Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime (PSN Game Review)

It was almost two years ago to the date when Ghostbusters: The Video Game arrived in store shelves. Both Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray had active roles not only as voice actors, but in the game’s creation. In the end, it was a sub-par game that had its moments. Recently released on the Playstation Network is another Ghostbusters title. How does it measure up to its predecessor?  It’s not an even match-up as the experiences of both are vastly different.


Sanctum of Slime, well, let’s abbreviate and call it SOS for short, can be had from the Sony Playstation Network for $9.99.  Not only does that “SOS” abbreviation help me type quicker, it’s also an accurate cry for help when playing, but I’ll get to that in a moment.  Ghostbusters: SOS is an arcade oriented game where story is minimal at best.  A basic story plays out between locales and features comic book stills of the four new, previously unknown Ghostbusters.  With up to four online players supported at once, the goal in this 3/4 overhead view game is to just clear out as many nasty spirits as you can.  There is a small variety of weapons to be had, most of which work particularly better on some of the baddies you’ll encounter than your basic proton stream.  That’s about as deep as it gets, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Arcade-style games can be just as good or bad as any deep, story-driven games out there.  Trust me though, there are enough downers here to put this one low on the want list. 


Movement of your character is sharp and tight with the left thumbstick while shooting your weapon with the right gets a little off center.  I’ve never been a fan of any game that utilizes thumbsticks as a means of discharging your character’s weapon.  SOS didn’t change my mind on that as it just feels unnatural and a little sloppy.  Plus, with the crazy onslaught of spirits that can attack you at any given time, things can be a little frustrating when trying to avoid getting hit while maintaing a sufficient offensive stance against these little devils.  If and when you do take more damage than you can handle, your allies (computer or human) can rush to your aid for revival.  While this opens them up to a very vulnerable situation, it is an appreciated feature during gameplay.  Sometimes manuevering your guy or gal to the fallen comrade can take some tricky timing to avoid some rapid punishment, but this little challenge is to be expected.

The other key item in controlling your character is switching your weapon or throwing down a ghost trap.  In the heat of battle, it can quite annoying to cycle through your arsenal and switch from the proton pack to the yellow short waves of whatever that’s supposed to be to whatever other color-coded weapon you’re trying to get to.  It’s just not fun.  If you’re going for an arcade-style button masher, why not look back at Contra from the original NES?  You got a weapon and you used it until another one of those pods came along.  When I’ve got a dozen bad guys coming at me, I don’t want to have to change weapons to use the most effective one.  Who does?  You want to go to town and open up a can on these guys with as little interruption as possible.  Such a fluid opportunity is not available here. 

Graphics & Sound

For a $9.99 game, the graphics are attractive and the sound has its little creepy accents here and there.  The colors are crisp and vibrant and the slightly angled overhead view is a nice change of pace from some of the $9.99 side scrollers found on the PSN.  Some finer details are made out adding to the scenery such as various wall hangings and dirty floor tiles.  While in the sanitarium, walking up the hallway will reveal the possessed patients behind locked doors while the occasional moan grips the air.  That creative atmosphere takes a distant backseat once you start getting overrun by ghosts and demons.  With four characters all firing their weapons at once, the eerie sounds of the night get lost in the action.  However, you can’t really fault the game there as arcade games aren’t known for their depth of sound.  With what’s available here, SOS gets a passing grade in this category.

Final Thoughts

Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime reminds me of one of those books that has some really wicked artwork on the outside, but once you start to read what’s on the pages, you find a lackluster experience at your fingertips.  The same proves true with this game.  SOS looks like it could be a blast, but the only blast this game offers is the firing of your weapon.  As always, don’t judge a book by its cover.  SOS is lame out of the gate and after about five or ten minutes, I found myself wanting to send an SOS for this game that was headed for a downward spiral.  While this title earns sufficient marks in graphics and sound, it fails in the end with an overkill of rebadged “action” from level to level.  Words of Ghostbuster wisdom; don’t cross the streams and it’s probably best not to invest ten bucks here.


2 Responses to “Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime (PSN Game Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    I’ve just started playing the first Ghostbusters Game, and it is awesome. It literally feels like playing Ghostbusters 3. It’s funny, does great fan service, and makes it really cool to catch ghosts. Not surprised that this arcade-style follow up isn’t as good.

  2. Sean Ferguson

    I liked the first one too. I just downloaded the demo for this for the 360 but haven’t had a chance to play it yet.