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Why Beyond Good and Evil Tanked 144

Posted by Zonk
from the unwashed-masses dept.
Via Joystiq, a post on the JumpButton blog talking with a PR manager at Ubisoft about the title Beyond Good and Evil. Despite critical acclaim and crackerjack gameplay, the title just didn't do very well commercially. The rep explains why it did so badly in the stores, and what that means for future quality game titles. From the article: "When BG&E was released in 2003, it was competing against some of the strongest franchises in gaming. Like a weak wolf cub in a litter, it was forced to fight its siblings for attention and nurturing. Strong brands such as Tom Clancy and the reinvented Prince of Persia were the favourite sons that year. While XIII, a stylish FPS based on an obscure Belgian graphic novel, almost suffered a similar fate to BG&E, but sales in European territories still managed to qualify that game for Sony's best-seller Platinum label. It was only late in the piece that IGN.com managed to arm us with a majestic and summarizing quote for the difficult BG&E: 'Zelda for grown-ups.'"
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Why Beyond Good and Evil Tanked

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  • It wasn't bad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Killjoy_NL (719667) <slashdot@re[ ].palli.nl ['mco' in gap]> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:15AM (#15838409)
    The quality of the game isn't that bad, the graphics were nice, sounds as well.
    Sturdy gameplay, but too much competition.

    I did hate the dutch localised version though, but I hate all dubs.
    • LOL seriously though, my wife hated computer games until she got her hands on BG&E for the PS2.

      Since then we've been hitting Gamestop every month.

      Pity the game wasn't two player; we're now plowing through Kameo for the 360 though. Good stuff. BG&E rocked.
    • But all games are dubs, the spites or polygons don't really have a language of their own.
  • Trailer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by triorph (992939) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:17AM (#15838413)
    haven't played the game, but saw the trailer for the game with my prince of persia game and i can tell you it looked boring as anything, was quite surprised that it was actually critically acclaimed from the article, perhaps most of the audience was put off by the trailer like i was.
  • Not enough hype (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SIInudeity (822415) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:19AM (#15838416)
    I did enjoy this title, very much. I think it got overshadowed by the typical Christmas volley of releases. That, and you have to compete with the general ineptitude of the average gamer.
    • That, and you have to compete with the general ineptitude of the average gamer.

      Why is it ineptitude, maybe it's just different tastes.
      • I think our distinguished colleague is speaking of fanboys and how the average modern gamer will go for a franchise game well before trying anything new. This becomes painfully obvious when you tell a 13 year old game that Pacman and Donkey Kong are good games.
        • But Pacman and Donkey Kong are not good games in comparison to what comes out now.

          If Pacman were released today, it would be a bargain basement Popcap game. Hell, Bounce Out has more action, better sound, looks better, and is more exciting. Would the average casual gamer today feel that Donkey Kong is fun? It's too simplistic, but at the same time too difficult.

          Don't expect a 13 year old to hold the same level as nostalgia for these games as you do. They see the game for what it is- just a simple, fairl
  • Followthrough. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:20AM (#15838418)
    A VERY relevent story for this forum. Everyone's always complaining about gameplay. Well BG&E had gameplay*, and look what happened. Apparently people were unwilling to put their money were their mouth is.

    *I'm playing it right now.
  • by payndz (589033) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:25AM (#15838435)
    After hearing a lot of critical praise for BG&E, including from people I used to work with in the games magazine business, I decided to pick up the GC version (second-hand) and give it a try.

    I'd heard it was something to do with a photojournalist fighting a conspiracy in a sci-fi/fantasy world, so that aspect of the game was expected. What I didn't expect was the heroine's sidekick to be a talking cartoon pig, along with a host of other characters who looked like refugees from Banjo-Kazooie. Kind of a 'WTF?' moment that threw me out of the game to begin with. And I bet I wasn't the only one.

    I got past it, though, and started to enjoy the game as it opened up. Unfortunately, then my GC's memory card crapped out on me and lost my saved game, and I just couldn't face playing through the whole thing again. So I guess I'll never know how the story turned out. Shame.
    • From what I remember, the Pig sidekick gets infected with the alien virus or whatever is afflicting the population. Left in a very cliffhanger, we-hope-to-make-a-sequel-one-day fashion.
      • Um... no, SPOILER ALERT!!

