Beyond Good & Evil

This is where you'll find threads specific to the games we're covering in Volume Six
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Beyond Good & Evil

Post by JaySevenZero » December 24th, 2016, 10:52 am

Here is where you can leave your thoughts regarding Beyond Good & Evil for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.

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Re: Beyond Good & Evil

Post by nickturner13 » September 7th, 2017, 11:27 pm

This was a game I picked up back on the PS2 back in 2004 or 2005.

I don't recall much about why I'd bought it now, although looking back it appears it was on an Official Playstation Magazine Demo disc, so that was probably what what inspired me as I was an avid purchaser and reader of that magazine around that time. Indeed I remember when I moved out of my flat in 2006 I left a cupboard full of several years worth of magazines... would be nice to have them to reminisce over now!

Anyway, I digress...

My memory is somewhat hazy of the game as it's been over 10 years since I last played it, but I wanted to write this without refreshing myself of the game details too much to ensure I comment on my lasting impression of the game in my mind... so apologies if some of these details are not quite correct.

I very much enjoyed this game from the start, as it was something quite different - using a camera to take photographs instead of shooting people with guns was an interesting alternative, and the interaction with your companions through the game always kept me entertained, whether it was your uncle Pey'j, the pig who was a bit of an inventor, or the clumsy guard Double H who you rescue at some point early on.

The only combat is done via a wooden pole, somewhat like the Bo used by Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the combat style is like an early version of the Batman Arkham games, with contextual hits based on enemy locations. I don't recall if there was a block function but I guess there must have been.

BG&E has various sections to it, including stealth-based sections as you sneak around a huge factory, and some boat-racing sections as you avoid capture from the imperial guard-types who are always chasing you. There was also some flying elements and possibly space is involved, although I don't quite recall. Plus of course using the camera to take photographs of the wildlife on the planet. The way the gameplay was always mixing it up kept you engrossed in proceedings.

A special nod has to go to the sound design of the game, especially the music... the song "Propaganda" which plays in a bar in one of the main towns has stayed firmly lodged in my brain ever since, and it sums up the feeling in the game in places, the innocent citizens of Hyllis are being exploited by not only these guards, but also the aliens who own the factory, who I think were treating the citizens in much the same way humans are treated in the Matrix movies, being harvested for resource.

The cartoon-like style of the graphics were quite unique, and it is certainly a game that has remained very fondly in my memories. The locations, characters, sound, and even the user interface, with a spiraling keyboard that rotated with your thumbstick, was a pleasure to use and not something I've seen since.

There are even at least one real tearjerker moments in the game which really hit me back then, if you've not played it then I don't want to spoil it any further!

If I look back to that time period and think about other games that I thought of at the time as being a really solid, enjoyable game, I recall the name of a game called Second Sight. But the difference between that and BG&E is that I couldn't tell you very much at all about Second Sight right now without reading about it... so that is a testament to the character, sound, and world-building present in BG&E.

Although it's been at least 10 years. Beyond Good And Evil still has a special place in my heart and I've been keeping an eye out for the long-awaited sequel for many years. I was somewhat disappointed to see the recent trailer from E3 as it seems to contain none of the characters, settings, or charm of the original, but I will no doubt pick it up at some point and give it a chance. It does though seem a massive shame to continue the adventures of Jade & co.
"I think I'm going to think myself to death" - Henry Rollins

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