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Ghostbusters: The Video Game - The Complete Story Unofficial/Bootleg Blu-ray Review

 By Paul Rudoff on Oct. 5, 2019 at 10:00 PM , Categories: Home Video, Games
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Yesterday saw the re-release of 2009's Ghostbusters: The Video Game on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. (For digital purchase links, and physical copies in other countries, check out the official site.) Used copies of the original release are still readily available for the Xbox 360 (plays on the Xbox One), PlayStation 3, PC (plays on modern PCs), PC Digital Download (plays on modern PCs), Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP, and Nintendo DS. (The WII/PS2/PSP version features stylized graphics and different gameplay [but the same story] than the other releases, including the new "Remastered" re-release. The Nintendo DS is a completely different game altogether.)

In honor of the "Remastered" re-release, I present a review of the unofficial/bootleg Ghostbusters: The Video Game Movie Blu-ray.

(IMPORTANT NOTE - Shortly after I received this item in the mail, TJ decided to stop selling it. He'd rather keep his shop focused on vintage materials, mainly from the 1980s and 1990s. The rest of this review, including the now-broken links, is being left "as is" for archival and historical purposes. You can find all of TJ's other releases at MonsterlandMedia.com.)

I once wrote an article about Ghostbusters merchandise I'd like to see. It was a simple list of three items: Ghostbusters: The Video Game - The Movie, Lego Ghostbusters: The Video Game, and Extreme Ghostbusters: The Complete Series DVD Box Set. Well, four years later, all three items have kinda, sorta become a reality. Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters (2016) are both a part of the Lego Dimensions video game and Extreme Ghostbusters: The Complete Series is available in an unofficial Blu-ray set. TJ the person who put together that Extreme Ghostbusters release, has also made a Ghostbusters: The Video Game - The Complete Story Blu-ray.

He's selling it on Etsy (under the username MonsterMedia) for $22.99 (free U.S. shipping) plus applicable sales tax. With $1.99 in New York tax, that comes to a total of $24.98 (as per the order I placed on September 23, 2019). I received the item on September 28th, as it doesn't take long to ship from New Jersey to New York.

What I proposed back in 2015 was for Sony to make a concerted effort to take the video game cutscenes and assets and repurpose them as a "movie" to be released on Blu-ray and DVD. That's what Warner Bros. did with the Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes video game. They took the cutscenes, added some new stuff, and released it on Blu-ray and DVD as Lego Batman: The Movie - DC Super Heroes Unite. If Sony were to repurpose the video game into a "Ghostbusters 3" movie, they could make money from it by selling it on home video, and licensing it for TV showings and the such.

TJ's Ghostbusters: The Video Game - The Complete Story Blu-ray is not quite that. But before I explore the disc contents, let's start by taking a look at the packaging.

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The set comes in a 14mm thick blue "Blu-ray Disc" case with decent-looking high-quality printed artwork that reuses some common promotional artwork. Interesting, there's a "SUWALLS" watermark (a wallpaper image site) in the upper right corner of the Stay Puft image that TJ forgot to edit out. Oops! (I cleaned it out of all scans I have on this page.)

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The back cover has a screenshot from the game (a multiplayer arena, if I remember correctly), along with some text describing the story. At the bottom are some logos for Blu-ray; VSO Software, who makes video software; Nero, a company that makes disc burning/authoring software; and the familiar No Ghost logo. VSO and Nero are, likely, the companies that make the software that TJ uses to make his products.

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I chose put my set in a new 12mm thick Blu-ray case, which is the same kind the major studios use for their releases. Since TJ's artwork is too big for a 12mm case, I scanned in the printed artwork and used that, even though it meant a small quality loss. I now present to you a few versions for you to print out, should you chose to buy this set and repackage it, as I did.