        You go to the moon to fight the bad guys. The pig turns out to be the leader of the resistance. The bad guys turn out to be from a bad guy filled universe and you have to fight and defeat their boss, then get back to your planet. I don't remember exactly what the alien race was doing (but there's plenty of aliens in the game). I'd have to play it through again. I very much enjoyed this game. And the photojournalism is very interesting. In the begining of the game the heroine i

        • You are correct, but so was the post you're replying to. When you do your second playthough, be sure to pay attention to the last scene of the end credits.
        • You completly left out the part about how we find out near the end that the main character, unbeknownst to her, was actually a split-off part of the main bad guy, raised by humans.
    • The pig is only with her for the first half of the game until he gets kidnapped by the bad guys, and then again for a short period at the end of the game. If you got to the point where you rescued the way-too-enthusiastic soldier guy, he becomes the new sidekick shortly after the pig disappears.

      It's kind of assumed that, because this game takes place in the distant future, the animals are genetically engineered human hybrids.
    • Yes. Initially I found PJ to be an instant turn-off.

      Why? Possibly because my entire childhood has been tainted by Disney and I find anthropomorphic animals to be downright stupid, especially in what seemed to be a SciFi game. A little bit of playing, though, and I got over that immediate suspension-breaking issue. Especially after I met the orphans--well, actually, most especially after meeting the Mamago rhinos.

      Even if he is a pig, PJ is still a card. He has a personality that lights up the room and I foun
    • Maybe you have to increase your ability to suspend disbelief (or be more willing to accept alternate realities) to play games like this. I'm not saying there's something wrong with you. I'm just wondering if that's the case. Same thing goes for movies as well. I know there's a subset of people who aren't able to do this as readily, and maybe that directly translates to the success of games, movies, and books that require it.
  • I enjoyed it.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tdvaughan (582870) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:26AM (#15838438) Homepage
    ...until I got stuck by one of the game's several game-destroying bugs and couldn't get any further. After that I was afraid to play it again in case it happened again.
    • For those of you wondering about the post above check out this link:

      The triangle key error [ubi.com]

      I am not sure if Ubisoft ever did anything about it but the problem was so serious that you could not even beat the game if you did not download the unofficial patch to fix it. It's a PC error and I encountered it during my playthrough.

      The fact that Ubisoft released a game so broken it was actually unplayable and then never bothered to fix it, had to rely off of a fan created patch, a bad taste was left in my
    • I played it on the PC. For a while. It crashed on me about every ten minutes. That would not have stopped me, were it not for the fact that the game uses savepoints instead of the good old "save anywhere, anytime". So, for me the game was quite unplayable.

      What I did see of it, led to this review: "Nice looks. Nice characters. Fun environment. Scene changes far too slow. Combat much too hard. Crash. Crash. Crash."

  • Or Maybe... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:30AM (#15838448)
    Or maybe the game just didn't have what it takes?

    I enjoyed the beginning of th game. It was interesting, it had a story, it had talking animals... But after a while, there were fewer talking animals, the story got down to heroine-against-the-evil-corporation cliche crap, and it had pretty standard gameplay.

    Trying to take pics of all the diff bugs/animals was amusing, but I doubt people cared.

    And so I stopped playing about halfway through. I read the plot outline later and it didn't get any better. It apparently even had the standard evil corp moon base or something. -yawn-

    So in the end, it wasn't competition that killed it, but general lack of excellence and innovation.
    • I enjoyed playing BG I thought using the camera to take pictures of "bad stuff" and then using the pictures to create public sentiment was a nice change of pace from the superman-vs-lex-luthor model of most of these games.
      • That does sound interesting, and was original, as far as I know.

        Unfortunately, there just wasn't enough of that to keep me interested.

        Even Halo interested me more, and I'm not really an FPS kind of guy.

      • It's hardly a fundamental change. They basically just substituted a camera for the standard gun. Instead of shooting the bad guy, you take his picture. In the end, it doesn't really make much real difference. Same old cliches throughout (predictible storyline, evil corporation engaged in a conspiracy, etc.).

