Ghostbusters - What's Different on the Wii

Usually when a game goes for simultaneous multi-platform releases, I immediately write off the Wii version.

Can you blame me? Empirically, the Wii suffers from "bastard stepchild port" syndrome, which leaves Wii owners like yours truly high and dry when it comes to triple-A titles.

Luckily, Ghostbusters: The Video Game on Wii isn't a port of the PS3/360 version, so much as a reimagining of the same game from the ground up. The voice work is similar and the script is almost entirely the same - but the level designs, control scheme, and cartoony style of animation are all made with the Wii in mind.

The biggest difference is the visual style. Developer Red Fly knows what kind of people tend to own Wiis; they made it visually appealing to this younger, er, less-hardcore crowd with vivid colours and cartoony character designs. You won't see as many creepy details like children's handprints all over walls or hideous-looking ghosts with their hair falling out - but the script is identical to the PS3/360 game, so the humor and story stay the same.

The second big change is the level layout. I've said it before, I'll say it again: the Wii just can't do what 360 and PS3 can do in terms of memory space. This means the levels can't be huge sprawling multi-hour investments with half a hundred checkpoints. Instead, the levels are more straightforward and simplistic in design, although it looks like the enemy types and timing of encounters sync up between the Library level on the Wii and the Library level on the PS3/360.

The last big thing the Wii version has going for it is the control scheme. I wasn't actually allowed to have hands-on with the Wii mote for more than a few minutes (just long enough to write my name on the wall with the proton pack) on the count of the developer still hammering out the details on the controls. But the motion of ghost-capturing looked a little more intuitive with flicks and shakes and waggles at well-timed intervals instead of button mashing or wild flailing. According to Red Fly, the controls won't be making use of Wii MotionPlus - but with games like The Conduit pioneering fine-tuned movement, hopefully the third person run-and-gun action in Ghostbusters will work out well.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game
is out for PS3 and 360 this June. Atari hasn't given us any reason to think the Wii won't make this same launch window, but after all this game has gone through, I won't believe it's out until the box is in my hand.


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