony Stark may be Marvel’s best character because more than anyone else, he has a tremendous amount of layers. From falling back down to the bottom of the bottle, to cursing all the gods, especially Odin, this is a great read into Tony’s mind and is worth picking up as a one-shot.

3) Marvel – Incredible Hulk #2: As Bruce Banner continues struggling with the fact that part of him is missing with the Hulk, the Hulk continues to let everyone know that he just doesn’t give a damn what Banner is doing without him. Let the world worry about the mutant sharks and warthogs he is creating trying turn him back into a Hulk. Unfortunately for him, Banner, even in this crazed state, is still smarter and more underhanded than the Hulk ever could be. Probably the next best Marvel Universe character, this new issue is slowly building up to what could be a crazy confrontation between Banner and Hulk. Of course, we all know somehow, someway that they will come back together because they need each other so much, but until then, it is really interesting to see them working apart. And whatever does bring them back together, you know it is going to be an event epic enough to be worthy of the Hulk and probably have lots of smashing involved.

4) DC – Batman #3: As Bruce Wayne is forced to do a bit more detective work than normal to draw out these new cultish enemies that worship owls, Batman takes this newly acquired information to finally track down their lair and begin unraveling this cult’s past. But the Owls have eyes everywhere and they are more than aware that Batman is on their trail. A bit of a slow start for this new Batman story as DC is really focusing on expanding his rogues gallery, things definitely picked up this issue as Gotham’s past begins to point Batman on the proper path of these new enemies. Hopefully things will really amp up now, but if you’re looking to know what’s going on, this issue is clearly key to the story arc. Helping to expand on the unsung character of Batman that is Gotham City and this issue should be more than enough to satisfy any and all Batman fans as DC continues its New 52 campaign.

5) DC – Green Lantern Corps #3: Guy Gardner and John Stewart have to call in some Lantern back-up as these new willpower based enemies called The Ring Slayers are proving to be too much for the small lantern scout party that Garnder and Stewart are leading. Once help arrives, although the Slayers are pushed back, not all the Lanterns can escape and now are left to the mercy of this new and unknown enemy as the perimeter defense collapses. With this New 52 from DC, they seem to really be pushing the idea of new foes for some familiar faces and the idea of a new enemy to be based on the same power of the Green Lantern rings is an interesting twist. Could this lead to an unusual alliance down the line? How about the even more emotionless than normal Guardians, how will they decide to handle this unknown force? And more importantly, where do they come from? When a comic has that many questions pop up, you know its something you should be reading as they are basic enough that they have to be answered in future issues.

Although a lot may have come out this week, much of it wasn’t nearly as strong or enjoyable as I would have preferred. And surprisingly, an indie easily topped my list of everything that came out this week. But once you see what it is, I’m sure most of you will understand. So without further ado, here is this week’s Pullbox!

1) IDW – Ghostbusters #1: Being nearly 20 years since they’ve had their own monthly, Ghostbusters #1 is the response to the huge popularity of inconsistently published one-shots and mini-series featuring the boys in gray by IDW. And now that it is here, this first issue does not disappoint with plenty of references that die-hard fans of the movies, cartoons, or video games will likely understand while still having them face off against some pretty pesky poltergeists. Opening with a dream sequence in which Ray Stantz is having a nightmare about previous adventures, which features a humorous cameo by the ghost of John Belushi that may or may not be hinting at a third movie as well as what could have been as he was originally supposed to play Peter Venkman before his unfortunate passing, this first issue hints at old problems still lurking out there in the shadows, while the Ghostbusters must concentrate on the here and now of other paranormal threats in and around Manhattan. All I can say is that if bustin’ makes you feel good, then this is a clear must have this week.

2) Marvel – New Avengers #16.1: With Fear Itself, Spider-Island, and several other large events going on in the Marvel universe, the long-term fallout of previous events like Norman Osborn’s reign as the world’s top cop have yet to be fully explored. Until now. After rotting on Ryker’s for some time, the backed-up legal system finally has gotten around to Norman Osborn’s trial for his crimes against humanity. Due to the nature of this case and the fact that Osborn’s H.A.M.M.E.R. organization still has cells out there, the Avengers have been called into escort Osborn to his day in court. But even with all the planning the Avengers had set up in terms of a security detail, the crafty Osborn still finds a way to elude them and sets up the Avengers for a world of trouble in the future. With long term ramifications for this Avengers team and a chance for Brian Michael Bendis to really let Spider-Man shine as Osborn is traditionally one of his villains, this looks to be the only book in the “.1” series that is more than just a one-shot adventure as it looks to set up at least the next few issues of the regular monthly series. Punctuated by great art from Neal Adams and any fan of this monthly up this point should pick up this “.1” as we look ahead to the future of the New Avengers.

