I never review games based on their graphics unless they seriously detract/add to the game, and in this case they don't. Judge for yourself in the screenshots, which I pulled from other places and are by no means my own.
Second time you fight this bossStory/Concept (Genre) 5/10
First, the story leaves a lot to be desired. You play as John Raimi. It is the year 2005, and you're sent on a mission to rescue your friend, who went to investigate the Volks Corporation. While trying to get him out of there, your squad is attacked by some pretty weird stuff, and you get captured. You're then put into a machine that seperates you from
your body, and you begin a simulation that is designed to train you to become a soldier in Volk's army. A young ghost named Gigi gets you out of there, and you wander the Volks Corporation while searching for your body. Meanwhile, something else is going on...
But the thing that really gets a player involved in the story is the character development, and here you don't really have any. There are hints of a great backstory between Volks and Gigi, but it's not fleshed out enough (no pun intended). The main character never speaks and no one in the game really knows him (except the person you're saving), so neither do we. In short, the main character is forgettable. Who is he? Why should we care about him?
There are ample opportunities to use the environment to tell the story, but Geist just doesn't utilize these enough, with some exceptions. Gigi explains some things when you get to certain areas, but not often enough. Overall, the story is just sort of lame.
The concept, however, is what sold me on the game. As a ghost, you float around possessing people, animals, and inanimate objects. It's a first-person shooter where you don't play as a person, but rather something that takes control of people.
However inventive the concept is, though, it's very poorly executed. As a ghost, you can only go through certain walls, where it would make more sense to go through most of them. Also, you can't possess as many objects as you'd like to, and for some reason you can't survive out of a body for too long. I'll cover some more flaws of this concept in the gameplay section, since the concept is so intertwined with gameplay.
As Raimi's ghost, you must possess people in order to get through certain places and reclaim your body. However, in order to possess a person or animal, you must first scare them. This at first sounds like a lot of fun, and it could have been, except the way you scare people is predetermined. This means that you'll enter a room, see an individual, and simply start looking around for objects you can possess. Once you find one, you usually just press the A button to scare your prey. Rinse and repeat. Possess your new host, find the next one, scare him, and move one, shooting things and solving minor puzzles along the way.
This game feels very restricted in that way. I'd like to have multiple ways of scaring someone. The game doesn't let you be creative enough. Even when you possess your host, you feel limited to what they can do. You can't change their weapon, and you're limited to just one "special move," which ranges from crounching, sprinting, or barking. It would make sense that everyone could crouch, jump, or sprint, but not in this game. I would personally like to see some of these things mapped to the Control Pad, but Geist reserves those buttons for things that should really just be added to the Start menu. For example, pressing one direction brings up your objectives, another, your map, etc. Can't we use the Start menu for this?
Anyways, you move from level to level, solving puzzles, reaching certain points, and fighting bosses in order to move from one to the next. The bosses go down easy: you simply follow the "run around in circles, fire when you have an opening, reload when you don't" formula. The boss attack patterns are predictable, and not just because you fight the same
boss something like three times throughout the game, either. Only the last few bosses offer you something even remotely different, and they have to, because you play them back-to-back.
You have objectives to complete throughout the game, but they pretty much just allow you to move on to the next area. You won't have much trouble with them, either, because the AI is terrible. At times I was able to shoot enemies or even throw grenades at them without them running away, returning fire, or doing anything at all.
Time to unleash on this guyControls 7/10
Aiming takes some getting used to. It just didn't feel smooth to me. Luckily, almost every weapon in the game is an automatic, so you'll be able to fire away without restraint most of the time. Couple this with the game's infinite ammo, and you practically don't have to aim at all once you get past the game's opening. I wish the Control Pad was better utilized, as I have mentioned.
Once they're scared, possess them
Most of the weapons sound about the same, and the music just doesn't add anything to the atmosphere in most cases. It wasn't annoying, but it wasn't memorable, either. Even now I can't remember the music very well, and I just got done playing the game.
Bryson, your friend and the reason for your mission
Replay Value 6/10
After you beat the game, you can play through it again and try to find all the collectibles hidden throughout, half of which are only obtainable as a ghost, the other half as a host. However, if you collected them all on your first run through, there isn't much of a point in doing this. The host collectibles unlock things for use in multiplayer, so they're worth finding, but you can find a good deal of them without actively searching for them, as I did. I found over 20 host collectibles without consorting a guide or actively seeking them out. Multiplayer is really the main reason you'll pop this game in after you've beaten it.
A former playground
There are three main modes here. One is a simple deathmatch, but instead of collecting weapons, you possess hosts, which carry different weapons. The second plays like capture the flag, only you have to possess a host and move them to a designated area. It's basically the same game, just with a gimmick. Lastly, there is a mode called The Hunt. This is one of the more original modes in all of multiplayer history, where a ghost team sets out to possess hosts and get them to kill themselves by making them run into any number of traps, while the hosts are armed with weapons capable of taking down the ghosts. The problem is that the ghosts are at an extreme disadvantage. As a host, it's not hard to shake off possession, and you're equipped with a weapon that will jettison a ghost out of your team mates. If there's more than one host on a team, it's not hard to stick together and easily eliminate all the ghosts as they come.
The addition of bots is great, and they have adjustable difficulty levels, so you can always have a close match. While multiplayer has its flaws, it's easily the best part of this game.
Four player match
Fan Service 9/10
The amount of fan service in the game is appropriate. There are references to older consoles and other Nintendo franchises, but not so many that they detract from the game. Remember, this is a completely new franchise for Nintendo, so they can't reference any other games in the Geist universe. You'll spot some references, but you won't be distracted by them.
What Makes This Game Great
The concept is creative and original, and I think this game would have been a huge success if it was implemented well. Multiplayer is also a unique and fun experience, and a refreshing take on FPS multiplayer.
What Could Make This Game Better
The controls need to be tweaked quite a bit here. The bosses repeat themselves for most of the game, but they could have easily been improved. A larger variety of weapons, more options when scaring a host, and better character development are also welcome.
The Bottom Line
This game is worth the five bucks I paid for it. I played it for a few hours, dabbled in the multiplayer, and can't say I hated the game. I wouldn't pay more than ten bucks for it, though. Overall, it's a great concept that suffers from poor execution. I give it a 60%.