Ghostbusters II (NES)

Ghostbusters II Box Art

Ghostbusters II

System: NES

Release Date: April 1990

Developer: Imagineering

Publisher: Activision

Genre: Action

The boys are back in New York City in Ghostbusters II! After saving New York from Gozer in the original, the fab four are generally living in disgrace. A new threat arises in Vigo, the Scourge of Carpathia, feeding off the negative energy of the city. A chance happening gets the band back together excavating their way into the tunnel system beneath the city. You control the boys through seven levels of ghost busting action.

You start off in the sewers and need to run to the end of the level avoiding spooks and other objects. You’ll need to jump to avoid enemies with the B Button. You are also equipped with a slime blower, which is used to kill some enemies and shoot Ghostbusters logos. You can change the angle of your shot with the up and down arrows on the d-pad. Despite having this game and the manual as a kid, I learned that you can drop a trap with the Start Button! These will catch poltergeist items and ghosts that fly over them. It’s a lot easier to get through the levels knowing this!

There are also road scenes where you hop into Ecto-1 to get somewhere else in town. You have to avoid obstacles by switching lanes or by jumping with the B Button. Ghosts and icons need to be shot with the slime blower, because if you get hit, you lose a life. There are powerups that can be unlocked that increase your power, add a temporary shield, and blow everything on screen up. There are arrows that speed you up and are necessary to jump over huge sinkholes that have opened up.

After switching back and forth a few times, you make it to Lady Liberty and get her moving. Here you have to cross the harbor to get to the museum. It’s a mix between the on foot levels and the car levels. You fire straight up from the torch. If you’re lucky enough to shoot a torch icon, you can aim the torch with the up and down arrows. There are also book icons that you can shoot and then clear the screen with the B Button. You get bonus shooting gallery portions every little bit, but this stage drags on.

The last level requires you to get all four of the Ghostbusters through the museum to the giant painting of Vigo. This is the most difficult task, as you go through four slightly different paths, having to avoid a lot of enemy spawns. There’s a little spider that follows behind you and kills you if you fall behind too far. If you can make it to the end, Vigo’s painting is slimed and the Ghostbusters save the day!

Graphics: 1.5

The graphics are generally poor, but they did a lot of different things and I didn’t notice flickering or slowdown.

Sound: 1.0

A subpar rendition of the Ghostbusters theme and (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher.

Gameplay: 1.0

Boring gameplay, short levels, weak user characters.

Difficulty: 1.0

Play until you learn the level layouts, then go through in one good attempt. It’s really not challenging on your second or third try.

Fun Factor: 0.5

This isn’t a very fun game. It’s quite bad, actually.

Overall Grade: 1.0

Ghostbusters II earns a D. Just as good as the original, I guess, but I definitely like it less.

Ghostbusters II Video Review on YouTube