Images: Cleaned.
Printable PDF: Cleaned (may also fit in a 9mm slim case)

As for the disc itself, it features the game's cover art of the guys in front of the No Ghost logo flanked by the green ghostly specters. Put the disc into your Blu-ray player and you'll see this:

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It's a simple menu with three options on it. "The Movie Extended Cut" plays the three-and-a-half-hour movie. "Behind The Scenes" plays an 11-minute featurette. The play arrow in the lower right corner (by the front of the taxi cab) acts as a Play All that plays both videos together. While watching the movie or featurette, if you press the Disc Menu button on your remote, you'll go to a hidden menu where you can see chapter thumbnails (for the movie only), as well as Home and Play options. Home takes you back to the main menu. Chapters for the main movie include:

1. New Recruit - 0:00:00
2. Return to the Sedgewick - 0:07:50
3. Cleanin' up the Town - 0:28:44
4. Peck - 0:51:47
5. Library - 0:56:16
6. Hellbent - 1:25:43
7. Museum - 1:40:27
8. The Spider Witch - 2:10:35
9. Shandor Island - 2:37:30
10. The Graveyard - 2:57:41
11. Finale - 3:16:05

TJ did not record the video contained on this disc. It was created back in 2016 by UK gamer "BrySkye". Bry wanted me to make it understood that BRYSKYE HAS ABSOLUTELY NO INVOLVEMENT IN THE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THIS BLU-RAY. EVEN THOUGH THE VIDEO HE ASSEMBLED FORMS THE BASIS FOR THE CONTENT ON THE DISC, BRYSKYE DOES NOT REAP ANY FINANCIAL BENEFIT FROM ITS SALE.

This disc is for all of those people who want to own a "movie version" of the game in 1920x1080 high definition on physical media. If you just want to watch it streaming, the entire 3 hours 28 minutes 43 seconds "movie" is embedded below and the featurette is elsewhere here on Spook Central. The movie length is equivalent to editing GB1 & GB2 together.


Bry did the gameplay on the Xbox 360 "realistic" version of the game, but it's not a recording of the entire gameplay. It includes all of the cutscenes and all story-related segments of the gameplay. Some non-story elements of the game have been edited out, such as the majority of the Rookie's alone time under Shandor Island (including the Black Slime Behemoth fight) and a fight against a "key monster" (I forgot what it's called) in the cemetery crypt/maze area. Also, some fight scenes have been shortened. The Chairman fight wasn't shortened, but I think it should have been. Again, this THREE AND A HALF HOUR video is meant to provide the whole story, not the whole game.

The movie starts with the Terminal Reality and Columbia Pictures logos, just as a "real movie" would. The Atari logo, and any other logos, are not included. After we see the Columbia Lady, we spy the museum guard watching the Ghostbusters commercial as his partner makes his rounds. You know how that goes. What follows is the opening credits, in which Bry added a "Gameplay & Editing by BrySkye" credit and an "In Memory of Harold Ramis, 1944-2014" text screen. This new text is in the same font and color as the pre-existing credit text, so it doesn't look out-of-place.

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As for the game, Bry does not dilly-dally. The gameplay stays focused on the story and the characters and doesn't feature any exploration or collectibles gathering. Bry does not rush through anything. He stays by the other characters and stays still, allowing them to talk and finish their lines before moving on. Because of this, I even noticed a few jokes I hadn't noticed before because I was too busy playing the game. As far as playing is concerned, I can honestly say that Bry plays the game very well; MUCH better than I do. Entities are usually defeated pretty quickly, so no time is wasted on prolonged fighting. Because Bry kept it focused on the story, none of the Easter Eggs are in the game, though the Vigo painting is examined at 56:01 after Peck is introduced, so we get at least one of his quotes in the "movie".

There are a few spots where it may seem like Bry moved or removed things, or altered something. (1) The Ray Parker Jr. song echoes during the beginning and end credits. It was like that in the game, just to be clear. (2) At 51:48, between Ilyssa in Times Square and talking with her in the firehouse, is the "This mump is the new Experimental Equipment Technician" scene. That scene does not normally occur there. It takes places MUCH earlier in the game, right before they first go to the Sedgewick. (3) The movie goes from them talking in the firehouse to being at the museum loading dock. It may seem like there's a driving cutscene missing, but there's not. All that's been removed here is a long loading screen. (4) After defeating the Spider Witch, Egon and the Rookie are in the ballroom looking at the mandala, and then it cuts to them driving to Shandor Island in the Ecto-Boat. Again, it seems like there's a missing cutscene, but there isn't.