3) Marvel – X-Men Legacy #256: As Rogue, Gambit, Frenzy, and Magneto try to rescue their comrades, Havoc, Polaris, and Rachel Summers from a space station that is in a deteriorating orbit and ready to crash into a star, their problems are confounded when Rogue loses the teleportation abilities she had temporarily acquired to get her team there. Although the middle of an arc, this is still a decent jumping off point because it reveals a new enemy and establishes new problems for the small band of X-Men it affects. This is also a great issue to pick up because finally, after being trapped on the outskirts of the galaxy, this arc, when resolved, will hopefully bring Havoc, Polaris, and Rachel Summers back into the fold of the main X-Men and end their galaxy gallivanting ways as these powerhouses have been ignored for too long after their war with Vulcan, Havoc and Cyclops’ third and forgotten brother. X-Men Legacy is just another book in the long line of X-books to have been released in past months that has me saying that anything involving the X-Men right now is probably the best thing going in comics right now.

4) DC – Teen Titans #1: Yet another book in DC’s “New 52”, Teen Titans #1 has one of the more interesting dynamics we’ve seen in the new universe as it has characters who have been largely unaffected by the re-launch, like Tim Drake, a.k.a. Red Robin, now teaming up with some of his best friends like Wonder Girl, Superboy, and Kid Flash, that all act like they don’t know each other and have never worked together since they’ve all been re-imagined. It is moments like these that make me really question titles that revolve around teams when doing a re-launch because it loses a lot of the original flavor and changes the characters in ways that are not normally for the better. On the other hand, this book also brings back the men from N.O.W.H.E.R.E., a Grant Morrison original who only made several appearances on New Earth before being mostly forgotten about. Their purpose is to destroy all that is considered “unnatural” in the world, including many super-heroes and villains, and they have taken aim now at the team that will become the DCU’s new Teen Titans. Can the re-imagining of these once lesser villains as a bigger threat keep this new Teen Titans in my pullbox for long? Or will my disdain for the re-invented Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Superboy, and others force me to give up on this comic? We’ll have to wait and see, but this first issue is worth picking up just incase.

5) DC – Green Lantern New Guardians #1: Unlike Teen Titans #1 and many of the other books in the DCU, Green Lantern New Guardians #1 spends a couple of pages re-telling Kyle Rayner’s story of how he became a Green Lantern, before throwing him right back into the action from where he left off when the re-launch happened. Patrolling Earth and the rest of Sector 2814, Kyle realizes something has gone terribly wrong when rings from other colors of the spectrum have left their original hosts and all flown to him. Now with the entire emotional spectrum looking to be represented by Kyle, other ringbearers from their respective spectrums are out for blood, as they don’t care why Kyle has those rings, only that they want them back. Although it takes place primarily on Earth, the comic still has that cosmos-exploring feel that makes the Green Lantern comics so exciting. With all the ringslinging that is due to take place in the coming months, I think this has been the most exciting Green Lantern comic so far in the “New 52” and is a must have for fans of the most junior member of Sector 2814’s Honor Lantern Guard.

Originally Published: March 29, 2011, on Youtube.com/RCars4885

I come to you once again with your weekly geek fix from my mother’s basement! This week’s episode sees me review X-Men #9 from Marvel and the downloadable Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime from Atari. My hot chick pick of the week is Nancy Patton and this week’s theme is Ray Parker Jr.’s Ghostbusters movie theme.

Originally Published: March 15, 2011, on youtube.com/Rcars4885

I come to you once again with your weekly geek fix from my mother’s basement! This week’s episode sees me review two comics since I’m still working on Dragon Age II. Ghostbusters: Infestation #1 (of 2) and Venom #1 are reviewed. My hot chick pick of the week is Francine Dee and this week’s theme is the main theme from Separation Anxiety starring Venom and Spider-Man back for the SNES and Sega Genesis.

Originally Published: March 11, 2011, on Comicvine.com

If ‘bustin’ makes you feel good, why not do it once a month?

