GhostSlayer (WiiWare)

Game Review

GhostSlayer Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

When there's no more water in the well, the dead will walk the Earth

You know what they say: if you can’t beat ‘em, take what they did and put a fresh coat of paint on it. In this case it’s Gevo Entertainment taking on Wii Sports Resort’s sword-fighting modes with a mythical Chinese folklore twist. This is by no means a bad thing.

GhostSlayer is a MotionPlus-enabled slasher on rails. Your chosen slayer moves forward on a set path, only pausing to slice down the motley crews of ectoplasmic meanies in your way. You see, there’s a well in town said to run so deep it reaches down to Hell, and one day that well dries up. Bad things ensue, and being the ghost slayer you head on over to take care of things.

There are eight stages, three difficulties, blades to unlock and a lot of shogun-esque ghosts to cut down. Stages don’t last much longer than two or three minutes, although the running tally of consecutive hits will make you want to replay them for perfects and high scores. The four blades don’t appear to be different in any way other than cosmetic, but hey, at least they look cool.

Enemies are, shall we say, a mixed bag. There are only a handful of types, ranging from useless unarmed fodder to slightly trickier blade-wielders to ones who vanish and reappear behind you. Since you’re not in direct control of your character the camera snaps so you never lose sight of your target, which makes it even easier to exploit enemy weaknesses (once you’ve figured them out, at least). You'll never feel overwhelmed either since you'll take on a maximum of three or four attackers at one time.

While some of the character designs for the ghosts are neat, the game is not a very impressive visual package. Sure, the lighting and flame effects are pretty good, but textures are very bland with little in the way of detail and the environments are shrouded in thick fog. It’s there for atmosphere but it cuts down the draw distance severely and can at times make the game come across as spectral pea soup. The sound, on the other hand, is ambient spooky that wouldn't feel out of place at a Halloween party and fits well here. We understand there are limitations for what can be done on WiiWare, and it’s possible that Gevo spent more time focused on the swordplay than environments and enemies, but we can’t help but feel that an added layer of detail would have gone a long way.

Fortunately, the time spent on implementing MotionPlus paid off handsomely. It’s a true 1:1 experience that works just as well as it does in Resort, although it’s a little disconcerting to see your sword flying around without a body attached. There are a few problems with the motion, which seem to be more of an issue inherent with using the attachment itself than shoddy programming. Large or rapid gestures will throw off the calibration, which is kind of a pain when certain enemies require fervent shaking to break away. Blocking seems not to work always as intended or occasionally better than intended, but that may be more player fault than the game's.

Playing without MotionPlus is a completely different experience. Instead of free wielding, your blade stays locked into place and a waggle of the Remote will swing it. To change blade positioning you hold down the block button and rotate the Remote; the entire scheme feels vastly inferior to using MotionPlus, and if you don’t have a dongle laying about then this game is not for you.


Without MotionPlus, GhostSlayer is barely worth bothering with. If you do have a dongle, though, GhostSlayer is a fun way to get some use out of it: the controls truly do make the game and helps it serve as a nice supernatural substitute for Resort's swordplay. While it’s on the short side, a bit simplistic and isn’t the most impressive game on the block, GhostSlayer manages to fall on the right side of fun for 600 Points and is worth a spin if you don’t mind a few blemishes.

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User Comments (37)



TheNewestBooM said:

ive been wondering about this title as well. i might pick it up since the one and only reason i got a wii for was sword fighting.



jangonov said:

Did you detract points for the gameplay without motion plus? If so, what would it gain then with it?



Link79 said:

Heh I figured. Did anybody really expect much out of this? No thanks I'll pass.



paranoiandroid said:

if you have Wii Motionplus, this is really fun to play... the game play is rather simple, but agreed with the review, initially when I started, exaggerated actions would need to be recalibrated... just swipe around with the wiimote, it's super fun! well worth 6 bucks



Donatello said:

I'll pass....I'm saving my Wii Points for Mega Man 10.
Besides I still need to get LostWinds 2.

As far as MotionPlus goes, Red Steel 2 will be my next experience for that.



