games / Columns

Top 8 Ghost Games: Luigi’s Mansion, Ghostbusters, More

October 29, 2019 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Luigi’s Mansion

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! With Halloween fast approaching, I thought I might pick a Halloween-themed topic instead. So, here I am to talk about the top games that involve ghosts, or have missions that have ghosts. A few games that came close to this list are, Fatal Frame, Murdered: Soul Suspect, and Shadow of Mordor, but didn’t make it for one reason or another, like I’ve never played any Fatal Frame game. Let’s begin:

#8: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origins

The first F.E.A.R. game had its share of ghostly stuff, particularly with Alma but the second one kicked it up a notch. You have more abilities to deal with enemies, both real and supernatural, and Alma is a much more important focus of the game. This is expanded on even further in F.E.A.R. 3, but I just enjoyed the second one a tad more, because of the real screw-ball way the game ends.

#7: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The big ghost moment(s) in MGS 3 are all about The Sorrow. He is one of the “bad” guys, but he is already dead. There are moments in the game where he either helps you, like you can see him haunting certain characters during key sequences, or hurt you like during his “boss” fight. The fight is pretty interesting because there’s no combat, you just have to walk down a river dodging ghostly enemies.

#6: Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines

Most of Bloodlines plays it pretty close to the vest. Sure you are a new vampire in LA, but its modern day, and there aren’t a ton of other supernatural things going on in the world. One of the exceptions though is when you have to visit the Ocean House Hotel. The quest itself is fairly simple, you just have to get a necklace for a certain character, however the hotel is haunted by a somewhat vengeful ghost. Looking back at it now, it is fairly simple, but back then, it was actually impressive to have stuff flying around a game environment and whatnot. Remember, this was around 2004 and physics in games were just in their infancy. You can either chose to help the ghost or condemn it forever in its quest, which fits into the game nicely.

#5: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

I like that the hook with this game is that it starts with the apocalypse. Literally, like 15 minutes into it, the world “ends”, and another one starts up. Almost all of humanity is destroyed, save for a few people in the hospital with you and one or two others hanging around. What happened to the rest of humanity is that they become spirits inhabiting the world. Most of them don’t even realize what happened, but a few do and are constantly freaking out about it. Most of the SMT games have gotten more and more “normal”, but Nocturne is still one that is insane, just because of the setting and story.

#4: Ghostbusters

God, if only this game actually played well, it would be higher on this list. And to be fair, actually wrangling ghosts and trapping them is pretty solid, but the second you get hit, you become a limp corpse, and you’re just praying someone can revive you, or you get up in time before a game over. The voice work is solid, save for Alyssa Milano, the jokes are decent, and the game does have a nice plot twist, but it’s just the part where actually PLAYING it, isn’t that much fun. Looking at the reviews for the Remastered port, looks like they haven’t fixed the main issue with the game, so I’d probably stay away from it as well.

#3: Pac-Man

Ghosts are literally chasing you around mazes in the game. What more needs to be said?! Well, other than the fact that if you eat a Power Pellet, the hunters become the hunted and the crazed Pac-Man goes on the attack as the ghosts become blue and afraid. I like that the ghosts, or even Pac-Man himself are never explained and it just goes “Well, here’s the premise, enjoy.” Also, the cartoon intro, as you can tell from the video, is amazing.

#2: Luigi’s Mansion

It’s sad that this is a better ghost busting game than any of the actual Ghostbusters games. Luigi’s Mansion (1 and 2) are pretty simple: go into a room, find the ghosts and suck them up in your vacuum cleaner. There is stuff to find, of course, but the basic gist is wearing the ghosts health down enough to be able to be sucked up. I actually love that this is a Luigi game, as his earlier solo game, Mario is Missing, is beyond garbage. I’m eagerly hoping to get Luigi’s Mansion 3 for review because I’d like to play it.

#1: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

I’ve actually only played a few chapters of this game, and on an inferior console (my iPod touch), but man I loved it. There are two worlds, the normal and ghost world. In the normal world, time moves normally, so people and objects do their thing. In the ghost world, time is stopped, and you have the chance to jump between different objects so you can possess them and cause their behavior to change. If you possess a chair, for example, and cause it to fall over, it will make the person in the level examine it, or even get freaked out by it, and change their behavior. So, it’s really an adventure game about guiding people to what you want them to do, and figuring out which items to possess at the right time. Oh, also, the game looks *great*, with a gorgeous but simple art style. I think Capcom only made one of these games, which is a shame, because something like this on the Switch could be great.

For comments, list your favorite games with ghosts and why.

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