Review by Menji

"Respect the Remake: Chapter 12"

7 years, 7 months, 18 days since the original release.
3 months, 27 days since the 360 release.
20 days since Europe's release.

And well worth it.

Perhaps you were like me, loved the game when it originally released back in '03 and were excited to see the series continue. We waited and waited and then we waited some more. The only thing we have seen for a sequel is a brief teaser and that's it. Now the news is that it's been delayed until the next generation of consoles. However, less than a year ago Ubisoft announced plans to remake Beyond Good & Evil like many other Playstation 2 classics. The day finally came but it turned out Microsoft had a timed exclusivity deal for the game and the Sony owners wouldn't see it for months. The network getting hacked pushed it back another month and for some unknown reason, we in North America didn't see it for another three weeks after Europe got it. It was a long wait and it wasn't like I didn't have access to it. I do have the Playstation 2 version ready to go. But seeing Jade in beautiful high definition was too much to pass down going back just wasn't an option. And how could I pass up an opportunity to show my support for the series than buying the game as soon as possible!

Beyond Good & Evil blends stealth and camerawork into a fantasy adventure. You play as sexy young Jade who runs a shelter on Hillys with her uncle Pey'j. There's this alien group known as the DomZ and they have been attacking the planet. They're the cause of all the orphans living with Jade. Hillys is protected by the Alpha Sections. A group dedicated to protecting the residents against the DomZ. Apparently they're a little slow to react as the story begins. But certainly they can't have anything to hide...

But that's where Jade comes in. Equipped with her handy camera she must expose the conspiracy. The best comparison is that BG&E is a toned down version of Zelda. But maybe that's just because Jade's life is marked in hearts as well. But instead of minigames, Jade can photograph every single animal on Hillys. Some will be tricky and hidden but they pay off, literally. The prime means of collecting money will be to take pictures and send them to this scientist who is compiling them all. Unfortunately the camera controls are a bit of a mess. Perhaps it's because I'm so used to the universal controls this current generation of games has implemented. The camera is moved around with the right stick and can be zoomed in with the left. This feels entirely backwards and I never got used to it. The worst part is that there is no way to change it.

Combat is also incredibly dated and a bit limited. Jade has this stick she can use and eventually acquires a projectile device. However, the stick only comes out when enemies are around. Jade has roughly three moves: attack, step aside, or charge an attack. Just about everything can be eliminated with a standard attack and the dodge is useful when things get congested. However the charge is essentially useless. Normally, a charge attack is great for clearing out multiple enemies surround the character. The problem here is that there is quite a bit of charge time required to use the attack. So when you finally feel the urge to use it the enemies will have plenty of time to hit you and reset your charge. One of the few times I was able to do it was when there weren't any enemies around and I just happened to catch one that was just wandering in. The rest of the gameplay is quite sound. The platforming aspects are fun and challenging at times. There are some stealth areas that would make Snake cringe but they're fine.

Despite the noticeable mediocrity in the fighting gameplay, the game really shines in other areas. The art style is incredible and beautiful – even scary at times. Accompanying the pretty visuals is the amazing soundtrack. There are so many rememberable songs that fit the occasion perfectly. I'd even go as far as to rank it in my top 10 gaming soundtracks and a few tracks are my most played. However, I was completely hooked as the story progressed. Extremely engaging albeit predictable and it really makes you want the series to continue. The characters have such charisma due to their excellent voice actors. If you've always wanted to try the game out, this is the version to get. It's definitely worth another run through even if you already played it before. Support the Beyond Good & Evil developers and get the sequel released!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/14/11

Game Release: Beyond Good & Evil HD (US, 06/28/11)

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