Ghost Hunter Review

Developer: SCE Publisher: Namco
Release Date: August 17, 2004 Also On: None

Ghost Hunter is a teenager-friendly survival horror. While I would easily recommend the GCN-exclusive Eternal Darkness, which delves into history’s darkest side, Ghost Hunter brings more of a Ghost Buster’s feel to the genre, livening up gameplay with a colorful character, akin to say, big mouth Daxter. The more appropriate genre classification for Ghost Hunter is 3rd person action/adventure. The single time that I jumped during gameplay was when a monstrous gator jumped in front of my character, destroying the bridge that my guide was leading me on.

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I’ll pick up from here, which is about half-way through the game, to better give you an idea of what the game is like at its core. From here, you will backtrack, climb a ladder, and equip your shotgun to glide down a metal line, where you meet up with your guide. You’ll adventure onward where you’ll have to encounter the gator and something that he ate for dinner and regurgitated (swamp phantom). The phantom and gator will fight each other, if you lure the gator to the battle-ready phantom. You can’t kill either, so let them fight each other. Once their health is depleted completely, throw the grenade, which anchors them into reality and captures them.

Ghost Hunter succeeds in a few gameplay departments, including the all-important arsenal. The standard ten-shot pistol has unlimited ammo, but will have no affect on certain creatures. The shotgun, like the pistol, has no affect on some creatures, but brings an up-close and personal hurt on creatures that can be damaged by it. Off the top of my head, other weapons include the pulse rifle, sniper rifle, grenade launcher, etc. Both the pulse rifle and sniper rifle are fed off of ghost energy that is obtained from blue orbs. Orange orbs will provide your character with health.

Ghost Hunter might not have the creepy characters of games like Resident Evil or Eternal Darkness, but it has its fair share of spooks. You’ll encounter more creatures than ghosts though, which leads to using mortal weapons quite a lot. Now, most ghosts will not die unless you capture them, and that’s the same with creatures. However, there are sniper ghosts, which I like to call Minutemen for their fast response and guerilla tactics. These can only be killed through combat, rendering your grenade capture thingy useless. Shooting them in the head with a sniper rifle does the job quickly and efficiently.

The level design in Ghost Hunter is the only part of the game that I had a problem with. Most levels are linear, thus seemingly straightforward. When items, such as dynamite are thrown into the mix, which you must find, it becomes a scavenger hunt, and at times, extremely frustrating. After several tries on different areas, I had to revert to Game Faqs, or else I doubt I would have ever picked the game up again. There is no guide to explain your objectives, no map to direct you, and no self-explanatory plan to execute. You’re all alone in an abandoned Detroit school, among other places (connected by portals), which include a redneck village, a swamp, a mansion with an infestation of demonic Teddy bears, etc.

Whether you’re an avid shooter fan, or Resident Evil fan, Ghost Hunter should please you. It implements enough excitement/shooting, with a mixture of adventuring and puzzles to make the experience varied, despite what seems to be somewhat tedious combat. After you get into the game, you won’t want to stop. While Ghost Hunter might not leave you breathless with fear, it sufficiently supplements your shooting and horror needs.

Graphics: 9
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 6
Final: 7.9
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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