Beyond Good & Evil HD Review (XBLA)

Posted by Jim Cook, Mar 10, 2011 05:51

Beyond Good & Evil is one of those games I always wanted to play but missed its initial release and just couldn’t find the time for afterward. Thankfully, this HD remake provides a second chance to enjoy a title I had heard so many good things about, and most of its praise is well deserved. Set in a whimsical and cartoon-style sci-fi world, players control an investigative reporter named Jade who must explore several areas to expose the truth of a long-running war.

While it does have elements of other genres present, Beyond Good & Evil is primarily a third-person action game with an emphasis on exploration and solving modest puzzles. Modern Zelda games like Twilight Princess would are an obvious comparison, as they play very similarly to this despite the difference in setting and story tone. Players are expected to learn basic combos, solve puzzles (mostly of the "find this item to open that door" variety, though some require aid of an AI-controlled partner), defeat bosses by memorizing their patterns and reacting accordingly, and so on. It’s a formula that works well if the characters are likable and the story is decent, which Beyond Good & Evil HD delivers.

The game world is reasonably large, and offers plenty of opportunity to explore. You can just cruise from one main quest event to the next, but anyone doing so will miss out on a lot. Even just randomly visiting places with your hovercraft can reveal hidden items and missions to take on, ranging from photographing animals to chasing a bandit’s vehicle and disabling him to get your stuff back plus some useful bonus items for your trouble. Even just driving around for a while can be fun as there are several locations to visit.

With all these perks working in its favor, only a few problems stand out. The most obvious is the camera (not the one you photograph animals with, but how you see the game world) is clumsy at best and you’ll be making constant manual adjustments to it. This is joined by some extended stealth segments in later parts of the game, ones that while not particularly difficult do at least overstay their welcome. Yet these aren’t crippling problems, merely the obvious issues with an otherwise fantastic game.

Overall, Beyond Good & Evil HD is a very good game and offers a great value for your money. A typical run through this third-person action/exploration title will take about ten to fifteen hours depending on how thorough you are in checking out everything it has to offer, and that’s pretty appealing when one notes its 800 Microsoft Point/$10 USD cost. What flaws it has can be mostly forgiven, and the rest of your experience will be quite enjoyable. 

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Our Rating for Beyond Good & Evil HD Review (XBLA)
8.0 Replay
A fairly detailed world is available for exploration, and rewards await those who do more than simply complete the main quests.
6.0 Graphics
Whimsical and creative character designs are contrasted by, even with an HD overhaul of the visuals, looking very ’last generation.’ A balky camera doesn’t help, but the game is generally decent enough on the eyes regardless.
8.0 Sound
A mix of tolerable to good voice work is joined by great music that conveys a variety of moods. The soundtrack is easily one of Beyond Good & Evil’s highest points.
8.5 Gameplay
’Modern Zelda’ style exploration and combat combine with a good story to keep players interested. A few stealth segments and camera-managing headaches will annoy you, but they can be forgiven since the rest of the game is great.
5.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
There are some online-related features and a few unlockables along these lines, though they are not core to the experience but merely nice bonuses.
8.0 Overall
A good game offered at a great price, Beyond Good & Evil HD easily overcomes its modest flaws to be well worth your time.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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