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    dkirschner's Beyond Good and Evil (PC)

    [December 10, 2012 01:33:41 AM]
    My sessions before the other day and the previous entry were no doubt positive. Since then, it's been half and half. Some of the things I didn't mention last time have really begun to irritate me to the point where I'm giving up. I do like the game for the most part, but there are a couple big things:

    (1) The camera is terrible. Awful. This became a problem once I got into the Factory level, and now I'm 1/3 through the Slaughterhouse. It's the tight spaces that kill it for me. These levels are giant puzzles and quite maze-like. But the camera can't handle them. It zooms in to the floor. It follows Jade's legs. It does 360s going round and round and round. It turns Jade 180 degrees, then when I turn to run the other way, it swoops again, and I keep going the wrong way, swoop swoop swoop, running into guards and getting killed. You have very very little control of the camera anyway, so there's no way to fix it. It's not player error. It's just a crappy camera. And thanks to that, I've started feeling dizzy and feeling like I'm going to get a headache. Just kinda of reeling.

    (2) The levels are mazes. While this is sort of fun because they are complex, it is also sort of annoying because the map isn't very good, and because the game does a really bad job at times of guiding you from one place to another. In a maze, a little guidance here and there would be much appreciated. The thing is sometimes it does guide you, but then there is some hidden requirement to continue. Example: Yesterday I was in the Factory. I'd taken all my pictures and found the code to the Loading Bay where it seemed like I was supposed to go. I enter, run around, look around, nothing happens. Hmm. Go back in the level, poke around, don't see anything new, different, interesting, go back to the loading bay, can't do anything there. Hmm. It seems like I'm supposed to go there, but I must be missing something somewhere else. I spent more than half an hour traversing the level, doing all these sneaky parts again, blah blah, and made it back to the loading bay, where again nothing happens. So I looked up a walkthrough and it tells me to point my camera up at a specific spot. Really? I have to go in the loading bay and point my camera around at everything to trigger a scene? Come on. I had previously taken pictures in the loading bay and pointed it at anything I saw, but I didn't do it in the right spot that it never told me to point it at, so nothing happened. I was kind of pissed. And now, today, I've done 1/3 of the Slaughterhouse and cannot for the life of me figure out where to go to get into the other 2/3. I don't want to start playing this according to walkthroughs, so I'm just stopping instead. Plenty of other games on my list to play.

    (3) It's aging. So it's nice, it's pretty, it's interesting. Awesome. But unfortunately I just played Dishonored. And Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is in recent memory. And Deus Ex: Human Revolution. And I'm sorry Beyond Good & Evil, but you do not compete. I'm very interested to go back and play old games that I missed years ago, but the problem is that there are almost inevitably newer games in similar genres that are just better. In this case I've classified BG&E as a stealth game. Or is it an action game? Enslaved was a billion times better. Or is it an open world game? Saints Row 3 wins. Sigh! Oh and also, the title of the game made me think there would be some moral dilemma or philosophical questions being discussed through the story. There aren't. I'm disappointed!
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    [December 8, 2012 10:56:46 AM]
    I finally got a chance to play this for more than an hour tonight. So far it's just been quick dips. I think I'll sink more time into it tomorrow too. So finally, extended engagement is possible and it is good!

    I'm usually quite surprised when I like older games (9 years old here, and playing the original, not HD update). BG&E is a really fun original adventure game. Your planet is being constantly bombarded by attacks from some evil aliens, and the planetary defense force seems to be evil too, kidnapping people, and maybe even in league with the aliens. You are Jade, a journalist, who falls in with an underground opposition group, and it's your job to infiltrate enemy operations and uncover evidence of the planetary defense force being assholes and possibly in league with the aliens. Right now, I'm off to explore a factory where they're shipping kidnapped citizens. Then they ship them somewhere else, and finally it's bon voyage to the moon. I suspect the game involves going to these three places since the most expensive item in the shop is moon rockets or something which I figure I need to convert my ship to fly in space.

    The story is interesting, and the characters are really good too. I especially like Jade who is a *gasp* normal female. She's clever, likeable, funny, has a job, and she isn't sexualized. It's refreshing. Her partner, Pey'j (pronounced Page) is funny too. He's a pig with good ole southern charm. He does mechanic-type work and is handy for his various special abilities. So far he can cut through fences with wire cutters and he can do a super jump and smash the ground, which when done on a button will launch Jade up to a ledge, or when done near enemies, will launch them up, break their defenses or make them vulnerable. Other characters that populate the world are humans or anthropomorphic animals - sharks, walruses, cows, rhinos...

    There are other animals too. At the beginning of the game Jade gets an assignment to catalog all the organic life on the planet for the Science Center. She has a camera that she uses to take photos. Take photos of normal animals, friendly NPC sharks and things, and enemies too, and they get uploaded to the Science Center, and for every 10 you take, you get a pearl. Pearls are one of the types of currencies, spendable on cool upgrades like said space rocket, a missile system for my boat, and other stuff. Pearls are hidden in caves, behind locked doors, won through various minigames like speedboat races and gambling games, from beating bosses, buying them in stores, and doing various other events. It's really varied all the things you can do in the game! So far I've explored some caves, done speedboat racing, explored more generally on my boat, found hidden islands, got robbed by a pirate and chased them down through a speedboat obstacle course, investigated a town, played some game that was some tabletop version of shuffleboard, shopped a lot, took photos of lots of animals, and more. The other currency is...I dunno what it's called. Credits or something. You get them in more mundane ways, killing enemies, breaking boxes, taking photos, etc.

    The game looks really nice for being 9 years old. I'm impressed even now by it. The music is also excellent, and I recognize a couple old songs they got.

    I am looking forward to pushing on in the story, and more than that, exploring in my boat. Hunting for pearls too. There are some neat looking things to buy!
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    dkirschner's Beyond Good and Evil (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Sunday 2 December, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Monday 10 December, 2012

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Really neat so far. Like the animal cataloging, fighting feels very nice, cool art, great music. -------- Ended up not enjoying it because of the bad camera being generally confused about where to go and how to get there.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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