Friday, January 12, 2007

Reflecting on Geist with a new review layout

The typical 10.0 rating system seems quite diluted nowadays. We seem to see too many in the 7 and 8 range, which somehow means "give it a try". To add specificity, some reviewers such as Team Xbox and Game Informer, will rate or comment on individual aspects in the review summaries. While this is good, it doesn't directly respond to a question that should come up often in this hobby: "Is the game worth the entry price?"

I've made minor attempts to "improve the answer" by passively suggesting to either "Rent it" or "Buy it". It's an attempt at a good start, but I really need to standardize. So from here out, I will do my best to include the following in my reviews:

  • 3 pros minimum

  • 3 cons minimum

  • What the game seems to take inspiration from (i.e. Saints row takes from GTA)

  • My Rent or Buy suggestion

  • My personal appraisal on the game's value (aka what I think it's worth)

  • Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP)

  • 3 links to other related reviews minimum

Since I've recently plowed through Geist, I figure it could be the first victim of my template, even though the game is a couple years old at this point.


Continue reading...

Geist is one of those games with phenomenal intentions that were poorly executed. The game revolves around the main character becoming a spector that can posses both animate and inanimate objects. With this ability, the main character seeks a means of escape and exposing the people that did this to him. All of this is done from first-person perspective.

To add challenge, all potential living possesees must be scared before the character can hop right in and have his way. Of course, this involves possessing non-living things in many cases to use against the upcoming victim.

Sounds great, doesn't it? The potential seemed almost endless just in reading about the game's basic mechanic. Unfortunately, most hope gets shot down within the first few minutes of the game. The game plays very straight-forward, leaving only a few instances where the player may not know exactly what to possess.

As far as the graphics, they are a joke, even for 2005. There really is nothing pretty about this game; it feels as if it was released 3-4 years ago instead of 1-2. Collision problems, blocky characters, and low-res textures are what you will find here.

Another issue is the Gamecube's controller's inherent flaws can't hide in a can of soda on this game. It seemed that about half of the game involved FPS'ing, and the no-traction C-stick can get annoying. Beyond that, there is no option for sensitivity adjustment, so be prepared to get frustrated. Thankfully, pinpoint accuracy isn't a requirement in most cases.

Those things said, the game is still definitely worth a playthrough. It's a different experience, and the few low-difficulty puzzles are amusing because of their quantity. It's difficult to label Geist as a shooter because there hasn't been much to compare it to. If we're lucky, someone will appropriately capitalize on this great idea that didn't have the right effort behind it the first time.

  • Different experience via interesting possessing mechanic

  • Interesting multiplayer twists on classics such as "Capture the Host"

  • The idea of possessing a showerhead in the ladies room may excite the eccentric

  • Graphics are beyond dated, and will turn fickle eyes away in disgust

  • Progression is too linear, leaving little for exploration

  • Gamecube controller isn't suited for FPS controls

Seems inspired by:
First person shooters in general with a bit of a "point and click adventure" intentions

Buy or Rent?: Rent
Original MSRP: $49.99
My Appraisal: $10.00 maximum

Other reviews:
5.5 on 1up
7.8 on Gamespot
6 on GameInformer


That seemed to work out okay. Feedback is welcome as always.


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