When I make my comic purchase decisions, I stick mostly to the Big 2. I used to get Spawn, but lost interest after he killed the twins and became unto a god. I used to pick up Star Wars, but the expanded universe became too expanded for me and I couldn’t keep up with all the titles. I used to buy G.I. Joe, but after they re-launched and re-imagined it after only a few dozen issues for the umpteenth time in my life, I finally decided to relinquish my greenshirt status. But there is always one title that no matter what, I pick it up, and then have my heart broken when I find out it’s just a mini-series. Ghostbusters.

So this week I got my hopes up one more time when I saw something that could never possibly destroy us, The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, on the cover of another IDW comic. But my hopes would again be dashed, as this time the comic was only the first of two Ghostbusters related parts of a massive IDW inter-brand arc called Infestation. And this made me start to think, why can’t the boys in gray who slug it out with pretty pesky poltergeists get their own regular monthly series?

Could IDW be waiting to see if Bill Murray decides to finally officially sign on board for a third Ghostbusters movie so Columbia Pictures can give it the final go ahead and then IDW in turn capitalizes on a popularity surge? Maybe, but does Ghostbusters really need that? And do you really want something like the possibility of a monthly comic hanging on the whims of Bill Murray?

With Blu-ray sales, special edition releases, a hugely successful modern video game in 2009 (it sold 1 million units in its first four weeks of availability) and another downloadable one coming out in two weeks (Sanctum of Slime), you could argue that Ghostbusters has been cultivating its fan base pretty well for a while now. The best time to strike is while the iron is hot, folks.

If anything, the success of the video game gives even more reason as to why a monthly comic would work after the seeming success of comics based off games like Gears of War. I wouldn’t mind picking up a comic that centered around the rookie from the games working with the originals a little bit more and this would help to keep the title’s storylines fresh and introduce new characters into the canon. Or if you follow the plot of the game to the letter and have the rookie open up his own branch of the franchise in another city, you could actually have multiple Ghostbusters books at once as one follows the rookie and another follows the originals.

Not to mention that this in turn could create a way to write off Peter Venkman if need be so Columbia Pictures could move forward with the movie down the line and not have the fan base revolt too much. Make the rookie a wise-ass to replace him. He never talks in the games so he’s like a clean slate and the third movie was rumored to be about training replacements anyway.

Beyond the current worth of the franchise though, something that Ghostbusters has going for it that a lot of those other comic series have (except Spawn) that helps maintain them as moneymakers even today and has these independent comic publishers keep bringing them back over and over is the nostalgia factor.

A lot of my friends and I weren’t even born when the first Ghostbusters movie came out, and yet it is easily the movie we quote the most to each other and I always stop flipping through the channels on my TV when the movie is on Comedy Central. I didn’t know Arsenio Hall because of his late night show, I knew him because he played the voice of Winston in The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. I had a box of Hi-C Ecto Cooler in my Batman lunchbox everyday. I know I’m not alone in those facts so again I ask: After two decades, why can’t we have a monthly Ghostbusters comic? Do I need to tell someone about the Twinkie?

Of course, there is that elephant in the room of figuring out who would write a monthly Ghostbusters comic. We might need to consult Tobin’s Spirit Guide for this one, but with the gritty horror/mystery genre gaining steam with titles like Locke & Key and The Walking Dead, I’m sure there are some people who would be willing to experiment and strike a balance between the humor we’ve come to know and love from the Ghostbusters franchise with maybe a darker tone. Or how about just have the guys who have been doing all these mini-series do it full-time? I’ve enjoyed the mini-series and I think that’s why it is even worse when I know the end is coming so quickly.

And if a third movie doesn’t ever get made, which is the most likely scenario as sad as it is to say, you could have the script that Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis were working on converted into a comic book arc or even have them do a guest arc once every few years. Then again, I might have better luck catching a class 5 full roaming vapor with my bare hands on that one.

Let us know what you guys think. Would you want to see a monthly Ghostbusters comic? Or are you satisfied with these occasional mini-series? As a duly designated representative of the City, County, and State of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension and comment below! And yes, I am a god.

Ghostbusters Xbox 360 Video Review

Originally Published: November 22, 2010, on ClassicGameRoom.com

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed Ghostbusters for the Xbox 360 once again.

Originally Published: December 31, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com) and Lundberg.me

As the year comes to an end, I think this is an opportune time to take a look forward at the year ahead in gaming. Last year we did this and the nine games we previewed were either awesome as expected (Ghostbusters, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Madworld, and Brutal Legend), pretty good (Punch-Out and Resident Evil 5), or delayed until early 2010 (Bioshock 2, God of War 3, and Dante’s Inferno). The three games delayed until early 2010 are basically shoe-ins for this year’s list as well because all the delays have done is make us salivate more as details leaked out to us. So with no further ado, here are the top 10 games to look forward to in 2010.

