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1-4 players
Memory Card Save (four blocks)
Progressive Scan Compatible
16x9 Widescreen Support

Nintendo has recently been making a good effort and giving the older gamer a selection of Mature rated games. Their latest release for the Gamecube, Geist, falls into this category. The story is interesting and the content is more adult oriented in terms of the style and graphics. This game was delayed a few times during development and in some ways it paid off, however in other ways it still could have benefited from a little more time.

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Geist

 

Geist

ESRB: Mature - M
Platform: Gamecube
Category: n/a
 
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1-4 players Memory Card Save (four blocks) Progressive Scan Compatible 16x9 Widescreen Support Nintendo has recently been making a good effort and giving the older gamer a selection of Mature rated games. Their latest release for the Gamecube, Geist, falls into this category. The story is interesting and the content is more adult oriented in terms of the style and graphics. This game was delayed a few times during development and in some ways it paid off, however in other ways it still could have benefited from a little more time. Graphics In this reviewer’s honest opinion the Gamecube is really an underrated machine. It has enough horsepower to show off some pretty impressive looking graphics and if developers put out the effort games can look great. Much of the time Geist falls into this department. There are multiple environments to explore and each looks quite different. This is a plus as n-Space did not recycle levels and it seems that they put some thought and effort into the areas that are to be explored. The textures are very sharp throughout and the lighting and particle effects found in the game are well done. Something that was quite a surprise to me was that n-Space included both progressive scan and 16x9 widescreen modes. For those with displays that take advantage of such I highly recommend that you do. I took this game home with me and played it on my DLP projector on an 80-inch widescreen, it looked pretty good. However, given the positive aspects of the game’s overall look, and all the work that went into it, I was disappointed by the amount of slowdown that I experienced during my gameplay time. Most of this was when the screen was filled with enemies during the FPS aspects of the game. With the delays that this game incurred, and the abilities of the Gamecube, I did not expect this to happen. As well the cut-scenes that are included are not overly impressive but they do get the job done. By and large this game does look better then some of the other FPS games on the Gamecube but it does not reach the milestone set by Retro Studios Metroid Prime Games. Sound Geist supports Dolby Pro Logic II and although it helps out the audio nothing really stands out. The various weapon effects that are heard seem to be less punchy then I had hoped for. As for voice acting, it is spelled out, literally, through onscreen text. There is some real voices but again, it is not really something that stands out as it does what it has to in order to get the job done. As for the soundtrack it manages to help set the mood during the game by reinforcing the suspense and action that occurs on screen and the music hits at just the right times. Overall I would say that the sound does the job just don’t expect a whole lot of oomph. Gameplay The story in Geist is quite interesting. You play as a government agent who is sent with his special operative squad to investigate a mega-corporation’s suspected involvement in questionable practices. All seems to go well until one of the team members’ guns down everyone, including the character you control. That is where this game gets very interesting and Geist’s original ideas start to shine. Much of the game has you controlling the main character after his death, but in ghost form. During this time you have the ability to possess humans, animals and inanimate objects. While in ghost form you can only survive for a limited time outside a host so you have to constantly be on the prowl for something or someone to possess. Being able to possess inanimate objects is simple but possessing living objects is a whole different ballgame. The trick to possessing the living, either animals or humans, is that you have to frighten the person or animal that you wish to possess. Here the game takes on a puzzle like atmosphere as figuring out how to scare your future host can put one’s brainpower to the test. I am definitely not going to give anything away here (as other reviewers have) as some of the methods that one has to implement are very creative and quite involved to say the least as they take numerous different steps to final goal of scaring the host. It is very rewarding to figure out and eventually scare your eventual host. Possessing both the livng and inanimate objects has a purpose as once you have possessed the object or person you desire to you then have to figure out how to use what your ‘hosts’ abilities are to complete tasks that enable you to advance further in the game. It is refreshing to have a whole new play dynamic put into a FPS game and I was happy to see that n-Space took a very out of the ordinary idea and pulled it off successfully. Where this game seems to falter is in the FPS portions that are spread throughout. The various shooter elements are definitely not as polished as I could have hoped. The slowdown that I mentioned in the graphics section of this review plays a major part in the negative aspect of the game, specifically the shooter portions. During the times that there are lots of enemies on screen and the slowdown becomes evident, it makes targeting much harder and hitting enemies sometimes becomes luck. I was frustrated on more then one occasion as I could not hit my target, and it was not due to a lack of skill. This flaw is not only evident during play through the levels, but it also affects the battles against various bosses. It is my honest opinion that all the delays should have helped avoid this type of pitfall; however for some unknown reason it did not. N-Space did provide a relatively good multiplayer mode for a Gamecube game. Geist offers up to four players on screen at once who can play against four AI-controlled bots. There are three multiplayer modes including Possession Deathmatch (take control of hosts and pit them against friends), Capture the Host (manipulate hosts and exit their bodies to score) and Hunt (humans and ghosts battle against each other). For those who may not have the chance to game with their friends on a regular basis there is also an option to fight up to seven AI-controlled bots. Weapons are plentiful in multiplayer and more characters and arenas can be opened up when playing through the single player mode and finding hidden bonuses. On a negative note the previously mentioned limitations in terms of the graphics engine having slowdown does carry over to the multiplayer mode, especially when playing against other human opponents. Conclusion Once again Nintendo releases a title that shows they are making an effort to target the mature gamer. Geist is a game that has some really well executed and original gameplay ideas only to get hurt by some technical issues that really shouldn’t have been there. Regardless this game is worth a look as the originality really does stand out in a world that is populated by mediocre FPS games.





 
 

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