Nintendo, the company known for family-friendly fun on home consoles stepped away from the “PG” content in 2005 when they developed and published Geist for the GameCube. As a super-natural, first-person shooter adventure game, Geist had much to offer including nudity! It’s a bit of a hidden gem on the GameCube and one that took me by surprise. We’re peeping through the shower holes in this Geist review!
You are John Raimi, a member of a special ops unit set to raid the Volks Corporation headquarters. Tipped off by an undercover scientist, your unit closes in on arresting and shutting down the mysterious labs scattered throughout a private property. Volks Corporation has been conducting many experiments separating the soul from the body and it’s at the point where the research and science have become too dangerous to continue, especially when disturbing other realms (like ghosts/demons).
During the raid, Raimi and his team face tons of resistance from Volks Security, and Raimi is eventually captured. While incapacitated, Raimi is separated from his body with his spirit floating around. He soon discovers with the help from a mysterious girl ghost that he can possess objects and creatures to survive and comes up with a plan to take his body back.
After making his way through Volks headquarters by possessing different people and objects, Raimi discovers one of his unit members is about to be separated from their body. Raimi sabotages the procedure and the President of Volks, Alexander Volks orders his team to continue to operate the ray separator despite the dangers and opens a rift into the demon realm unleashing demons and ghosts onto Volks facilities.
While Raimi is successful in rescuing his friend Bryson from the same fate, he still needs to find his body. Bryson escapes from the facility to find backup. Searching around the facilities, Raimi finds his body only to discover that it has been possessed by a demon that is taking orders from Alexander. It is then revealed by the ghost girl who has been secretly helping Raimi out that Alexander is her brother. When they were children she fell from a tree and critically injured her. Alexander turned to dark magic to try and save her but instead ended up separating her body and soul and turning her into a ghost that is stuck between realms.
As demons begin to terrorize the Volks Corporation, Alexander becomes possessed by the head demon who plans to take over the world. Raimi fights the demon who possesses his body and regains control. He then finds Alexander and fights his possessed body killing Alexander in the process. This causes a realm suction where Raimi, Gigi the Ghost (Alexander’s sister) and sucked into the body of Alexander. Raimi faces off with the demon in the demon realm defeating him resulting in Gigi and Alexander peacefully drifting from the demon realm and moving on. Raimi regains conciseness and escapes the Volks facility before it collapses reuniting with Bryson who has arrived with backup.
Nintendo is not afraid to try something new and that’s exactly what they did with Geist. It was incredibly refreshing to play such a mature-themed game from Nintendo and for the most part, they succeeded in creating a unique game. There are two main elements to the gameplay, both equally fun. The first is the first-person shooter aspect. When you possess a body, you will likely be in combat. The controls are well done and the shootouts aren’t too difficult. You won’t cycle through a ton of guns but you won’t have to as they are all efficient. When you control a body, you are able to do normal tasks like opening doors, switches, etc.. as well as communicating with guards and other important figures. The best part is that you can possess different people but you’ll need to scare them first to make them possessive. As a ghost, you’ll need to find ways of scaring soldiers, scientists, and even animals like dogs and rats. Scaring them makes them susceptible to becoming possessed.
While in spirit form you only have a certain amount of time to possess an object or person before your energy depletes. When your energy depletes it’s game over, but possessing objects isn’t hard. You can possess lights, cans, machines, and other items so dying from lack of energy is rarely a concern. Scaring people is a great element of the gameplay but it’s also part puzzle. Some objects need to be possessed in the correct order to scare people. For example, there was an instance where you had to possess a light bulb above a birdcage and make it pop to scare the bird. Then you possess the bird and make it cuss at the human and say scary things to scare the human. The human becomes possessed then and you can use it for whatever task.
Boss fights are fair for the most part and entertaining. There was a battle where I had to possess the grenades that were thrown at me and roll them back to the guy throwing them. Other bosses included possessing machine guns but the final fight was definitely tough. The controls didn’t work the best as you had to float up and down so there were some responsive issues but I was able to make due and beat the final boss after about 10-15 attempts. A hard boss fight is still enjoyable when you continue to make progression after each attempt. Each time I got a little bit further so I didn’t mind having to restart the fight.
There are two main complaints I have with Geist and I think most will agree with the first. Geist is glitchy. It’s a tremendous game but there are some parts that glitch out and I think to myself how did Nintendo put this out without quality assurance? A well-known glitch that happened to me is the fire extinguisher glitch. You need one to put out fires or else you’re running through them dying. I couldn’t for the life of me get my extinguisher to work and had to restart the level which was annoying. Another glitch was in the bathroom where the screen froze and blood continued to pour from one of the faucets. It sounds cool, but it is the end of the level so I had to completely redo it after resetting the GameCube.
Geist had a wonderful flow to the story and gameplay until about 60 percent in. Raimi gets captured again and is subjected to weird brainwashing where you need to do strange missions about assassinating figures and completing agent training. It really threw off the mood of the game and felt very out of place. The fun was sucked from the game and I was thankful when this segment was over but it takes a while to complete. Nintendo could cut that entire segment and the game would improve overall. It felt like they threw that in there to make the game longer when it didn’t need to be. Overall, Geist is about a 20-22 hour experience.
This isn’t a complaint, but more of a observation but the difficulty revs up a bit near the end of the game. When the demons and ghosts are unleashed the ghosts can possess you and shove you toward hazards. To escape their possession you need to rapidly mash a button. It wouldn’t be bad if it was once or twice but there was a level and boss where you had to mash the button constantly because of so many ghosts. This really tired out my hand and felt like it was just a bit too difficult and consistent.
Geist is a dark game. One that I didn’t expect from Nintendo. When you possess animals and humans you can sometimes relive their recent memories. In one instance, you possess a rat and relive his friends being poisoned and dying around him. It was sad, to say the least. The other moment that had my jaw dropping to the floor was the peephole! You’ll need to possess a sexy female scientist and during this stage there are guys who are peeping through a hole while the girls shower. I couldn’t believe that but you can also peep! What’s even more shocking is that at some point you’ll get in the showers to take possession of the female scientist and she is fully naked! She has bubbles on her boobs and front but you can see her butt up close and personal. Nintendo, you dog! I had no idea this naughty element existed.
My wife has a GameCube but only a few games in her collection would I consider reviewing. I never sought out any GameCube games because of how ridiculous the prices are. It wasn’t until a Twitter friend said he was selling the majority of his collection that I decided to take a peek at what he was selling. His prices were insanely cheap compared to eBay and other retro game stores and I just had to jump at the opportunity to snag some GameCube games. Geist was one of them that I purchased. I had seen Geist a few times on retro game shelves but knew very little about it. When I did look it up the review scores weren’t that great so I thought it was a bit of a dud. Boy, was I wrong! After the massive haul of GameCube games that I received, I decided to play Geist first and it made for a wonderful playthrough and I’m very satisfied that I decided to write a Geist review from it.
Geist Review Score:
Nintendo changed the formula of family-friendly gaming and created Geist, a wonderfully unique, refreshing, fun, and glitchy game. It’s a must-play for all GameCube owners and an experience that should entertain gamers based on the unique body and spirit possession. I wish Nintendo would be bolder and create more IPs like Geist.
Geist scores an 8.6 out of 10.
What would you write in your Geist review? Were you shocked at the shower peephole? Did you experience glitches? What other hidden gems are there on the GameCube? Let me know your thoughts and comments on Geist, I’d love to read them.