Nanasaki said:

If it plays like sports resort then it is ok. Sports Resort is $50 this game is only $6 for most fun part of Sport Resort.



Thomas_Joseph said:

For $6, I'd say this game is worth considering ... once I actually buy WiiMotion+ for my WiiMotes. Until then, I continue to wait for Pearl Harbor.



GreenSpleen said:

I would give this game a solid 7. Its fun and challenging and worth the $6 download. The review says theres no difference in swords but the op guide says the different swords affect the special move action(you have a special move meter that fills as enemies are killed, activated with A-button) The level of difficulty, even on novice, is pretty tough and will give you a good challenge. Once the game is finished I cant see it having much replay value but because of the short nature of the stages I could see it as a good pick up and play experience, ala WSR. I highly recommend this to anyone with a Motion Plus.



JonWahlgren said:

I saw that in the OP guide, but in-game there is no discernible difference between the swords' special attacks besides color.

@jangonov: Nope. This was clearly designed for M+ and it'd seem silly to detract from the score for including the ability to let everyone play. Those controls may be kinda bad, but they're not the intended way to play either.



ODOGG618 said:

Harsh score given a mostly postive review and the fact that many games that are far worse yet receive better scores. For $6, I'd give this an 8. I paid $50 for Sports Resort and the swordfighting isn't NEARLY as good as Ghostslayer.



Ren said:

nice review, though a little lower number score than I expected. Kinda odd how differently the reviewers translate good and bad into number scores here, but it's probably better not to get into that for the millionth time. Looks like a game I'll like and probably pick up, I loved WSR, and hoped for just this kind of spin off; here it is for 6 bucks. cool.



Sean_Aaron said:

I bought this before realising I wasn't actually down to review it, but I have no regrets and let me agree that Novice is actually pretty challenging. I didn't play for long, but it took me a few tries to beat the 2nd stage.

The design on the slayers is pretty good, they look like they just rode in on camels out of Mongolia to slay some ghosts! All in all a pleasant surprise considering this game appeared out of nowhere like a phantom...



rjejr said:

So this plays out like Link's Crossbow Training with 8 levels?
I may still get this, but I'm holding out first to see how Rage of the Gladiator does. 600 points is very tempting though.



BulbasaurusRex said:

@ODOGG618 How is this better than the Swordplay Showdown Mode in Wii Sports Resort?

To anyone: Is this game worth getting if you already have Wii Sports Resort? If so, why?



ruleof3rds said:

I feel compelled to voice that I think this is at least a 7, and that if you have a wii motion plus, this makes a nice 6 dollar addition to that package. True, something like this will be made obsolete by the likes of Red Steel 2, but until then, this is pretty fun. I found it somewhat challenging, as the blocking system does have a learning curve. True, the graphics are not great, but Wii Sports Resort is nothing special graphically either. And it least this has a cool atmosphere. Presentation was also nicer than the average Wii Ware Game.



Omega said:

So this is 6/10 without- and 8/10 with Wiimotion+? The review does not tell anything bad about the game. At least, nothing that bothers me. And the graphics and atmosphere look great for a WiiWare title. I think complaining about texture detail is not appropriate when reviewing a WiiWare game.

If this comes to europe I would be definitely interested.



Pahvi said:

If this came to Europe and I could get online with Wii at home, I'd probably be buying it. The game sounds rather similar to Dragon Quest Swords, though.



XCWarrior said:

Does it have online leaderboards? High scores are mentioned, but maybe I missed it. That would help with replay value and my decision on a purchase.



BulbasaurusRex said:

Personally, I think the atmosphere in WSR is a lot better. This game is really creepy. I don't see any reason to get this when I can just play Showdown Mode in WSR. This game is probably too hard for me, anyway.



EdEN said:

Having Wii Motion+ makes a huge difference in this game and it's always great to see more games support it. Definitely worth the 600 points.



berserkering said:

I have the wii motion+ but this game is still a bit too boring and slow paced for me. I regret buying this but it's not a bad game overall, just too slow for me.



noxusprime06 said:

i cant get very far in this game cause the blocking controls are just terrible even with the motion plus remote

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