At the end of the movie, after the scrolling credits, you will find a newly-added "BrySkye" logo. The preceding end credits scroll flickers and is jerky, not smooth, due to what appears to be some interlacing every few frames. Watching it on my computer, it's not quite as bad, though it seems to play better in the YouTube original, so I guess it's a result of the conversion to Blu-ray by TJ. It's a shame, as the video quality for the rest of the movie is FANTASTIC! Some of the pre-rendered cutscenes are softer than the in-game stuff, but that's an issue with the game itself, not this video.

To give you an idea as to the picture quality on this Blu-ray, below are some random framegrabs ripped directly from the disc. Click to view the original 1920x1080 resolution images.

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Movie

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Movie

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Movie

As for the audio quality... Well, that's where things take a turn for the worse. The movie audio is VERY loud! It sounds a little clipped in spots due to being at an overly high volume. At first I thought that maybe TJ tweaked the audio, but I listened to Bry's original on YouTube, and it sounds the same. (I checked these spots in particular: 7:30-7:50, 41:29-41:55, 50:42-50:55, 54:55, 1:37:00, 1:58:40, 1:59:52, 2:42:55, 2:57:45, 3:16:30.) I had to put my TV volume down to 25 to listen to it. Normally, the volume is at 60-70 when I watch TV. To be fair, it sounds a lot better when I listen to it in headphones on the computer. So your experience may differ.

Also included on the disc is a Behind the Scenes featurette that runs for 11:08 and is in 1280x720. This is the same one that was found in 1920x1080 on the Ghostbusters 2009 Blu-ray, but that was not the source for the copy on this disc. This copy is a screen-recording from the bonus features on the PlayStation 3 version of the game, as noted by the brief appearance of the PS3 game menu screen at the very end. The Behind the Scenes featurette has some compression and/or upscaling artifacts here and there; most notably at the start of the Harold Ramis interview clips (look at the window frame in the background while watching to see what I'm referring to).

To give you an idea as to the picture quality on this Blu-ray, below are some random framegrabs ripped directly from the disc. Click to view the original 1280x720 resolution images.

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Featurette

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Featurette

Due to space limitations, the disc does not include the game's trailers and all of the promotional videos, including the tech demos found on the promotional "Tech Trailers DVD". Disc space limitations is the reason TJ gave for why the featurette is in 1280x720 and not 1920x1080. He would rather have downsampled that than to have compressed the main movie; and I certainly agree with that. I don't know the specifications of the featurette video file he had to work with, but if he had my copy, ripped directly from the 2009 Blu-ray, he could have included it in 1920x1080 (and without the PS3 menu screen at the end). I ripped the contents off of TJ's disc, and the movie is 19.7GB, and his featurette is 1.05GB. My 2009 Blu-ray rip of the 1920x1080 featurette is 1.8GB. There's no reason the 19.7GB movie and my 1.8GB featurette couldn't fit onto a 25GB BD-R with room to spare for menus.

TJ surprised me by including a free gift in the package with this Blu-ray and the second copy I bought of the Extreme Ghostbusters Blu-ray set (for my friend Raffaele in Belgium). Both Blu-ray cases were wrapped inside the new Ghostbusters "Slimed No Ghost Logo" t-shirt by Central Mills, Inc. (Textile RN#71868). Surprisingly, it's a Ghostbusters shirt that I did not already have! If you'd like one of these shirts for yourself, I spotted a couple (all size medium) at Five Below in Levittown, NY on September 30, 2019 for $5.00 each. The Five Below website doesn't have it anymore (here's a cached copy of the page), but there is a different slimed logo shirt at Amazon in stock.

