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Beyond Good & Evil (GameCube, PC, PS2, Xbox)

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It’s that time again! Time for another entry in our increasingly infrequent Game Club! As we discussed on a recent episode, we’ve decided to tackle Michel Ancel’s beloved Beyond Good & Evil. The game is currently available on PS2, Xbox, GameCube, and PC. Ubisoft just released an HD port on Xbox Live Arcade for a measly 800 Allards (that’s only $10 in regular monies). It’s also coming to PSN, well, sometime later.

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Beyond Good & Evil may not have set the sales charts on fire when it was originally released in 2003, but it received tons of praise from professional reviewers and fans alike. Why do you love this game so much? Let us know! Maybe–just maybe–this Game Club will convince Ubisoft to finish up Beyond Good & Evil 2.

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We’ll be discussing Beyond Good & Evil on episode 230 of the Player One Podcast, so get playing and share your comments and/or memories. You can post them in this thread, in the comments section of the blog post on our front page, drop us an email, or leave a voicemail (713-893-8069).

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Excellent choice, 'Yade!'

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i just downloaded the demo for BG&E HD last night. haven't played it yet, but i don't have high hopes it will win me over to buy the game outright.

i still have the original on Xbox, and i've tried on three seperate occaisons to get into it, and each time i lost interest roughly an hour in. i don't know what it is; i'm well aware how much i'm supposed to love this game, and i'm all for well designed, original IP's thriving in the world of sequelitis, but me and this game just do not click.

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This game has been unfairly included in my stack of shame for about eight years (my stack of shame, as a whole, goes back about 25 years). But as for Beyond Good & Evil, it's not entirely my fault.

I rented this for GameCube when it was new and nearly beat it. When I actually purchased it a while later, I happily played nearly the whole thing again, getting really, really close to the end. Then, in the summer of 2004, I was showing the game to my cousin, letting him play through the first few scenes.

When he saved on the MDisc reader in Pey'J's Workshop, he erased my save file.

Then, when BG&E 2 got a teaser trailer, I played through it yet again. Around that time, I moved to Canada and, again, set it aside. When I came to this site last night and saw that there was a new Game Club covering this game, I'm using this as an excuse to finish it. I'm up to the part where my cousin erased my save in '04. For sentimental reasons, I'm finishing it on my GameCube connected to my old CRT screen TV.

Actually finishing this game will be the end of an era for me.

Edited by Cambot
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The HD release is probably going to make my fourth playthrough. I'll think of something more worthwhile to put together when I beat it, but as for something small I think that this game has the best text entry method for a controller. A weird observation, but it works so much better than any QWERTY keyboard layout.

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Damn it...Actually, I still think I may have at least one copy in my rented place. I love this game so much I own at least 2 if not 3 copies of it. (That's not including the re-release). I'm a little sad you guys didn't wait until the end of the month (when it's the rumored PSN release), but I'll still contribute.

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Awesome choice for a new GC game. I'm looking forward to playing the HD version and seeing how well this gem has aged.

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I know nothing about this game, other than its name. How long is it? I'll probably give it a go if it's not too long.

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I'd put it at around 6-8 hours.

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I'd put it at around 6-8 hours.

I concur. That is, if you only want the minimum amount of pearls. Even if you earn them all, is shouldn't tack on more than a couple hours, at most.

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Although I'm really enjoying the game so far, I hate--absolutely hate--how half the time, X is used as the "confirmation button," and half the time it's the A button.

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My bigger issue is the controller bug. The camera control setting overrides the Y-axis setting. So if you want left to right mapped normally, you can't have a reverse mapping on up and down and vice-versa.

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My bigger issue is the controller bug. The camera control setting overrides the Y-axis setting. So if you want left to right mapped normally, you can't have a reverse mapping on up and down and vice-versa.

It's been probably 2.5 years since I played through the game, but wasn't it like that in the original?

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Although I'm really enjoying the game so far, I hate--absolutely hate--how half the time, X is used as the "confirmation button," and half the time it's the A button.

I noticed the same thing. X is your action button, A is your "validate" button. And sometimes RB (when taking pictures). And you can't change the controls. How many times have you used your camera and gone into a rolling dive instead of simply exiting from camera mode?

Another thing that's annoying is the way the voice over lines always seem to get cut off by some other trigger (cut scenes, loading the next area, etc). It's like they trigger the voice overs a split second before you enter into a whole new scene. And it's a shame since I actually like the writing in the game.

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My bigger issue is the controller bug. The camera control setting overrides the Y-axis setting. So if you want left to right mapped normally, you can't have a reverse mapping on up and down and vice-versa.

I was very disappointed when I realized this was the case. I use inverted controls, which to most every other game means the up/down controls are reversed while leaving the x-axis controls alone. Even if it was like this in the original release, this is the exact type of thing that needs to be changed in an update like this -- just separate the x- and y-axis preferences. It's a shame, since I've enjoyed the first two hours or so of the game, yet I still have to actively think about the camera each time I move it.

