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Archives for: June 2009

Ghostbusters Video Game - PS2 Review

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 19, 2009 at 5:25 PM , Categories: Games
In addition to the copy here which has hyperlinks, you can also read my review over at GameFaqs and Amazon. An addendum to this review was posted on 8/6/2009. It picks up where this review leaves off.

I just got the PlayStation 2 version of Ghostbusters: The Video Game yesterday, played a little of it, and LOVED it! This is my quasi-review of the game taken from all of my hand-written notes. Apologies if it's a little rough or a bit disjointed as I pretty much took it from my notes. In this review, I will be using "PS2" as shorthand for the PS2/Wii version (stylized), and "PC" as shorthand for the PC/PS3/X360 version (realistic).

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Ghostbusters Video Game - Main Credits & Recognition Of An Uncredited Artist

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 19, 2009 at 5:02 AM , Categories: Games
Below are the main credits that I think would be of interest to everyone, but if you'd like to read the entire credits list in its original order, that's available too. Click on the voice talent and writers names to go to their pages here on Spook Central.

VOICE TALENT
Bill Murray
Dan Aykroyd
Harold Ramis
Ernie Hudson
Annie Potts
William Atherton
Alyssa Milano
Brian Doyle-Murray
Joel Murray
Max von Sydow
Erin Gray
Andre Sogliuzzo (realistic version only)
Fred Tatasciore
Keith Fergusen
Vanessa Marshall
Troy Baker
Travis Willingham
Colleen Clinkenbeard
R. Bruce Elliot
Christopher Sabat
Yuri Lowenthal (realistic version only)
Jason Liebrecht
MOTION CAPTURE PERFORMERS
Donovan Stinson
Peter Benson
Julian Paul
Santo Lombardo
Debbie Timuss
Cailin Stadnyk

WRITERS
Dan Aykroyd
Harold Ramis
John Zuur Platten
Flint Dille
Patrick Hegarty
John Melchior (stylized version only)

Recognition Of An Uncredited Artist - One person who was NOT credited in the game, but should have been, is "Dapper" Dan Schoening. Ghostbusters on the Wii and PlayStation 2 (and later PlayStation Portable) uses a stylized take on the famed characters instead of trying to replicate the look of the realistic versions of the game. That style was inspired by the work of an independent artist by the name of "Dapper" Dan Schoening. Dan Borth, the CEO of Red Fly Studio, has stated that when his team was first approached to do Ghostbusters, Vivendi/Sierra (the game's publisher at the time) gave them a large group of concept and fan art to go through, which included Dan Schoening's work. Later Mr. Borth was contacted by Mr. Schoening, and being an artist himself, understood his position and also wanted to make things right - since no one informed Red Fly who created the concept pieces. An agreement was reached that included money and an on-screen credit. Although he was 100% guaranteed an on-screen credit, the game was released with Dan Schoening's name nowhere to be found - not even as a Special Thanks. This infuriated him enough to post a message to his blog about the matter, which was then picked up by several of the top gaming sites. In response, Red Fly put up an apology to Dan on their blog. Then Mr. Borth felt the ill-advised need to "defend" himself in a written response to gaming site Kombo. Luckily for all involved, that didn't escalate things any further. (additional sources: True Game Headz, Proton Charging, Destructoid)

Now looking back over the list of people who WERE credited in the game, who do you NOT see on that list? Gene Wilder. Now that long-forgotten rumor can finally be put to rest.

It has been said that Max von Sydow (best known as Father Merrin in The Exorcist) is the voice of Vigo in the game. The extra Vigo quote on the PS2 version ("This isn't Ghostbusters. This is The Exorcist!") lends credence to this. Chris from Proton Charging theorized that he might actually be the voice of Vigo in Ghostbusters II, as well. We've all assumed that Wilhelm von Homburg, who played Vigo on-screen, was also his voice. However, if you remember your Ghostbusters history, you'd know that in the first film we saw Slavitza Jovan on-screen as Gozer, but the voice we heard belonged to an uncredited Paddi Edwards (reminiscent of Mercedes McCambridge's vocal performance in The Exorcist, coincidentally). So it's entirely possible that Wilhelm was Vigo on-screen, and Max was uncredited as Vigo's voice. The only ones who'd know for sure would be Ivan Reitman, Max, and Wilhelm. Ivan and Max are still alive, but sadly Wilhelm passed away a few years ago. So if anyone ever meets Ivan or Max, be sure to ask them who provided Vigo's voice in Ghostbusters II.

Besides Bill and Brian, we also have a third Murray brother in the cast, Joel Murray. The same one who was in the audience and asked Sigourney Weaver a question on the Ghostbusters II episode of Oprah back in 1989. According to IMDB, this is the third time the three have worked together. They previously paired up in Scrooged (1988) and the short-lived Murray Brothers golf series The Sweet Spot (2002).

