Wut U Talkin Bout is a quick look at some overlooked titles in gaming history or a overlooked entry in a franchise.
2005 was the last year that there was any real software push for the Gamecube. After that, the console side of Nintendo stayed quiet until, of course, the Wii was released. Among the 2005 titles released was a first person shooter called Geist which was developed by N-Space and published by Nintendo. By 2005 the first person shooter genre was no stranger to the gaming industry, but Geist set itself apart from other shooters on the market with a heavier focus on puzzle solving rather than solid action.
The main feature you will find in Geist that you won’t find in many other games is the fact that you have no body. Instead, you are a ghost, and the only way you can interact with the living world is through possessing objects, animals, and most importantly, people. The gameplay style changes between each form you take. Objects usually play as puzzle sections to scare animals and humans so you can posses them, or open up new pathways with explosions. Possessing animals places a focus on exploration getting from point A to B. And lastly, possessing humans puts the game into the first person view for a combination of shooting and puzzle solving.
Geist is usually labeled as a first person shooter, but the game has a much larger focus on puzzles. The combination is similar to the more recognizable Metroid Prime where it is a adventure game with first person shooter elements. The process to scare animals and humans are creative and fun, but encourage no creativity on the players part. You have to do actions specifically how the designers laid it out and in the exact order they intended. This can make the game quite linear. Just because the puzzles are linear doesn’t mean they’re bad – the puzzles are actually very fun to solve the first time around. It just feels like there was a lot possibilities left unexplored.
While Geist holds up well as a puzzle game, one thing that doesn’t go over well is its mechanics as a shooter. The controls are sluggish and clunky for both moving and aiming, the enemy AI is pretty much trash, and there is a limited arsenal of weapons. It still functions well enough to get you through the game. But with how spoiled we are with smooth controls in the shooters of today, the lack of smooth controls may be a major issue for someone who is familiar with the genre.
Geist is still a fun game to check out if you can get over the first person control issues and the fact that it failed to meet its potential. Chances are it is at least one title on Gamecube you may not have in your collection yet. It is incredibly affordable – you won’t spend more then $15 USD even on a new copy on amazon.com. Other regions can get it quite cheap as well.
If you are looking for an interesting combination between a first person shooter and a puzzler, definitely give this one a glance.