Guest Review: Ghajini – The Game

Cast your mind back to Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, to the song Phir Millenge Chalte Chalte. Remember the excitement as Kajol makes a surprise appearance? And then its followed by Bips, Lara, Preity and er, Rani? Well, this is the blog equivalent of a cameo or item number as Aatif Nawaz, a fellow blogger (blog address at the bottom of the article and on my blog list!) and an avid Bollywood film consumer, reviews Ghajini – The Game, a video game based on a Bollywood movie. But is it any good? Over to Aatif to find out…

Ghajini: The Game – Review

There are very few non-movie enterprises that have generated the kind of buzz Ghajini: The Game has. Coming on the back of what is already the highest grossing movie in Bollywood history, the expectations are sky high. Of course, by virtue of being associated with such an enormous movie, there is a clear market for the game.

So the question is obvious: Is this just a case of a studio milking a cash cow, belatedly jumping onto the bandwagon, or is it a legitimate creative exercise and something that will pave the way for future Bollywood/video game tie-ins?

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I slid the CD into my purpose built gaming PC (not really, just my work laptop…) and wait with baited breath. I exhale and chuckle slightly at the sight of a digitised Aamir Khan narrating the game’s story in English, with a heavy Indian accent. You may roll your eyes but I’d like to see your reaction when you hear Aamir say “A freak with no memories” in his accent.

Ghajini uses the WASD/mouse control setting, the norm for a PC 3rd-person action game. The game play is not unlike a Tomb Raider game – explore, find, fight. The general controls are very basic, with just a health bar and an inventory bar on screen. I would say the game could have benefited with a map, but I suppose that would defeat the purpose of the game’s concept.

One of the most infuriating things about the game is the lack of a quick save function. If, like me, you’re trying to sneak in a few minutes game play at work and want to shrink it quickly before the boss sees, you may well be in for a severe reprimand (hypothetically speaking of course…never happened). In any case, it forces the user to retreat to the main menu before one is able to save any progress made in the game and exit. This is one of my main problems with Ghajini: The Game. In an effort to cut costs, FX Labs decided to use CD-ROMs rather than the now widely used DVD-ROM storage platform. This means the game has to be shorted and things like loading times are far longer than what regular gamers have grown accustomed to.

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But one can’t be too picky, as Ghajini – The Game has plenty going for it. The game play is very good, the voice-overs are brilliant (hats off to Aamir for not phoning it in) and the game is genuinely engrossing. One cannot play down the novelty factor of seeing a digitised Aamir Khan on screen. Ghajini fans will certainly be satisfied with the action and the plot, though one might feel a tad disappointed by the lack of Asin (the heroine of the film) in the game. But what was I expecting? An interactive song and dance sequence? Maybe they are saving that for the release of the Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi game…

For now I think it’s fair to state that Ghajini: The Game is probably the best Indian video game of all time (Is that really saying much?). Let’s hope it opens the door for others film studios to venture into the world of gaming…

Check out Aatif’s blog: http://doctorcricket.wordpress.com/

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