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Good. Evil. I'm the one with the camera.

With over 40 days left until Fall 2008 semester begins, obligation seems too far off to worry about, and I end up so lost and purposeless that it's a prominent problem that interjects itself before gaming. Yet, thanks to registering for temp work lately, it's possible my free time could disappear in a blink (and, considering I'm sick of having no money, that'd be a good thing). Suddenly, my free time feels a lot more precious, and consequently I want to fill it with something I enjoy.

Enter Ubisoft's 2003 game, Beyond Good And Evil. I bought it years ago, it was only $20 new because the publishers didn't think it'd sell well. As it turns out, they were right That's a shame, because this game belongs in an exclusive club of games that are made by talented developers who were honestly working on creating an excellent game. I was distracted back then (probably because I just got fired from a job I held for nearly 4 years) and never really got a chance to become properly immersed in it. Now, I regret I passed up the opportunity.

Official Trailer of Beyond Good & Evil. May ruin a bit of the mystique of all the cool scenarios the developers put in this game.

Beyond Good and Evil is a good adventure platforming game. This means it's not about platforming, it's not a point and click adventure, but rather picks and chooses out of both genres in creating a satisfying fusion that tells a story. This is in stark contrast to a game like Insecticide, which tries to be both games and ends up being unsatisfying as either (though I do look forward to playing it when it comes to GameTap).

BG&E actually plays a bit like a good-quality 3D Zelda game, right down to the autolocking targets and inventory of handy items. However, BG&E also has unique features all of its own: a well implemented stealth mechanic, partners that assist you and have their own inventories, a nice vehicular interface, active dialogue trees, and more. It comes across quite well, about the only bothersome flaws I encountered in BG&E is a scripted/sticky camera and sometimes an overly slow flow.

What's particularly cool about BG&E is that does "epic" well. On the small scale, this is evident in the detail of the world, including a number of sci-fi creatures (though anthropomorphizing animals for many of the races was somewhat unoriginal, the style made it also somewhat endearing). On the large scale, the world itself keeps getting more bigger: you start off in a lighthouse, this expands to the bay and nearby repair shop, then a nearby city and the rest of the bay, then a much larger stretch of water, and then... well, I'm resolved not to spoil anything, but it gets *really* big.

Suffice to say, this is one of those artistically good games that give me hope for gaming. It's very good news to hear that apparently they're actually working on a sequel now.
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