        -Eric

      • BG&E wasn't the first game where you took photos of animals:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuckTales_-_the_Quest _for_Gold [wikipedia.org] ....the wildlife reservation which features Webby Vanderquack taking pictures of animals. The pictures, especially ones with rare animals such as pink elephants, bring rewards for the player similar to the treasure chest in the other levels.
        • Taking pictures of random animals is not what I was talking about. In BG&E you're basically a freelance journalist whose trying to uncover a scandal. Yes, you can take pictures of random stuff as a side quest, but collecting evidence and submitting it to the local newspaper is the main story line.
    • Re:Or Maybe... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PjotrP (593817)
      Agreed, blaming the competition is just the easy way out. "If our game would have been the only game released that year, we're pretty confident it would have been that years best-seller."

      If they, by some magical device, would be able to choose in which year they'd release the game, which year would they choose? I bet other years had some pretty big name games as well, as does practically every year.

      The other games mentioned weren't even that big imo. Tom Clancy franchise? Prince of Persia revisited? I'm

      • You mention blaming the competition as the easy way out. The movie industry does this quite a lot, going as far as setting the release dates for their movies for specific weekends when other major blockbusters are to be released (i.e. you wouldn't release your mid-range budget kids movie on the same weekend as the latest Harry Potter film is slated to if you actually wanted a financial return).

        I wonder if there's any of that sort of thing going on in the games industry, and if not, maybe there should be?
        • Of course there is. For example you will rarely see any major, if any, RPG released in Japan near a FF or DQ release. In fact FF and DQ avoids each other on release dates back when Square and Enix are two separate companies because it'd simply be a bad idea if you release 2 huge RPG titles near each other.

          It's not the gaming populace's fault if your game is released at the same time of the Harry Potter equivalent of your genre and thus your game failed due to that. If you don't have what it takes to ta

    • I'm inclined to agree. After hearing the "sleeper hit" schtick over and over and over, I bought a used copy of it myself to see what was up, and I just found the game lackluster. I knew from the start that the game was supposed to ride on story, not gameplay - but I didn't find the plot interesting either. Cliche is a pretty good word for most of it. (I thought the ending was well done, but that's rather trite by itself)

      The photography element was cool, but eventually I ran out of animals to shoot, a
      • The stealth elements killed it for me. I was really into the game and was having a lot of fun with it, and then hit the trial-and-error section of the game. I got bored trying the same part over and over again and put the game down. Whenever I was interested in picking up again, I was reminded that I was in the middle of the stealth section and lost interest again.
    • Agreed. I really tried to like the game. The setting and characters were original. The photography feature was interesting (at first). The story was above average, with some great plot twists. The voice acting even was quirky and fun. The problem with the game comes down to the most basic elements of gaming... Nothing about the gameplay was unique, particularly after the photography started to become more of a chore than anything else. Additionally, the game was tedious due to an excess of "fetch qu
  • I can only speak for myself and a few friends, but the sci-fi theme just doesn't appeal to me. I'm pretty sure we aren't the only ones since this comparison [ukresistance.co.uk] got a lot of attention when it was first published.
    That's not to say I avoid all games that don't appeal to my senses. A game has a number of other ways it can stand out, like with an innovative fighting system or unique story, neither of which I see this having.
  • by tarun713 (782737)
    ...the whole 'Zelda for adults' tagline. I played BG&E and didn't think it was any more 'adult' than zelda. Maybe they were just riding on the more cartoonish look of Wind Waker at the time, but BG&E didn't look very realistic either. Both are great games, and I don't really get the 'adult' comparison. Even the difficulties were pretty even.
    • I second that. The story was mostly suitable for children, and the gameplay was almost exactly the same (except Link never drove a hoverboat). If anything, the cool tween gamers would likely put down this game, as opposed to Zelda, since you play as a girl. By their logic, it has to be either a girl's game, or a gay game.
    • . . .didn't think it was any more 'adult' than zelda.

      "Adult" Swim means PG-14.

      (reference for people who don't know what I'm talking about but are too arsed to Google it themselves, but are willing to spend 10 times the time to berate me for not including a reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adult_Swim [wikipedia.org] )

      KFG
  • Obscure ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alarash (746254) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:49AM (#15838515)
    XIII, a stylish FPS based on an obscure Belgian graphic novel

    XIII [wikipedia.org] is one of the most known and appreciated "graphic novel" in Europe. In the US they have comics, in Europe we have graphic novels. XIII has sold hundreds of thousands of copies. It's been adapted in a TV show, not to mention the game. It's been translated to 5 languages other than the original french version.

