Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Ghostbusters", Commodore 64, 1984.

This one has gotten somewhat lost in the mists of time, but it was a great game based on a great movie. (Rick Moranis' party-hosting banter improvised? And whatever happened to awesome '80s-movie animated lightning, too labour intensive when we could just rent strobe lights?) A story I just now read on Mobygames describes how the Activision crew would go to the movies and after seeing Ghostbusters, David Crane boasted that he was going to adapt that one (using gameplay framework he was already tinkering with.) A bold move after ET proved that film-to-game conversions weren't necessarily the Midas touch! The follow-the-bouncing-ghost sing-along of Ray Parker Junior's (subconscious theft of Huey Lewis') Ghostbusters theme song was apparently implemented one week before the game shipped. Winston Zeddemore totally unrepresented in the game? Controversy or just another victim of hardware-limited colour palettes?

It's too bad Ghostbusters 2, game and movie both, were so wretched.

Available on disk.

The big question I have is: given that this game was released at least for the Apple 2, Atari 8-bit, and ZX Spectrum same year the movie came out, why does this ad only advertise the Commodore 64 version when Activision could move more units overall by mentioning the others? I like how other than the platform, the only substantive thing mentioned is the name of its superstar designer, the John Romero of his day. (Heck, if you're going to quit Atari because you want name recognition -- and the increased salaries it brings -- then you swing it!) To be honest, the only selling point anyone needs is that photo of the movie's protagonists, even if their likenesses weren't part of the licensing deal.

Sometime tomorrow, following the publication of this post, this little blog is on track to receive its 2000th view! Thanks for the attention, whoever you are! I only have one known commenter and only promote updates to the blog on (the hollowed-out, let's be honest) Google+ ... but the second thousand came much sooner than the first thousand, so it just goes to show -- make a post every day for a week every few weeks and traffic builds. Who would have thought it? (I finger Google and the long tail, but that's just a hunch.) I'll pick a far more esoteric subject for my next blog project and we'll see if I can't keep it in actual, total obscurity...