Category Archives: Third Person Shooter

Podcast 17: Ghostbusters: The Video Game (#90)

Format: Xbox 360 Genre: Third-Person Shooter Released: 2009 Developer: Terminal Reality

(SCENE: The Ghostbusters are facing Gozer. He/She/It speaks to them in a voice that can be heard throughout Metropolitan New York and parts of New Jersey).

GOZER: SUBCREATURES! GOZER THE GOZERIAN, GOZER THE DESTRUCTOR, VOLGUUS ZILDROHAR, THE TRAVELLER HAS COME. CHOOSE AND PERISH.

WINSTON: What’s he talking about? Choose what?

STANTZ: What do you mean “choose?” We don’t understand.

GOZER: CHOOSE!

SPENGLER: I think he’s saying that since we’re about to be sacrificed anyway, we get to choose the form we want him to take.

STANTZ: You mean if I stand here and concentrate on the image of Roberto Clemente, Gozer will appear as Roberto Clemente and wipe us out?

SPENGLER: That appears to be the case.

VENKMAN: Don’t think of anything yet. Clear your minds. We only get one crack at this.

GOZER: The choice is made. The Travellers have come.

VENKMAN: We didn’t choose anything! I didn’t think of an image, did you?

STANTZ: I couldn’t help it! It just popped in there! Look!

(Looking south past Columbus Circle, the Ghostbusters see part of something big and
nerdy moving between the buildings accompanied by thunderous footsteps).

VENKMAN: What is it? Ray, what did you think of?

(Two massive shapes pass behind some buildings, offering a glimpse of what appears to be a giant t-shirt with some kind of retro/ironic design on the front).

STANTZ: It can’t be! It can’t be!

(The thundering footsteps continue to plod as the things start to emerge from behind the buildings. Now we can see a giant hand holding a cheap microphone, another hand holding an enormous can of beer).

STANTZ: I tried to think of the most harmless thing… something that is completely pointless… something that most people have never heard of…

(At that moment a deafening laughter emerges from the monsters mouths, they seem to find their own jokes very amusing. No one else is laughing).

STANZ: It’s… It’s… It’s the 101 Video Games That Made My Life Slightly Better Podcast!

(Winston, Venkman and Spengler gape).

As a kid I had the Stay Puff action figure. It was the same size as the other figures which made it extremely disappointing.

It’s the 101 Video Games That Made My Life Slightly Better Podcast! This time, if you haven’t already worked it out, we take a look at the extremely fun Ghostbusters Videogame. Enjoy!

Click below to listen directly through this site:

Or download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

Podcast 17 – Ghostbusters The Video Game

OR subscribe to our podcasts through iTunes by clicking the link below:

Oh, and if you like Ghostbusters, don’t forget to check out the original 1950s film:

Ian & Lewis

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Filed under 2009, Podcast, Terminal Reality, Third Person Shooter, Xbox 360

#65: Tomb Raider

Format: Playstation Genre: Platform/Third Person Shooter Released: 1996 Developer: Core Design

I’ve just finished playing Tomb Raider: Underworld, so now seems like a good time to look back on the first Tomb Raider game – arguably the best one in the series, possibly only surpassed by the tenth anniversary remake.

The tragic curse of the Tomb Raider games is that the more they try to introduce innovations, the further they get from the magic that made the first game so brilliant, yet at the same time the developers are constantly criticised for not being innovative enough. The second title in the series saw the introduction of vehicles – sections that were throwaway at best – and if we fast forward to the Tomb Raider: Legend reboot, Lara has evolved into some sort of homicidal maniac, gunning down wave after wave of bad guys like a female version of The Punisher. Thankfully, they’ve redressed the balance a bit with Underworld, which focuses more on puzzles than gunplay, but it’ll be interesting to see where the series goes next.

Looking back, the one thing that stands out in my memory when I think about the first game is the all-pervasive feeling of loneliness – something that gradually became lost as the series started introducing more and more bad guys to butcher. The first game managed to capture a feeling that you really were exploring a long-lost ruin or a never-before-explored jungle valley, and on the rare occasions when the native wildlife did spring out and attack, it was a genuine surprise after what seemed like hours spent on your own. The unexpected emergence of a fully grown T-rex has to count as one of gaming’s all-time greatest moments – it was so genuinely unexpected I almost fell off my chair.

The sense of scale was something else that really stood out – along with Mario 64, Tomb Raider was one of the first games to really use 3D environments to their fullest. I remember the feeling of emerging into one of the game’s regularly interspersed ‘wow rooms’ – gigantic caverns with intricate pathways and stunning visuals. Clambering up an enormous underground sphinx was a particular highlight, as was the unexpected delight of finding a pair of submachine guns on top of its head.

Last, but definitely not least, I have to mention the fantastic music. Music’s emerged as a bit of a theme for the last few posts (e.g. see XIII), and a big part of the Tomb Raider experience is the billow of scene-setting orchestral music that wafts from the speakers as you stumble across one of the aforementioned ‘wow rooms’. The absence of music for much of the game really adds to the feeling of isolation, so when it kicks in as you emerge into a long-forgotten pyramid it really packs a punch. There are very few pieces of memorable game music, but the Tomb Raider theme is right up there with the Super Mario Bros. music and the theme tune from Halo in terms of sticking in your head like a wad of musical brain gum.

On the downside I seem to remember that some levels used to drive me utterly mad, and the spacing of save points wasn’t exactly forgiving… often I’d be caught hurling abuse at the seemingly inept Lara for stumbling off a platform like some sort of drunk, then I’d immediately feel guilty for sending her to her death as soon as I heard that wince-inducing scream and crack of broken bones as her prone body connected with the cavern floor below. Still, no matter how many times this cycle was repeated, I’d always end up coming back for more… And it was worth finishing the game to see that giant monkey-thing with no legs at the end – I still have no idea what all that was about.

Lewis

(Screenshots from http://www.mobygames.com)

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Filed under 1996, Core Design, Platform, Playstation, Third Person Shooter