Since its film debut in 1995, Ghost in the Shell has become one of the classics of Japanese anime. With its sci-fi premise and adult themes, Ghost in the Shell, the franchise, has enjoyed major cult success, spawning a sequel, a television series, and an avid legion of fans.
Set in the not-too-distant future, the heroine, Major Motoko Kusanagi, is part of Section 9, an enforcement agency of antiterrorist cyborg commandos. The movie sequel, Ghost in the Shell: Innocence, was nominated for the Palm d'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and is currently in limited theatrical release across the US.
Now, anime junkies looking to control some Ghost in the Shell cyberpunk action on the PlayStation 2 will finally have their chances to do so, because Bandai has shipped Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex to retailers. The game, partially based on the television series that recently began airing on the Cartoon Network, follows the Major as she rids the streets of cybercrime.
Developed by Cavia, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is a third-person action title featuring 20-plus minutes of computer-generated cutscenes across 12 levels of play. As one of three Section 9 officers, players can take out enemies by employing a variety of martial arts moves or by using an arsenal of 15 weapons. Players can also hack into one another's minds to turn players against one another. Competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes allow up to four gamers to play simultaneously on a single PlayStation 2.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is rated "M" for Mature and carries an MSRP of $49.99. Atari recently announced it would be publishing Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex in Europe in March 2005. A PSP version of the game is also planned. For more information on Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, check out our previous coverage.