Do you believe in ghosts? Ghosthunter is the latest third-person action adventure from Namco. It is set in an abandoned school where a gruesome murder spree happened 10 years ago. Rookie Detroit cop Lazarus Jones is thrown into the role of Ghosthunter after a routine patrol at this abandoned high school where he and his partner Anna Steele stumble upon the supernatural research center of Professor Peter Richmond. They unintentionally let loose all the spirits after which a deadly spirit abducts Anna, while another ghost fuses with Lazarus, giving him the ability to see into the realm of the dead. The goal now is clear, find and rescue Anna Steele and recapture all those ghosts you let loose.Ghosthunter is a strategy and puzzle solving game with some head-to-head combat and at times the standard “guns a blazing”. As for the weapons in Ghosthunter there is a wide variety to choose from including a Glock 17, Shotgun, Pulse Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Grenade Launcher, Spectral Lasso and Techno gun. Some of the types of spectral weaponry used in combat are to contain the many ghosts you’ll run into during the game. The spectral lasso is a long range weapon that drains ghost energy. The pulse rifle is used on ghosts from close to mid-range distances, and the sniper rifle is a long-range weapon with three levels of zoom that can take out ghosts with a single shot to the head. The 9mm handgun, 12 gauge shotgun, and the heavy duty grenade launcher are used to weaken ghosts. After you have weakened ghosts you can then hit the R2 button to throw the ghost grenade which attaches to the ghost and contains them within the grenade.
Puzzles in Ghosthunter are fairly simple and not very challenging when you do come upon one. There are certain areas on the ground you must stand in called Astral points. As you stand in the glowing circular patterns and hit the X button you can summon Astral who is a spirit form you can control in environments that you can not go through with Lazarus. Astral can fly and is able to reach any area in the environment, but must be changed back to her physical form before she can interact with the surroundings. While she is in her physical form Astral’s energy will slowly be depleted so you must move quickly. Astral also gains new abilities as you progress through the game, allowing her to do things like possess and control enemy ghosts and remove obstructions.
Visually Ghosthunter is by far one of the better looking PS2 games. The background and character models are very well detailed. Frame rate was steady without any clipping or slowdown what-so-ever. Environments were well detailed and the atmosphere was very eerie. Character models even at a distance looked life-like. The ghosts looked somewhat translucent as they moved towards you, and their facial expressions looked very realistic as well. The cut-scenes found in Ghosthunter are well thought out and fit well with the story line. The style is a B-movie style but fits the game mode.
Sound effects and music for Ghosthunter where very good. The voice actors Rob Paulsen, Joe Morton, and Michael Gambon did a great job throughout the game. The various background orchestrations in Ghosthunter where excellent as it inspires dread and creepiness. The music also changes in style and tempo in accordance with the on-screen action.
Controls where good but repetitious. The targeting and aiming were very good and accurate. When using the sniper rifle you can hit R1and Lazarus will change from his normal stance to a slower-moving combat stance where you’ll control the targeting with the left analog stick and move the character around with the R stick. Most of the time this view is good for any close to mid-range fighting but you do have the option of switching to a first-person mode that gives you better aiming and a view you are more familiar with.
Basically, you’ll run from one area to another, taking out all the ghosts that appear and picking up the items along the way and then progressing to the next area. Ghosthunter isn’t that hard of a game and you most likely will finish it after a few times of sitting down and trying it, but with the visuals, game play features, and great combat dynamics you’ll keep coming back for more and have fun each time you play it.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.