Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Beyond Good & Evil HD for X-Box 360

I played the original BG&E on my old X-Box back when it came out. The original, as you may remember, came out to good reviews and low sales. I enjoyed it at the time, feeling it was well paced and I especially liked how the bigger world would slip you into mini-games without you realising it. The characters were well written and the ecological theme neatly integrated.

Playing it again eight years leter, in this new HD version, nothing has really changed. The higher resolution graphics and improved textures only serve to make it just how you remember it. The eco-theme seems more prescient and the fact the the lead character is an adult woman with normal-sized breasts makes you wonder why there aren't more like her in video games. Did BG&E's relative financial failure give games companies an excuse to pump up breasts in games?

It's a good solid ten hours of gaming, assuming you collect every pearl and creature and beat every race (probably a bit shorter if your racing skills aren't as rusty as mine). It has oodles of character and the main characters are memorable. Andrea, who wasn't playing (but occassionally gave out sage advice -- "maybe you should drive faster"), really, really wanted Pey'j to live. It parcels out the gameplay in very satisfying ways. The world gradually gets larger and you keep getting extra abilities that you immediately have a reason to try out. Just as you think you've seen it all you are dropped in to a fun, explosion filled, race across the roof tops (my favourite set-piece, a real smile inducer).

It isn't perfect. The lips never quite match what is said. The story requires everyone to be just a little bit dense. The camera, while mostly set-up appropriately, sometimes just gets bloody minded. And the story just ends setting lots up for a trilogy that hasn't happened, yet.

It's a tenner. If you haven't played it yet, you should. If you have played it, play it again in the hopes it will give Ubisoft the incentive to finish part 2.

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