Yeah now that you mention it, the GB2 beams do seem less powerful. But they have a "cleaner" less messy, if you will. look. The GB1 streams look dangerous & chaotic.However, that being said, the best the beams ever looked, in my opinion, is during the showdown with Gozer and the "Aim for the flat top" bit.Those were definitely the best, not just visually vibrant, but dynamic in their animation as well.
That's one of my minor pet peeves about Ghostbusters, one of the flaws with the proton streams being hand animated is that in the first film they're often inconsistent, in on scene they're bucking and flexing like ribbon, or a fire hose, in the next sequence they're like laser beams: ramrod straight.
Whilst the streams in Ghostbusters II seemed weaker, like they were underpowered, they at least looked the same from scene to scene to scene.
Ideally, I'd like 2020 to use the best of both worlds, the wild ribbon of energy of GB1, the consistent look of GB2, the lasso effect of GB2 at times, and the thickness/vibrancy of GB1.
And I'm sure we'll be pleased with what we'll get, the proton streams in Answer The Call looked good, and were consistent, so I'm confident in the digital technology approach.
I think maybe part of the problem of GB1 stream FX stemmed from time. Because of time the camera had to be locked off, where as Ghostbusters 2 had a couple dynamic moving camera shots in the courtroom bust (granted GB2 was also a rushed production but had the benefit of FX done by an already up & running FX house with 5 years of technological advance from film # 1. They also knew going in what the streams looked like)