Geist Review – Definitive 50 GameCube Game #47

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

I want to take a moment to explain the GameCube’s video cable options. The system came with the standard red/white/yellow composite video cable, the same one used for the Super Nintendo and N64. That was fine for most people at the time, but Nintendo did include an additional port at the back of the system for a component video cable, which enabled superior video quality and progressive scan. The component cables were only available through Nintendo’s website, and are quite hard to come by now.

Later GameCube models actually removed this functionality. Nintendo cited a lack of consumer interest for the change, although the increased adoption of HD televisions and eBay prices for the cables would beg to differ.

If you don’t want to spend an unseemly amount to play your GameCube games in glorious high-definition, you can always pick up a component video cable for your Wii, and play your old games through the system’s backwards compatibility. First-party cables are available through Nintendo’s online store for $30, while third-party ones can be found in stores, and for much cheaper.

Not only will your games look better, so will the footage you record of them for your YouTube channel. Just compare the quality of our first three episodes of the Definitive 50 GameCube games with today’s, and all those going forward.

And what better game to demonstrate the difference between composite and component video quality, than the well rendered Geist? This first-person action adventure title takes 47th on the list of Definitive 50 GameCube games.

In Geist, you play as scientist John Raimi. He’s sent in as part of a counter-terrorism group to investigate the bizarre military experiments being conducted by Volks Corporation. It turns out this company has been experimenting with ghost separations in an effort to create the ultimate soldier. One who can exist in the ethereal realm and possess others.

Of course, Raimi ends up being captured and turned into one of these other-worldly “geists” early in the game. It’s up to you to guide Raimi through Volks Corporation’s facilities, help him reunite with his body, and bring Volks to justice.

As with many of the titles down here in the lower portions of the Definitive 50, Geist is a unique game, unfortunately hampered by technical and other issues.

Possession is an inventive game mechanic, but the quality of its implementation is questionable. Developer n-Space had originally intended the game to be a first person shooter in which you only possess other people. After the company partnered with Nintendo, they were pressured to add object possession, and develop a first-person action adventure game, rather than a straight first-person shooter.

Despite several delays, n-Space struggled to fully realize either of these competing ideas. Object possession is commonly both confusing and limited. The game’s shooter elements, meanwhile, feel sluggish and unpolished next to the game’s FPS contemporaries.

Check back next week for entry #46 on the Definitive 50 GameCube games.