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Archive for July, 2009

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Ghostbusters The (New) Video Game

Posted by Big Boo on July 17th, 2009

ghostbusters the video gameAs we near the end of Ghostbusters week here on Child Of The 1980’s it would be wrong of me to leave out the latest addition to the Ghostbusters storyline, that of the recently released Ghostbusters: The Video Game.

If you live outside the UK then you’ll probably already be enjoying this if you’re a Ghostbusters fan on whatever games console you happen to own, but in the UK you’ll currently only be able to play on a PlayStation console as Sony have got an exclusivity deal going at the moment.

I’ve been playing the PS3 version, and whilst I’ve barely scratched the surface yet I’ve had a whale of a time so far.  The graphics in the game are really very good, and the likenesses of the actors are surprisingly good.  At times they’re plagued by that horrible waxiness that human skin seems to be rendered with on modern videogames, but for the most part they look and, more importantly, sound like the original characters, and so they should since the movie cast lent their voices to the game.

You play as a new recruit to the Ghostbusters team, working alongside Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zeddemore catching ghosts.  Whilst being trained you accidentally let Slimer out of containment, so the first proper level takes place at the Sedgewick Hotel, a fitting first level as it lets you live out your fantasy of smashing up the hotels ballroom just like in the film.

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Ghostbusters Graphic Novels

Posted by Big Boo on July 16th, 2009

ghostbusters the other sideIt will probably come as no surprise that there have been comic book adaptations of the Ghostbusters over the years, although for the most part this has been mainly focused on the kids cartoons such as The Real Ghostbusters and Ghostbuster Extreme.  What may surprise you more is that there have been several more adult orientated graphic novels created, and even more surprisingly they have been produced with the past few years.

2004 saw the release of Ghostbusters: Legion byAndrew Dabb, which sits in a rather strange place as being set a mere six months after the Ghostbusters sent nimble little minx Gozer back to her own dimension, yet things like the Internet are apparently referenced.  I guess in principal there is nothing wrong with this, since Ghostbusters isn’t particularly tied to being in the 1980’s, but we accept it as such since that was when it first appeared.

The series was plagued with delays in its publishing schedule which saw it lose readership figures after the first couple of issues.  Whilst plans were made to continue this reboot of the franchise into a monthly comic this never occured and only the four part Legion series was ever released.

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Ghostbusters – The 8-bit Videogame

Posted by Big Boo on July 15th, 2009

ghostbusters-c64The original Ghostbusters videogame was created by David Crane (creator of legendary Atari 2600 game Pitfall) for the Commodore 64, although versions also appeared for the Spectrum and Amstrad home computers too.

The game had several sections to it and took most of the main elements of the original film as inspiration, although it added a few new ideas of its own.  You were starting up your own Ghostbusters franchise and the idea was to make as much money catching ghosts as possible.

You started with limited funds with which to equip your business, and had to buy a car and ghost busting equipment to begin with.  A choice of four cars ranging from a Volkswagen Beetle to a sports car are available, as well as good old ECTO-1, although you could only afford the Beetle the first time you played.  Ghost equipment included the obvious stuff such as ghost traps but also add ons for the car including a rather odd vacuum cleaner that sat on the bonnet to suck up ghosts!

Once kitted out you were presented with an overhead view of the city.  Buildings start to attract ghosts so you must guide your little Ghostbusters sign to the haunted houses to do battle.  Once a building is selected you then get to drive your car, catching ghosts with the ghost vacuum if you have it.

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Ghostbusters Role Playing Game

Posted by Big Boo on July 14th, 2009

ghostbusters roleplaying gameIt’s probably fair to say that the 1970’s and 1980’s was the era when role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons were at their most popular. This popularity saw certain films and comic books get their own role playing game, and Ghostbusters was one such film that the made the transition from celluloid to statistics.

Role playing games are often stereotyped as being a bit geeky, as to somebody not used to playing such games it appears there is usually no board or playing pieces but instead a whole bunch of numbers and some weird looking dice.  The Ghostbusters role playing game deliberately tried to distance itself from these more technical games in order to create a more relaxed experience for the players.

