Rants and raves about all the latest in video games and other forms of mindless entertainment.

June 15, 2005

Review: Beyond Good & Evil (GC) - Originality and undeground rebellion...

First off let me proclaim, I am one of those people who just didn't take any interest in Beyond Good and Evil. Since E3, I wasn't really interested at all, reason being that there are so many hyped games out there that mask the true quality of this game. After playing this game, I realised that many people are missing out on this piece of art. Although it may only take 6 hours to complete, this game has some of the most addicting gameplay to ever grace any of the consoles.

The story of this game almost seems like some thing that comes out an RPG. It starts off with our lead heroine Jade being assaulted by a mutant race knwon as the DomZ. The only protection against the DomZ are sheild generators and Jade's Dai'jo which she uses in combat. Her Uncle Pey'J (who is also a talking pig) assists Jade on her Journey, as well as the ill-fated Double H whom you meet up with in the latter part of the game. A myriad of plot twists and turns and buckets of charisma, and you have award winning material here.

The graphics are very pretty. The character models are smooth, but lack a lot of detail. The NPC's aren't as crisp as the main characters, but it's to be expected on a multi-platform game, to help in the conversion process. The world of Hillys is huge, and full of life. So much so, that it is your daunting task to take a photo of every creature species in the world of Hillys, one of primary modes of the gameplay.
Besides the alright polygons of our heroes, the water effects are something else. No matter which console you play this on, you'll be baffled by the realistic glimmer of the water. Over all this game is aesthetically pleasing, but still has some room for improvement.

BG&E sports some of the best gameplay elements of 2003. The first task is to train yourself in combat. It's pretty straight forward, with a flurry of different combos which vary depending on the direction of the analog control. The second-most aspect of this game, is the photography. You're given a camera, and are charged with a task of collecting photos of different species to send to the "Science Centre". A meaningless task at first, but later on becomes one of your main sources for both money and Pearls, which are a form of currency on the Hillys black market. Collecting Pearls and MDisks is also a major part of this game. Collecting MDisks usually moves some of the backstory closer to the game, while giving you information on tasks to come, and enemy specs or weaknesses. Pearls are your reward for completing tasks, like using up a whole role of film, defeating a boss, or winning a race.

With puzzle elements that would make Prince of Persia jealous, this game is both visually and manually pleasing when solving different puzzles; somtimes, using two different people to accomplish one goal. You will be hitting a lot of switches, but is is expected in a puzzle-esque game like BG&E. Your primary mode of hitting far off switches is the Gyro Disk Glove. A glove which propels purple energy discs, which activate switches and distract enemies.

Everything is tied so closely together in the gameplay, that you'll be addicted and glued to your seat. Whether it be a full-on battle with a giant boss, or Solid Snake-ish stealth missions, this game has it all, and is definately a hidden gem among much of the chaff from rival developers. The controls are pretty straight forward, but how they coincide with each other is what makes the difference. As intuitive as the controls are, the camera isn't always helpful and is often in the wrong position, which isn't useful when facing armies of DomZ.

The soundtrack is just stupendous. With fully orchestrated compositions for just about every type of mood, and a place for every mood in this game (a place for everything and everything in it's place), the music is fantastical aural bliss. The voice overs ain't bad either, with a lot of emotion, and wide variety of voices. Beyond Good and Evil totes professional audio and musical quality not seen in many other games.

Unfortunately there isn't a heck of a lot to unlock in this game. A mini-game plus a few easter eggs is hardly worth any replay value. But did anyone ever replay Super Mario 3 because they could unlock secret characters or costumes...no, they played it because the game was just downright addicting...which also applies to this game, which is why I don't hold any vices toward BG&E when looking at it's replay value.

Great production values, excellent sound quality with top-notch voice acting, as well as the most addicting gameplay we've seen in while, this game makes us remember and appreciate why we used to be so eager to play those good ol' fashion NES games. Sadly though, this game hasn't been played by too many people, and it's not too suprising. With games like Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando, Final Fantasy X-2, True Crime, Max Payne 2, and Maximo vs Army of Zin clouding the release schedule ofit's time, it's not hard to see why this game was passed by. Even though it game isn't perfect, another installment which improves upon the flaws of this game could very well put it into the ranks of the best games of all time, like Ocarina of Time, Devil May Cry, Halo, and the Final Fantasy series. I give this game a round of applause for being completely unique and original, and for being the most innovative hybrid-genre game in recent memory. A nominal effort fronting originality from Ubisoft. Bravo.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. Beyond Good&Evil is a gem.

June 15, 2005 3:50 PM

Anonymous Squee said...

Coming from last argument,
It's better to not use HDTV's.

Because of the gas they use, there is a high chance of stationary images being burnt into them.

So Nintendo is actually saving time by not making Revolution compatible with HDTV's

I'm kind of surprised you didn't specifically give the GC version a lower score.

June 15, 2005 3:56 PM

Blogger Adam said...

Burnt images only happen with stationary images. Which is why most games have idle motions to prevent these things. Burnt images are only a problem if you intend on pausing a game for extended perios of time, which you should be shutting your TV off for anyway to save power. It's a non-issue.

Regardless of the stance, it's not better to ignore a growing technology. If it's added, it has no added benefit or negative effects one way or the other for analogue users. It does however greatly effect negatively the HD gamers. Adding HD will have absolutely no adverse effects on any party, but removing it will.

Moving on, why would I give the GC version a lower score?

June 15, 2005 7:46 PM

Anonymous Mega Phoenix said...

They think you would give the cube version a lower score because they don't understand that your a person that has opinons -_- they think "omg ur a pstool" and they are incapable of using intelligence.

and yeah that stuff about HD is true. the worst thing that can happen from including it in all ps3 and xbox360 games is nintendo fans getting jealous. because if you have a SDTV, then you play it with great graphics...if you have a HDTV, then you can play it with even crisper graphics.

June 16, 2005 1:38 AM

Anonymous Squee said...

True. What if you were playing a game that showed your health in a corner, the bar would be burnt in.

and Mega Phoenix was joking you stupid shit.

June 16, 2005 8:15 PM

Blogger Adam said...

The health bar thing is a non issue. Most now a days will disappear after time, and often have idle animations (subtle one) that prevent burn in. Again, burn in is a non-issue for actually playing games. I think I should mention that burn in also takes around 30 minutes to actually occur, at least for it to be visible, and pausing a game, or leaving it on one still screen that long generally means you aren't in the room, and should be turning the television off in the first place.

June 16, 2005 8:58 PM

Blogger Tim said...

i absolutely LOVED this game...what a hidden treasure!

July 08, 2005 10:01 PM

Blogger Adam said...

Glad someone else did. BG&E is just plain ol' fun, which we don't see a lot of these days.

July 09, 2005 12:54 AM

Anonymous FlameShield said...

Oh, BG&E... the overlooked gem of holidays 2003... And practically the only reason I hold on to my Xbox right now (can't find a version for the other consoles). Loved it to the verey end. Your review was spot-on. Thumbs up.

August 01, 2005 9:35 AM


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