Americanized New Ghostbusters II Prototype Materializes
October 28, 2011
While Activision's loose interpretation of Ghostbusters II for the Nintendo Entertainment System is one of the more disappointing games of its generation, a better take on the film exists courtesy of HAL Laboratories. Entitled New Ghostbusters II, this 1990 release for the NES is a more accurate, more enjoyable game to play with its cooperative multiplayer mode and multiple playable characters. Any Ghostbusters game that features the Scoleri Brothers, Janosz Poha, and bus drivin' Slimer as bosses has to have something good going for it, right? Not to mention Vigo the Carpathian himself! Nintendo Player summarizes the experience for those who haven't had the pleasure:
Players get to pick two Ghostbusters (or Louis Tully). The first character acts as the blaster to stun ghosts with a proton stream (by pressing down the A button) and the second takes on the role as the trapper to activate the ghost trap (by pressing the B button). Using a Zelda overhead perspective, your ghost hunting tag team goes room-to-room zapping and sucking up all of the slimy spirits until an arrow appears instructing you to move on to the next hotbed of paranormal activity.
The ghost busting continues for five levels, beginning in the courtroom, then underground in an abandoned subway line, inside of Dana's apartment building, back underground into the River of Slime, and finally through the Manhattan Museum of Art where Vigo and Janosz plan their reign of destruction.
While a Game Boy version was released in North America as a single-player game with only three stages, the superior NES version only surfaced in Japan and Europe. North America was left out of the mix, although a prototype of a localized version of the game for the United States and Canada was recently discovered. There aren't many changes between editions, but the interesting fact here is that a North American release was planned at one time. It's a shame that HAL never followed through on the idea. You can experience the prototype for yourself though thanks to the Lost Levels or just watch the entire game in about seventeen minutes in this video from YouTube.