Ghostbusters, Sega Master System

The 1987 Sega Master System conversion of David Crane‘s classic Ghostbusters is… Okay. It’s actually got a few enhancements over other versions that make it a bit more of a challenge, although it does have its down sides.

The main difference is that the driving sections are longer, contain hazards that destroy your car, and also have a distance to destination meter. These are significant changes to the base Ghostbusters game. Otherwise: it plays the same as the other versions.

One major downside, in my opinion, are the ghost-catching screens. These don’t work as well as in the original because – inexplicably – the programmers have decided to give the Ghostbusters vertical beams, rather than diagonal ones, which makes shepherding the ghosts much more difficult. Plus: in this version there are always multiple ghosts to catch – and you have to catch them all in one trap to be successful, Which is extra tricky. In messing with these ghost capture screens the designers have effectively ruined the game…

Which is a pity because the Master System version does have other extras that could’ve elevated above all the other conversions.

What else? The Master System rendition of Ray Parker Jr.‘s hit single is funky, but slightly off-key in places. The bouncing ball over the lyrics is also just eye candy because it doesn’t actually keep time with the song. There’s also (unsurprisingly) no digitised speech in this version.

In spite of the extras in this console conversion of Ghostbusters I would probably give it a miss. Unless you’re happy to have vertical beams on your capture screens. Which I’m not.

Ghostbusters on The King of Grabs:
Commodore 64, Apple II, ZX Spectrum, Atari 800, Atari 2600, MSX, Amstrad CPC, PC Booter, NES, Sega Master System.

More: Ghostbusters on Wikipedia

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