Each player created themselves a character by assigning 12 points to each of four traits, these being Brains, Muscle, Moves and Cool, which are fairly self explanatory.  You could also select a particular Talent related to each of these traits, which made your character better at performing certain tasks.  If this all sounded like too much work then you could also choose to play as one of the movie characters, as the game came with statistics cards for each of the main characters of the film.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Ghostbusters Week – 25th Anniversary Celebration

Posted by Big Boo on July 13th, 2009

ghostbustersWhenever I’m asked to name my favourite film I don’t need to hesitate.  Quite simply, there’s something about Ghostbusters that grabbed my attention as a kid, and still holds it today.  I guess part of the reason is that the idea of ghosts and hauntings has always fascinated me, and I used to love watching programmes such as Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World.  I’ve even been known to watch the odd episode of (cough) Most Haunted…

This year Ghostbusters is 25 years old (crikey, that makes me feel old) so to celebrate I’m making this Ghostbusters Week on Child Of The 1980’s.

What I like most about Ghostbusters though is the fact that, proton packs and free roaming vapours aside, it almost seems plausible that these guys could actually go round sucking up ghosts.  The fact that doctors Venkman, Stantz and Spengler are all highly educated people going about with massive backpacks and guns yet still trying to blend in as though they are just cockroach exterminators I find very amusing.

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The Best Helicopter Game Show

Posted by Big Boo on July 11th, 2009

As I wrote about earlier this week, the eighties brought us two great game shows that involved helicopters – the exciting Interceptor and the more cerebral Treasure Hunt.  I enjoyed both a great deal, and at the time whenever I saw a helicopter go over in the skies I thought it might be Anneka Rice or Annabel Croft hurtling along in search of a clue, or perhaps the dastardly Interceptor.  Of course, it never was, but it would have been cool if it was.

Unsurprisingly then this survey is about these shows, and all I want to know is, which of the two was the best?  Vote away, assuming you remember either of them that is!

Which was the best helicopter game show?
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Wimpy Restaurants

Posted by Big Boo on July 10th, 2009

wimpy logoBefore McDonalds came to the shores of Blighty we had our own brand of fast food burger restaurant in the form of Wimpy, or Wimpy Bars as the restaurants were often referred to.  Wimpy took their name from the character J. Wellington Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons, as he was a bit of a burger addict, although this character was never used to promote the restaurants as far as I know.

The first Wimpy Bars opened in the 1950s but they were at their most popular during the 1970s and 1980s, although by the time the eighties arrived McDonalds were already doing a good job of crushing poor old Wimpy under foot.

Whilst some of the Wimpy Bars worked under the counter order system this was originally seen as being far too un-British, so the majority had waitress service initially.  The burgers were more to British tastes at the time as well, since they were far more plain and simple than McDonalds with all it’s weird relish and those yucky slices of gherkin (I hate those).  Of course, as time has gone by British tastes have become more American, and Wimpy is now all but gone from the high streets of the UK.  These days you’re most likely to find a Wimpy at a motorway services.

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Interceptor

Posted by Big Boo on July 8th, 2009

interceptorIf Treasure Hunt was cool then Interceptor was awesome!  Interceptor took the flying around in helicopters bit from Treasure Hunt but instead gave the helicopter to a real nasty piece of work who was known as The Interceptor, who was actually Scottish actor Sean O’Kane.

The premise here was that two contestants, one male, one female, were blindfolded and dropped in different locations by helicopter.  Each carried a backpack, one of which contained the prize of £1000, though we didn’t know which was which.  The backpacks were locked so each contestant had to first find the key for their partners backpack, then finally meet up to try and unlock the packs and retrieve the money.

It was the Interceptor’s job to try and stop them.  Looking quite villainous in his black leather trench coat and with a piercing scream, the Interceptor had various forms of transport available to him including a helicopter (piloted by his henchman Mikey), a sports car and a motor bike.  He was also armed with a special infra red gun, which he could shoot at sensors on the contestants backpacks to lock them tight shut, so even the key wouldn’t open it.

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