On another note, I find I really enjoy the whole photography element. It makes for a nice ongoing side quest, and I love how they reward you on a regular basis.

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On another note, I find I really enjoy the whole photography element. It makes for a nice ongoing side quest, and I love how they reward you on a regular basis.

I gotta say I think I enjoy seeking out new animals to take photos of more then the actually game itself. Everytime I get to a new area the first thing I always do is look around for new life to take photos of.

Started the game up yesterday after waiting long and patiently for it to download over the past few days (I'm on a 1.5mb connection and my WiFi for the 360 is wonky at the best of times so it kept dropping out while downloading and took ages). Finally downloaded and just played it straight for 2 hours. Got up to just past the first "dungeon" and completely fell in love with the whole game all over again.

Quick question, this came out around the same time as Wind Waker where there any comparisons between the 2 when it came out? The game does feel like a kind of Zelda clone but in a good way, if that makes sense.

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ruh roh. The game just hard locked my whole system...I think I just lost a couple hours' worth of progress.

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Oh no yade!

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The only glitch I hit in the HD remake was when I attempted to dock once and couldn't exit the hovercraft. No freeze, just couldn't exit the ship. Luckily, I've conditioned myself to saving every time I pass an MDisk terminal. I had way worse happen to me in the original.

I've noticed before some people put off by the stealth sections, if not stopping the game entirely. There are very key things to keep in mind about these segments: the guards are stupid as bricks, you can kill every one of them, and the only time you can't walk around the corner and reset the area is when an insta-kill turret is present. Whenever there are multiple guards, the best strategy to take care of all of them is to hit the farthest one's air tank with a projectile. He'll wander around aimlessly while his friends try to find you. Even if they do spot you, just wander off to the side until they reset. Then you can knock the air canisters of each remaining guard as they attempt to come to the aid of the first guard(s) that you distressed.

Some people hear "stealth" and became angry with thoughts of terrible game design, restarting sections, and swearing at the television. But BG&E's stealth is hardly even that. You just have to remember to play aggressively. Even when you're spotted, a charged upgraded weapon attack (Don't know the name of it, but she spins around and shoots little balls of energy) can go around and KO a guard that's running after you with a mallet.

I also suggest picking up the animal detector asap from Ming. Keeping up on the animals around you will help make sure you never run out of credits to buy whatever you want. If you're a loser like me, you can clean out Ming's shop as soon as you get your city pass!

Final tip: save before taking on Francis. That way if you lose on your 1000 credit bet for his pearl, you can just reload. He's right next to an MDisk reader! As for the disc game, speed is the key to beating it. Anticipate what disc your cursor is moving to and aim your stick in that direction in advance, mashing on X to launch it asap. If its too far to the right, just ricochet it off the wall to get it in a better position while you move other discs. You can go much faster than Francis, but if you fiddle around to line up shots he can overwhelm you.

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My bigger issue is the controller bug. The camera control setting overrides the Y-axis setting. So if you want left to right mapped normally, you can't have a reverse mapping on up and down and vice-versa.

This makes it borderline unplayable for me. I really hope they patch this in because it's not as fun when I'm fighting the controls. Still a fantastic game.

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One thing that stands out in my memories of BG&E is that it created a sense of place and culture without directly elaborating on either one. Through the behavior of NPCs, the propaganda, and the exotic pop music that could be heard on the radio or during sporting events, I really got the sense that I was in a unique world. The developers got a lot of mileage out of a little bit of atmosphere.

The more I think about it, this game was out of the golden era of the open world. The hardware was powerful enough to allow for large worlds, but still humble enough that devs had to use abstract visuals and rely on atmosphere to make the world believable. This is why I find GTA3's Liberty City ten times as memorable as GTA4's Uncanny Valley.

Edited by Raughn
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Definitely love this game's soundtrack. It is impossible to not get swept into Akuda Bar's propaganda track.

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Propaganda!

I'm a fan of all the music in the game.

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Yeah, the music is great. The soundtrack, to me, is sort of Shenmu-esque. It has everything from the beautiful to the bizarre.

Here's what may be the finest piece of game music ever recorded (*music spoiler* - it's one of the two songs that play during the races):

The soundtrack album was never available for purchase, but it was a free download from Ubisoft. It has since been removed, but a clone of that free download can easily be found on the internet. I won't post a link to a site that hosts it in case it's actually for sale somewhere I'm not aware of.

Edited by Cambot
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Actually, you can pick it up here right from Ubisoft:

http://static2.cdn.ubi.com/gamesites/BGE/ost/Beyond_Good_and_Evil-OST.zip

I have to say, for 2003, this game's chase scenes really blew me away. Nothing else really sold it like this game did, even if they were really easy and there aren't many of them. You still don't even see that today much. The video that dropped supposedly showing what I guess is a concept or target for BG&E2 still makes me anxious for whatever that game ends up being. Unless that's nonexistent. :(

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