1. Bioshock 2: I said it last year and I’ll say it again this year: I will go screaming through the halls here at ESPN the day this comes out from sheer, overwhelming joy. With a lot more revealed in terms of the plot and gameplay, this easily tops my list as my most anticipated game as you return to Rapture and assume the role of a Big Daddy 10 years after the events of the first Bioshock. Along with this new twist from the first Bioshock, there is also a confirmed multiplayer mode and the ability to use your Big Daddy suit to explore the ocean immediately surrounding Rapture, which should allow for all kinds of new and creative ways to explore the once great cultural haven beneath the waves. Barring any last minute setbacks, expect Bioshock 2 to hit store shelves February 9, 2010, for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

2. God of War 3: There are few trilogies in video games that are more celebrated than God of War and this is before the third one has even hit store shelves. Inspired by many classic stories from Greek mythology, you play as Kratos once more as you attempt to work out your anger issues with the gods for the last time. I had a chance to play an advanced demo of this (which I will post a special PS3 Q1 Preview video next week where I got to talk with some of the developers of God of War 3) and you will flip just like Kratos’ point of view seamlessly does in several epic boss battles as you should expect to start wrapping up this classic trilogy on your PS3 towards the end of March 2010.

3. Dante’s Inferno: Many are calling this a God of War rip-off, but I’m a firm believer that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and this might be even better because it isn’t limited to just the PS3. Inspired by the part of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy of the same name, if Kratos has anger management issues, Dante is the ultimate obsessive, smothering boyfriend as he is willing to fight through the nine layers of hell to save his girlfriend’s soul while having a tapestry depicting the holy cross stitched to his chest. Just like God of War, Dante’s Inferno mixes classic plot with tremendous, bloody action (and a little bit of nudity) and amazing, original monsters based on this classic work of literature to get any action/adventure fan’s blood pumping. Just like Bioshock 2, Dante’s Inferno hits store shelves on February 9, 2010, for Xbox 360, PS3, and PSP.

4. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle: Travis Touchdown returns with his beam katana (it’s a lightsaber, but that whole copyright thing can be such a pain sometimes) as he has gotten lazy and let his number one world assassin ranking drop all the way down to 51 (possibly in honor of game creator Suda 51?). When things get personal though, Travis once again hones his wrestling inspired moves and attempts to move back up the ladder to the number one spot with even more crazy, over the top boss battles that are even better than those from the first game. The sandbox system is gone to help save on time while you hunt down your quarry and travel from location to location by just going to a map menu now and since that was one of the major complaints from the first game, it looks like No More Heroes 2 could be another sleeper hit from the deranged mind of Suda 51 and his Grasshopper Studios. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is a Wii exclusive and should hit store shelves January 28, 2010.

5. Dead Rising 2: The first Dead Rising broke new ground in zombie bashing by having an unheard of (for the time) amount of NPCs on screen at one time with no lag. And it was set in a mall allowing you to have a variety of weapons from food court table umbrellas to golf clubs to nerf guns. Dead Rising 2 takes several of the great elements from the first game (regular guy dropped into a zombie invasion) and puts a whole new twist on it that has me chomping at the bit as I count the days until this hits store shelves. Dead Rising 2 assumes you failed to completely contain the zombie virus at Willamette from the first Dead Rising and now there are zombie outbreaks all over the country. These zombie zones have been cordoned off by the government, but with times being tough, leave it to reality TV to step in to offer the masses a chance to risk life and limb for amazing prizes. “Terror is Reality” is one of these reality TV shows that asks people to help control the zombie population in new and inventive ways for the chance at huge piles of cash. Of course, you’re being dropped into these living nightmares with nothing but the clothes on your back, but it wouldn’t be a zombie game if you were given a gatling gun from the get go. Add in what could be the best online multiplayer of the year as Dead Rising 2 pits you against three other players in an American Gladiators meets Resident Evil scenario and sends you all on your merry competitive ways. Zombie bashing will never be the same again on your Xbox 360, PS3, and PC come the end of Q1.

