Review by c0ldb33r

Reviewed: 01/25/04

BG&E - better than Zelda

The story behind Beyond Good & Evil is a sad one. The game is absolutely fantastic. It was released to critical acclaim. This game should have sold incredibly well, but alas it didn't. It's been relegated to the bargain bin. Hopefully the commercial flop of BG&E won't stop Ubisoft from making other games that are this fantastic.

That being said, on with the review...

Story - This is by far BG&E's strongest point. While an action/adventure game usually has a relatively flimsy story (eg. Zelda - love the games but the stories are pretty thin). The story in BG&E sucks you in and never lets you go. You won't be able to put the controller down. You'll need to play just a little longer just to see what's going to happen next.

Graphics - The graphics are BG&E's other strong-point. There were times in this game that would make my jaw literally drop. All the character models in this game are very well developed, and the characters are extremely well animated.

The environments are also beautiful. By far the best example of this is the in-game water. The water actively reflects everything around it, rocky cliffs, a jumping fish, the clouds in the sky, ...everything.

Sound - The sound is also excellent. The music is fantastic. It matches the speed and intensity of the action. Exploring the caves? The music is spooky, fighting a boss? It's very exciting. Talking to locals in the district bar? It's casual, relaxing, and folksy.

The voice acting is very well done as well. Never did I get the impression the voice actors were just running through their lines. The voices in this game accomplish something few other games can... they actually portray emotion. This really helps push along the story.

Also, the amount of voices is impressive. Most conversations (and there are plenty) are in full sound. This really helps you get into the game.

Gameplay - the gameplay in an action/adventure game is important. It has to be intuitive and fast. BG&E satisfies both of these requirements. It is easy to control your character, and surprisingly enough, it is easy to control your sidekicks as well.

That being said, given you have to control multiple characters with a single controller, sometimes the control feels slightly limited. It seems you have to control almost every action of your main character with the A button. This is only a minor gripe. All things considered, the control is still better than 90% of the games out there.

Playing time - This is a sore point with players of BG&E. The game is short. Very short. If you're willing to rush through the game, not explore anything and beat it as fast as possible, you will have it done in under 10 hours. If you're going to explore and do sub-quests and games, probably closer to 20. In any event, you will wish there were a bit more.

However, the story never feels rushed. While you'll want more, the ending is a well-timed conclusion to the wonderful story. Personally, I would rather play a great 20 hour game than a mediocre 40 hour one.

Overall - it's a real shame this game didn't do better financially than it did. But this means that you get the chance to play what should be the game of the year for $20. There is no reason for you to not go and buy this game. I strongly recommend it!

Story - 10/10 - It sucks you in and never lets go.
Graphics - 10/10 - Simply breathtaking.
Sound - 10/10 - Very moody and appropriate.
Gameplay - 9/10 - A little simple, but does a good job.
Playing Time - 6/10 - It's a fantastic, but short, game.
Overall - 10/10 - This game should be game of the year.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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