It's been more than seven years that Jade and Pey'j invaded the Playstation 2 and a bit later the first Xbox and Nintendo's Gamecube. A great game that has left so many fond memories to some of the very few that bought it then. Unfortunately, it did not sell so well at the time and since then, we have been longing for a worthy sequel that hasn't come yet to this day. Thankfully, Ubisoft decided to give Michel Ancel's game a second youth with Beyond Good & Evil HD. Here is a very special review for a game that is just as special.
First and foremost, it seems to me that we need to go back in time a little, back to an ancient era when BlimBlim would give his personal opinion on games very rarely. The reason is twofold: first, I think it's interesting to compare what was said about the game then to what can be said now. Secondly, it will be a great moment of nostalgia for the oldest amongst you guys, back in the days when Gamersyde was still Xboxyde.
Xboxyde, February 29 2004, BlimBlim
BG&E is not your typical game. Graphically especially, it's very original. Some have said it's the "French Touch" ambassador, perhaps they are right.
Graphically even if it does not use any of the Xbox advanced capabilities, the game is really beautiful and different. The pastel colors and the really original character design help set a very nice atmosphere. The level design is also very good.
The sound is also praiseworthy with great music and excellent dubs (French or English). The sound effects are good but they do not stand out in comparison.
The gameplay itself has been designed to be easy to master. The fights are rather simple, as are the puzzles. You almost never feel lost or blocked. There are a lot of different gameplay types, fights, hovercraft sequences, platform and adventure, and they all blend perfectly.
The only downside of the game is that it's only 10 hours or so long. It's not much for such a game, but considering it's very cheap now it's not a problem anymore.
In conclusion: Go buy it! It's an excellent and beautiful game, with nice characters and gameplay. And it's cheap!
Gamersyde, March 2 2011, Driftwood
It is rather amusing to read BlimBlim's words seven years later. Funny to see how back then a 10 hour long game would be a bit of a disappointment when today, very few single player titles can brag of giving much more. It is also impossible not to react to what BlimBlim said in the end since most people obviously did not follow his advice to buy BG&E. Maybe one of the reasons why Michel Ancel hasn't been able to deliver a sequel yet.
But what is left of BG&E after all these years? Is it still as good as BlimBlim used to say? A lot of things have changed since 2003 in terms of game design, but hey, what do you know? Very little has changed when it comes to BG&E actually. With 1080p support and running at a steady 60 frames per second framerate, BG&E still is as charming as ever, with a very good artistic direction and design. True, character models could use more polygons these days, and so could the more open environments, but honestly, it is just impossible not to feel enraptured by the game's world.
The soundtrack in BG&E is just great, with fantastic music and good voice acting. Some sound effects show their age a bit, like the footsteps for example, but overall it is still very solid and really helps immerse the player in the story.
It is a shame though, that the many loading times have not been eliminated, and though they may not be very long to begin with, they could have at least been made shorter. They also happen quite often, every time you leave an area, each of them being sometimes quite small. It is clearly something we are not used to anymore with all the great open world games out there but it is still manageable.
Another old habit you are going to have to find is the manual saving system. It may seem odd to mention it but at a time when games auto-save every five seconds, you don't want to forget to use one of the computers that can be found in the different locations of the game's world.
A few minor flaws are also back with this 2011 edition, like the camera that sometimes gets in the way, especially in more narrow environments and during fights. That being said, there is not much to complain about and it'd be a shame to stop at such small details.
With varied gameplay, a great story and appealing characters, the only thing missing from Beyond Good & Evil is a true sequel. Indeed, when you reach the game's surprise ending, all you want is to find out what happens next. Now, a bit like BlimBlim in 2004, I want to say that the release of a sequel is up to you. Show that you care and do what you have to do if you know what I mean...
Let's finish this article with one last video showing a bit more gameplay from the first real mission of the game :