6. DC Universe Online: It is hyped as what could be the greatest MMORPG of all-time as it allows you to interact with the best of the best of the DC Comics Universe with your own original character and with a member of current comic book royalty in Jim Lee serving as the Executive Creative Director, you know you are in good hands. Unfortunately, it has been delayed countless times and is a game on life support to say the least. DCU Online was supposed to come out last summer, but now we are still waiting to rub elbows with the Dark Knight and Man of Steel and take down the likes of Lex Luthor, Mr. Freeze, the Joker, Bizarro, and many, many, many more as a loose Q3 2010 date has been set for this possible PS3 and PC powerhouse. If DCU Online doesn’t come out this year, I think the game will be completely scrapped because it has been in production for far too long for us to wait much longer for it.

7. Mafia 2: Another strong title on the horizon from the folks at 2K (why do they even bother with sports anymore when their shooters and action/adventure games are so awesome?) is Mafia 2. Set in a fictitious mob family in the late 1940s-early 1950s, Mafia 2 combines a GTA-style sandbox experience with a Hollywood-inspired cinematic driven plot as you play as Vito, a small-time hood trying his best to get his piece of the American dream in some less than savory ways. Add in some awesome action sequences and Martin Scorsese couldn’t have done a better job with this. Mafia 2 looks to be the strongest release due out in Q2 when it lands on store shelves May 3, 2010, for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

8. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Every major attempt to bring the fabled history of Castlevania into the 3D realm has fallen flat on its face and the only thing keeping the series alive has been a successful run with the classic side scrolling action on handheld systems. Things may change come the next holiday season. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow has you cast as the mysterious figure Gabriel as you fight through a massive world in the third person. Mix in some puzzles and some holy (or unholy) artifacts to help power up Gabriel and you have the base for a nice action/adventure game. There aren’t a lot of details out on this one yet in terms of how Gabriel fits in with the Belmont clan or if Dracula is even the main force of darkness here (although I’m sure he is because it wouldn’t be Castlevania if he wasn’t), but from what I’ve seen so far, this could be the best chance to FINALLY bring Castlevania successfully onto modern consoles especially with Hideo Kojima (of the Metal Gear Series) consulting on this project, Patrick Stewart serving as the narrator, and some God of War and Assassin’s Creed style gameplay mechanics shown in the early trailer. Expect Castlevania: Lords of Shadow to emerge from the darkness next holiday season for Xbox 360 and PS3.

9. Super Mario Galaxy 2: Everyone loves Mario, plain and simple. Another game expected to be released in time for the next holiday season, Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be the first direct sequel to another Mario game in a decade (since Super Mario World 2 back for the SNES). Add in that you are definitely going to be riding Yoshi around and I’m sure you’ll see the return of some other classic powers and this is another sure fire hit for Nintendo. Plus, don’t forget that you are sure to see a lot of classic Mario themes, enemies, and puzzles mixed in with the tremendous planetary exploration aspect introduced in the first Super Mario Galaxy and this will be another platforming gem from Nintendo. Super Mario Galaxy 2 should be out in time for next holiday season and is, of course, a Nintendo exclusive.

10. Metroid: Other M: Nintendo has the strongest first party franchises out there and another one confirmed for next holiday season is Metroid: Other M. A lot like seeing Hideo Kojima’s production studio helping out with Castlevania, Team Ninja, best known for the Ninja Gaiden games, has stepped up to help give a bit of an anime style and storytelling flair to this newest Samus Aran adventure. Mixing some classic side-scrolling action and some 3D arena battles as you progress through the game and interchange between the two seamlessly should keep you on your toes and keep you from getting bored. Add in that at least Ridley has been confirmed as one of the boss battles and it should be interesting to see what Team Ninja can do with this beloved Nintendo franchise. Metroid: Other M is another Wii exclusive and should be out in time for the next holiday season.

So there is my top 10 for the coming year and it is one heck of a list. On top of these games, there are also lots of other games that I just could not take the time to go into right now, plus I did not feel they were worthy of the top 10. MAG, Heavy Rain, Bayonetta, Darksiders, Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands (adding a 4th chapter to one of the better trilogies for the last generation of consoles was not necessary and is thus a major reason that Prince of Persia stayed off the list), Mass Effect 2, Just Cause 2, Epic Mickey, Red Steel 2, Mega Man 10, Gran Turismo 5, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and an unnamed Legend of Zelda title for the Wii (not enough info for me to be confident that this will make it in time for a 2010 release, but Nintendo is the best at keeping secrets) all deserve honorable mentions and should be awesome games in 2010, but these are my top 10 and I stand by them. It is going to be another great year for games and I cannot wait. Until then, have a great New Year and my resolution is that I will be sure to try my best to keep you informed over the course of 2010 just as I did over the course of 2009.

-Ray Carsillo