what makes them better than say, the cartels or malavitas?
I love the ratchets on the Raiden bindings (like butter, smoother than Burton) but did like the malavitas I had. I shouldn't have sold them.
The Genesis first of all is lighter than both the cartels and malavitas. The ankle strap is quite different from any of their other straps. It's very thin and completely wraps your ankle when locked in. It's a toss up for me between these straps and Burton's Asym straps. Although the Genesis ankle straps are more comfortable.
That's the major thing about these... it is superbly comfortable. It's like you don't have anything on your feet, yet you get all the support like you do. The highbacks seem flimsy, but Hoon said in his review that he accidentally stepped right on the highback and was convinced he broke something. Nothing broke, not even that Hammock thing.
The hammock contraption on the highback hugs the back of your boot. So you feel the support there even when you aren't flexing into the highback. However, the highback doesn't engage until you lean into it.
It's a pretty flexy binding though so it's not going to be for the person looking for that aggressively responsive binding. I place it as an all-mountain freestyle binding with a bias towards freestyle.