The other big names in the voice cast include Erin Gray (Silver Spoons, Buck Rogers) and Keith Fergusen (Bloo from Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends). Most of the additional voice cast are Texas-based voice artists who've done lots of Anime dubs for Funimation. Both Funimation and Terminal Reality are headquartered in Texas. Oh, yeah, Flint Dille, who was a writer and story editor for the original G.I. Joe and Transformers series back in the 1980s, had a hand in writing the game. Cool!
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Ghostbusters In Toyfare Magazine (August 2009, Issue 144)

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 18, 2009 at 5:46 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Cast & Crew, Games, Books, Toys
The latest issue of Toyfare Magazine (August 2009, Issue #144) has several articles on the Ghostbusters toys and video game, and even an interview with Harold Ramis. This is all part of the issue's theme of 1984 (the year, not the Orwell book).

The magazine is currently in stores. If you'd like to know if it's worth buying - and with such an awesome cover, that thought really shouldn't have crossed your mind - you can preview the magazine by viewing scans below or in this gallery. Big thanks to Randy Henderson for the scans.

You can read the unedited Harold Ramis interview on the Toyfare/Wizard Universe website (the one in the magazine is edited). Don't miss the second page - it's a very subtle link at the end of the first page.

The first scan below (the Venkman brick poster) is from the "Coming Next Issue" page of the previous issue, July 2009, Issue #143. Also note the photo caption on the "Incoming!" page - who's Peter Vakeman?

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Ghostbusters Video Game - Threewave Responds To No PC Multiplayer

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 17, 2009 at 4:15 PM , Categories: Games
Big Download just posted an article with comments from Threewave Software (makers of the multiplayer aspects of the PS3 & X360) about the lack of multiplayer in the PC version of Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Here's what it has to say:
Atari and Threewave comment on lack of multiplayer in PC Ghostbusters
Posted Jun 17th 2009 11:00AM by John Callaham

Gamers were upset when it was learned a few days ago that the PC version of Ghostbusters would lack the multiplayer features that its Xbox 360 and PS2 counterparts have. We asked the game's publisher Atari for comment on this issue and they sent over a response from Dan Irish, the CEO of the game's multiplayer developer Threewave Software:

Multiplayer for the PC version of Ghostbusters is something that Threewave and Terminal Reality always wanted to do. However, our focus was on making the console version the best that they could be - an experience that allows multiple players to re-live and re-fight many of the themes from the movies. When we looked at the resources necessary to pull off multiplayer on the consoles and the PC, it became a question of what could we do and still be excellent in our execution. We couldn't do all versions with multiplayer simultaneously with the resources that we had available - there was simply too much to do. Something would have to suffer. Therefore, we kept our focus on making the console versions deliver on the promise of being an integral player on the Ghostbusters team.

We have yet to receive a response to our other question on if Atari plans to add multiplayer support for the PC version of Ghostbusters via a patch.
One of the commenters over on Big Download said it best: I do believe that's one of the biggest "F**k you's" I've ever heard directed squarely at the PC market. I sure hope they get some more "resources" and decide to put out a patch or something later on that includes multiplayer, I mean, if that is "something that Threewave and Terminal Reality always wanted to do."

What makes this whole situation really sad is that Atari never made any notification to the effect of, "We have removed multiplayer on the PC due to limited resources, so we have dropped the price accordingly for the PC version." If I didn't decide to post scans of the box backs and analyze the specs on them, no one would have known about the missing PC multiplayer until AFTER the game was released and they bought it.

All of the previews and ads for the realistic and stylized versions advertise multi-player features, and naturally it is assumed that the PC and PS2 versions would be grouped in with their respective counterparts for each version and get the multiplayer features. Atari should have made it perfect clear in the deceptive advertisements that the PC and PS2 versions would not get the multiplayer features that the other three versions would have.
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Ghostbusters II 20th Anniversary - Cast On Oprah

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 16, 2009 at 2:28 PM , Categories: Personal, Ghostbusters 2
It was twenty years ago today, on June 16, 1989, that Ghostbusters II premiered in theaters all across the United States. I wasn't amongst the lucky fans who got to see it that day, but I did get to see it in the theater during its initial run. I went with my mom and sister to the theater at Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, New York, probably as a present for my 12th birthday (June 25th). I don't remember too much from that day...I don't even know if the theater is still there as that mall has changed SO much in these past twenty years...but I do remember seeing Slimer fly out from the Statue of Liberty at the end, which is a bit missing from all of the home video versions. The theater was a multiplex, and I also remember that after Ghostbusters II was done, we snuck in to see Star Trek V.

Anyway, in honor of this special anniversary, I have uploaded full video of the show to the cast of Ghostbusters II on The Oprah Winfrey Show page.
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