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(click to enlarge)

While I could have downloaded the "movie" off YouTube, I think $25 is a fair price to pay TJ for his work in taking that 1920x1080 video and putting it onto a nice chaptered Blu-ray disc with decent-looking case art. I don't have a Blu-ray burner, so I would not have been able to do this myself. It would have been nice if the audio sounded better (though it's not unlistenable), if the "Experimental Equipment Technician" scene was in the proper place, and if the featurette was in 1920x1080, but overall, I'm happy with this disc. If you've been wanting to own a HD movie version of Ghostbusters: The Video Game on physical disc, this is your only viable option. Thankfully, it's competently-produced and of very good quality, all things considered. Go buy a copy today!

Now we just need someone to make "movie versions" of the stories from the Lego Dimensions Ghostbusters level and Ghostbusters 2016 story pack.

2 comments

Comment from: BrySkye [Visitor]

Sorry to trouble you, it was a bit of a random surprise how I ended up spotting that recent article about a blu-ray bootleg of my Youtube video. I would, however, like to request if a few clarifications could be made to the review.

Firstly, and most importantly, I'd appreciate it if it would be possible to clarify that I have absolutely no involvement in the production, distribution and most importantly any kind of financial connection with such a blu-ray. I had no idea it even existed, let alone was being sold. It's a strange feeling seeing it to be honest, but I've decided to take that as a compliment to the overall quality.

That said, I feel it's especially important to clarify this as Sony have previously blocked the video worldwide on copyright grounds for the soundtrack. That's partly why there's some new sound issues, as these sections had to be muted to get the video view-able at all, and Youtube's re-processing in those circumstances isn't ideal. But also that the games original mixing just wasn't very good in several places!

(This also doesn't resolve the inevitable Content ID claims over video content, but at least these only claim ad revenue, rather than try to block it outright) So I really don't want anyone to think I'm in any way associated with any kind of selling of the 'movie'.

Secondly, as an additional insight about the relocated scene, it was something I had thought over a lot. The original scene always felt out of place. The gang going from "The little spud will head to its original manifestation point, let's go!", to Peter's little questioning of the Rookies role and title, back to back to climbing into the Ecto-1 with a purpose. It really slowed to pacing all of a sudden and it didn't really seem like something Peter would actually do, unless he was performing to someone outside of the team (and the Rookie wasn't important enough for that). In the 'normal' cut I made, which is nearly a full half-hour shorter, the scene was removed completely. I put it back into the extended one, but the relocation was done under the logic that Peter would be grumpy after seeing the Rookie use some of the newest toys, and working so well, as well as his advancements being shunned by Ilyssa. It's clunky and a bit out of place, it just felt a bit *less* out of place compared to the original.

So it was a personnel choice, and not one done lightly. It's not going to work for everyone, but I can at least say it wasn't done in error.

Cheers,
-Bry

Oct. 9, 2019 @ 16:28
Comment from: TJ Monsterlandmedia [Visitor]

I just finished reading the full review of Ghostbusters: The Video Game. Nice review.

I would also like to clarify that what I do is a service. I do not make anything off the recording themselves. NO PROFITS ARE MADE ON THE DVDS/BLU-RAYS CONTENT! ALL FUNDS MADE ON THESE DVD'S/BLU-RAYS ARE ONLY USED FOR MAINTAINING OUR EQUIPMENT: DISCS, PAPER SLEEVES, TRAVEL TO THE POST OFFICE, PACKING & OUR TIME AND EFFORT TO CREATE THE DVD'S/BLU-RAYS. THIS IS COLLECTOR TO COLLECTOR, NONPROFIT, NONCOMMERCIAL, PRIVATE TRADES & TRANSFERS AS PER CUSTOMER ORDER. Which you can read more when my website launches.

After reading the review and comments - I realized that this set is too new for my shop. All of the other sets in my shop are retro sets mainly from the 80s and 90s - this set doesn’t fit that. I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention in your review but it will no longer be available in my store as a result.

Thanks,
TJ

Oct. 13, 2019 @ 13:23

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