Saturday, April 08, 2006

Beyond Good and Evil

Well, I bought this game on clearance from Media Play. They were going out of business, so it was cheap (but unfortunately the PS2 version).

I didn't realize it, but this game is about 3 years old already. BUT THAT'S OKAY! I was delightedly "hooked" from when I started the game (without instructions, and without understanding the prelude).

To summarize, BGE (for short) is a mixture of multiple genres. It has hints of Tomb Raider, Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia, Starfox, and probably more I'm forgetting. There is fighting, stealth, racing, water/air vehicle assaults, and puzzles. Yet the main focus in the game seems to be photography, although it is done in a non-intrusive way. It doesn't seem like a photography game, and I bet if the cover art was different (shows the main character holding a camera), this game would have seen a lot more business.

As far as difficulty, the game isn't extremely hard, but it is difficult enough to keep the player...playing. Just when you think the game is easy, it gets a little bit harder (especially towards the end). If for some unlikely reason you need a break from the current missions, there are even a few "sidequests" that are only partially necessary. They involve collecting pearls and catalogging pictures of all species on the planet (which rewards the player with funds or vehicle upgrades.

The controls in the game are setup quite well. It does take a bit to get used to them, but the instruction manual really isn't needed as most of them can be figured out within the first hour of play. If reminders are needed on controls, they are presented in a timely fashion. My only problem was the horrible PS2 analog sticks make precision aiming a bit difficult. Unfortunately, the Media Play I visited did not have a GC or Xbox version available. I made ado.

The final boss is interesting too, as it is a long fight and *spoiler?* I had to actually play with my controller upside down to get through it. You'll see what I mean when you get there.

As far as complaints, I don't have many. The graphics aren't the best, but suit the game well. Everything is crisp although a few areas seem a bit dark. Other than that, the spaceship changes the control scheme on you, but you don't have to deal with it for long.

BGE must be the most balanced multigenre game I've ever played. It is somewhat hard to get bored of it because of the variety. Finding yourself lost or not knowing what to do in the game is a rare occurrence. I recommend about any gamer type pick this one, especially since it's under $20 nowadays. Hopefully we can see more games like this one in the future because Ubisoft did an outstanding job with the variety.

[edit: 04/10/2006]


  • Much gameplay variety: racing, action, puzzles, stealth, air combat

  • Easy controls, many motions are automatic

  • Different gameplay types never feel out of place

  • Steadily paced difficulty

  • Graphically outdated, but not an eyesore

  • Even if "reverse stick" controls are chosen, the spaceship still switches to inverted controls (although this is only used toward the end of the game)

  • The storyline isn't well defined in the game

Wait, Forget, Buy, or Rent?

The game is beatable in a rental period, but the game doesn't cost much now. However, there isn't a lot of replay value.

Verdict: RENT


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