Rating

A-

Specific Ratings

GameplayA
GraphicsA-
Learning CurveA
Replay ValueC
SoundA

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Excellent control
  • Good voice acting
  • Well-planned boss battles
  • Unique gameplay
  • Great storytelling
Cons
  • Some bad voice acting
  • Repetitive enemies
  • Special abilities not used to full extent
  • Some graphical tears/camera problems

Ghosthunter (PlayStation 2)

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Summary

A glorious mix of Resident Evil, Eternal Darkness, and Ghostbusters.

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Description

Ghosthunter is an adventure/survival horror game in the vein of Resident Evil and Eternal Darkness. You play as Lazarus Jones, a new recruit cop who is assigned to investigate a series of murders which took place at an abandoned high school. Yet, upon arriving, Lazarus and his partner Anna Steele discover that this is no simple murder case, and they unknowingly unleash a great evil which must be stopped at any expense.

Graphics: The graphics in Ghosthunter are impressive for a PlayStation 2 game. The colors may be a bit drab, but this is a horror game after all. Character models are expertly designed with the utmost detail and even the fully rendered surroundings are superb. Friend and foe move with perfectly motion-captured precision. The only negative aspect of the graphics are the occasional graphical tears seen in walls, floors, etc., but this is merely a nitpick.

Gameplay: Splicing a bit of Resident Evil with a bit of Eternal Darkness and throwing in a piece of Silent Hill best describes the gameplay of Ghosthunter. The game is played from a third-person perspective, yet views can be switched to first-person for easy aiming or further inspection for completion of puzzles. For the vast majority of the game, you play as Lazarus Jones, who must seek out and capture the unleashed evil spirits in full Ghostbuster style, while at the same time traversing through the expansive, well-designed levels and solving the many puzzles. However, Lazarus is only human and the folks over at Namco decided that implementing a controllable ghost character would positively influence the gameplay. So in order to complete some of the more difficult puzzles you must control a spirit named Astral who can fly freely around the levels and use her various spectral abilities to allow Lazarus to proceed. The implementation of Astral as a co-existing character to Lazarus is flawless and provides a very unique gameplay element to Ghosthunter.

Sound: Sound is important. Yes, we all know that, but knowing where your ghostly foes are is even more important if you want to live. The music in Ghosthunter is excellent to say the least. Spooky, mood setting, atmospheric...they all describe Ghosthunter's excellent score. The sound effects are decent and do the job, but the music impacts the game even more in this reviewer's opinion.

Controls: "Cake" would be a good analogy to the controls in Ghosthunter. The control scheme is simple and straightforward. No steep learning curve, just easy menus, simple weapon selection, and fluid control.

Fun Factor: When all is said and done, Ghosthunter is a blast to play. You'll find yourself immersed in the well-written and oftentimes somewhat funny/campy storyline. The voice acting also adds a great deal to the quality and polish of the game. If you enjoy survival horror games, you'll love Ghosthunter, plain and simple.

Overall: Ghosthunter is a very easy game. Yes, you heard me. It does not frustrate you with mindnumbing puzzles, nor leave you with no ammo so you can have a heart attack at every turn. Some of the boss battles are slightly tough, but nothing a seasoned survival horror veteran can't take. The graphics, sound, control, and gameplay are all simply top-notch. While, the game may be similar to Resident Evil, it is really more like Eternal Darkness with various "otherworlds" you must travel to in order to capture all the escaped ghosts and face a really cool end boss. While the storyline seems somewhat unfinished (Ghosthunter 2?), you will feel satisfied once you complete this game, which will probably take you anywhere from 10-20 hours to finish.

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