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 Post subject: Beyond Good and Evil |10/10| XBox
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:19 am 
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Never chance an alien attack with the power bill due.

Short review: Awesome game. Buy it now. And get one for a friend. They’ll thank you.

Review for those that need more explaining:

Beyond Good and Evil is another one of those titles that I picked up not knowing what to expect. I hadn’t read any reviews about it, or paid any attention to the promotional campaign behind the title. I just happen to grab it when it was on sale one day. It turned out to be one of the best sale buys I’d ever made. My only regret was that I hadn’t bought it sooner.

One of the key points of the game is the story being told. It is rich and well thought out, with an occasional twist thrown in to spice things up a bit.

Jade’s (the character you control for most of the game) planet is under attack by aliens named the DomZ. The aliens attack the planet by bombarding it with alien infested meteors. People have been disappearing, so Jade and her uncle Pey’j have take it upon themselves to house the orphans of these missing people. The story centers around Jade’s attempts to uncover the truth behind the aliens that are attacking her world, discovering what she can about the missing people, and uncovering the truth behind the organization that is supposed to be protecting her and her fellow citizens.

The game starts out with a cut scene of a reporter giving a very brief background about the war that Hillys (Jade’s planet) has been drawn into. The game then switches to the planet’s surface and shows Jade and an orphan sitting on the edge of a cliff looking up at the sky when meteors start to fall. Jade runs to turn on the force field that protects the lighthouse that she and the orphans live in, only to have it turned back off by the power company because her bill is past due. Meteors start to crash down around her, and aliens pour out. The aliens start to trap the orphans and this point you take over and start whacking the invaders to free all of the kids.

After you drive off the aliens, the game’s story starts to rapidly unfold. It isn’t long at all before you start getting missions that lead you to uncovering the truth about everything that is going on.

The graphics are top notch for the Xbox (and from what I’ve seen, they seem pretty good for the Playstation 2 too). In many places the colors are bright and vibrant; in others they are dark and somber. There is a great amount of background detail. You’ll see TV sets running news bulletins in the background, and other characters talking or working.

The sound is fantastic too. The music always seemed to fit the scene, and the sound effects were right on every time. As you progress in the game you will occasionally pick a partner that tags along with you. I often found the vocal commentary of these characters to be very amusing.

The game world is well fleshed out. You have the lighthouse on the island base that you start out in. There is a city to visit, along with many other little side islands and tunnels you can go explore. You have bars and shops you can visit in the city, plus many other locations you can discover in order to find out more information and locate secret items.

There is a vast array of odd characters you interact with: Rastafarian rhinos, a literal pool shark (who actually plays a mutant form of air hockey), and a bartending bull just to name a few. Oh, and your Uncle Pey’j happens to be a tusked boar. Just thought you might want to know that.

The game play seems to be heavily inspired by Zelda, and that’s not a bad thing. You could almost call this a futuristic version of Zelda. Replace Epona with a hovercraft, the hookshot with a camera, and you’d have a game very close to Beyond Good and Evil. Heck, even main characters of both games wear a lot of green!

You have three basic control modes. Walking, driving the hovercraft, and taking photos. While walking, you use the right joystick to adjust your camera, the left joystick to move, and the D-Pad steps through your inventory. The left trigger lets you crawl, the right makes you run. Normally, the action buttons let you jump, bring out your camera, use a partners special ability, use an item, or lets you do something that is context sensitive. In combat mode you attack with your staff like weapon and dodge. The hovercraft mode operates almost identically to your walking mode, with the exception that you get a compass and a speed boost button. With the camera you can pan about, and zoom in and out while you to focus in on something to snap a picture.

Overall, I found that the controls worked very well. The only control issue I had was trying to take a picture of a monster that I was fighting. Switching to camera mode in the middle of a fight and getting the target in focus could be a little tricky (you get paid for unique photo shots, and boss monsters are often very unique shots!).

The game is also forgiving when you die. You don’t always have to start from your last save point. Often but not always, you can restart just before the encounter that went bad. You have to use health items to boost your life back to full, but at least you don’t to trudge halfway through a dungeon to get back to where you were defeated. That simple recovery system eliminates a common source of frustration in similar games, and adds greatly to the enjoyment of the title. It is a system that Tecmo and Capcom should take a moment out to study and imitate (they tend to make games hard to save, and you get no second chances. Seems they think people find frustration fun).

Beyond Good and Evil is a spectacular game. Great graphics, good sound, a well design game word, a solid game interface, and an absolutely wonderful story.

The only fault I can find with this game is that it is kind of short. I finished in less than seventeen hours, and that was with me dragging it out as long as I possibly could by trying to find all of the hidden stuff.

A great game. A wonderful game. Buy copies for yourself, and for a – no, all of your friends!

It is a terrific adventure. Jade won’t leave you the least bit jaded!


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