The Retro Critic

New Ghostbusters II

When it comes to the Game Boy, I’m something of a purist. Although growing up squinting over those tiny colorless pixels might just be the reason why I currently wear/need glasses, I still love that unique feeling of nostalgia that occurs when I play a game on it.

When it comes to the Ghostbusters movies, however, I’m not one of those who are married to the first film and see the sequel as a dead raccoon the first film gave birth to through its ass. I love Ghostbusters II with its evil paintings, its goofy art dealers, its river of slime, its Nintendo-controlled Statue Of Liberty… what’s not to like?!

The Ghostbuster games have the unfortunate reputation of being terrible. This is mostly due to that first NES/Sega Master System release indeed being absolutely awful. But there ARE good Ghostbusters retro games out there. My favorite being Ghostbusters II on the Sega Genesis: fun, cartoonish visuals, crazy new villains, a good choice of levels you can approach in different ways, cool game overall.

Ghostbusters II on the original Game Boy, I’m happy to say, is another good one. The game begins with a cut scene showing adorably tiny Bill Murray and adorably tiny Sigourney Weaver walking around with their baby in a pram.

[ Editor’s Note: Our Western Hemisphere readers will recognize this object as a “stroller.” — Bailey. ]

Baby Scene

The kid gets kidnapped by flying Peter MacNicol…

Baby Steal

And good old Peter Venkman suits up as our “Busters” get ready to take on all sorts of ghoulish enemies.


Isn’t that just the cutest depiction of the Ghostbusters you’ve ever seen? Good to see that Winston is present this time. And not BLUE.


Then again maybe he is blue, kinda hard to tell on a console where every color is essentially grey…

At this point, I’d like to mention the NES version of New Ghostbusters II which was never released in North America. If I’m honest, it’s even better than the Game Boy equivalent. They’re quite similar but the differences between them are key. For one thing, the NES game has three more levels which gives you a fuller experience in that you get to play in more of the locations from the movie: the Courthouse, the Subway Tunnel, Dana’s Place, the Drainage System, the Art Museum and finally that blasted Vigo painting.

You also have a multiplayer mode available so if bustin’ makes you feel good and you’ve got friends who feel the same (and I don’t mean “bustin'” in another, less innocent, way) then you’ll have a ball!

Catch Ghost

If you’re on your own, though, then the Game Boy version has your back with your Ghostbustin’ pals automatically helping you out so you don’t feel so alone anymore.

Nintendo: there’s something for everybody.

The NES game bears the same cartoon look of the Game Boy version but obviously has color, its graphics are more detailed with each locations benefiting from more textures. I’ll admit seeing a green Slimer is weirdly satisfying.


It just feels right.

As does having a red river of slime:

River Of Slime


I start praising the Game Boy’s black-and-white genius then trail off into praising the NES’ color-filled genius.


The bosses are slightly different and a tad more substantial in the NES version as well. Speaking of which, I particularly like the train boss on the Game Boy version which, when you destroy it, turns into these tiny little heads.

Scary stuff!

Ghost Train

I know they’re tiny and relatively easy to get rid of but they’re still pretty creepy. Besides, playing it for the first time, it’s kind of unexpected to fight a train only for it to turn into disembodied ghost Silver Surfer heads soon after!

The aim of both games is to walk around various rooms and clear them of all their ghosts. Pretty straight-forward really. And that’s really refreshing because that’s what that first Ghostbuster NES game SHOULD have been! Who cares about dragging the Ghostbusters logo over a map and purchasing ghost vacuums?!

Let me shoot some ghosts, goshdarnit!

Fighting Vigo at the end always makes me lol, by the way.


Look at him! He looks more like a real person than the Ghostbusters themselves! Oh, and I like how they didn’t have the space to detail his face at all when later on in the end credits you get this pretty decent rendition: Vigo 2

Oh well, he’s still badass. It’s just a shame he’s barely creepier than Baby Oscar:

Baby Oscar  

Who gave this kid a credit, by the way? Who’s idea was THAT?!

Alright, let’s take a quick glance at what the NES version made of Vigo…

Vigo NES


Right, ok, the NES version is probably a tad better when it comes to the villains…

I would say, though, that if you can find both versions of the game they are both recommended. A fun Game Boy game and a fun NES game.

Both well worth checking out.

It’s good to see that although most people don’t really go for Ghostbusters II the movie, at least good old Nintendo is on my side, giving the underrated sequel the respect it deserves.

Not one but two decent Ghostbusters games for you to play?

Dogs and cats living together? Mass hysteria?

It’s finally happening.