    I find it ironic that a game designer claiming his game didn't do well because it compete with high-profile franchises don't know the slightest about an other video game from the same publisher that suffered exactly the same fate than his.

    • In the US they have comics, in Europe we have graphic novels.
      This is probably the most hilarously lame thing to be condescending about that I can think of. It is like saying "You're a virgin? Oh yeah, we'll I've never even SEEN a naked woman before"
      • My comment was not condescending. In the US you have what is called "comics", in Europe we have what is called "graphic novels" (we call them comics). It's about the same difference than US Football = Soccer. We call Soccer Football. Stop trolling.
        • In the US I've grown up with the distinction that comics don't have the greatest of bindings and are printed on flimsier paper and graphic novels have good binding and nice thick paper. I've never really been into either though, so *shrug*.
        • Well since you know so much about comics of the world you might be interested to know that in North America we have comics and we have graphic novels. I hear in Japan they have comics and graphic novels, as well as most parts of the world.
          I think you could pull out the spider-man or the superman comics and then bring out XIII and say you're better because its a graphic novel, but that's an apples to oranges comparison.
          Try comparing something like Maus to XIII and then come back and tell us America has "co
          • I think you could pull out the spider-man or the superman comics and then bring out XIII and say you're better because its a graphic novel

            What the..? Where did I even COMPARE comics and graphic novels? You completely missed my point which was : XIII is not obscure, period. Don't look further than that. There was no sarcasm behind my post. But I guess (unwillingly) opening any possible breach to an American vs European dick waving contest is not something that should be done on Slashdot.

            • I think it was the "America has comics Europe has 'Graphic novels'" line that made you go from informative to troll in my books.
              I wasn't disputing whether XIII is obscure or not, I was disputing your inference that America doesn't have graphic novels.

              with that said I should have read your post more clearly before posting myself, since it seems jackassery can be easily taken from any context.

              Again, For the record, I am not American.

              And yes, AM vs EU dick waving shouldn't be done on Slashdot.
      • Wow, thanks I nearly spit my coffee on the screen because of that, oh my, good one
      • Re:Obscure ? (Score:4, Informative)

        by DeeDob (966086) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:23AM (#15839464)
        Actually, he's right and his comments are far from lame.

        There are three "main" existing ways of creating a story driven with text that is aided by drawings.

        A) There's the way that originated in america: The "comic" version.
        The comic version is small publication that is sold in the way that magazines are sold. A periodical release. Usually contains publicity and the paper size is usually small. Small number of pages (if you exclude publicity). Sometimes a "collection" of comics can be re-published as "trade-paperbacks" in a larger volume.

        B) There's the way it originated in Europe: The "graphic novel" version.
        The graphic novel version is longer than a "comic". Their release is irregular (usually once every year or two for a major series). The number of pages is often "around" 40 and the size of the pages themselves are bigger.

        C) There's the way it originated in Japan: The "manga".
        Usually black and white, very small sized, but with a number of pages that is often over a hundred.

        NOW, you can use any terminology you want, but these three ways of doing things are there. Comics exist in Europe, Bigger "graphic novels" also exist in North America. Mangas now exist everywhere, but they are often cut in "comic" size for the american market. Likewise, comics are often presented only in their trade-paperbacks form in Europe.

        TinTin, Asterix and XIII are all originaly made the European way. Big graphic novels.
        SpiderMan, X-Men, BatMan are all originaly made the North American way, small comic publications.
        Ranma, Sailor Moon, are all originaly made the Japanese way, small books with tons of pages.

        Now about XIII...
        XIII is a MAJOR series of "European-type" graphic novels. Just because it hasn't been released or is wide-known in the U.S. doesn't mean it's "obscure".
        XIII is big in Europe. It's scenarist, Jean Van Hamme, has done some of the most well-known European graphic novel series that i would rank right after TinTin and Asterix in popularity.

        Saying that XIII is "obscure" is to put a blind-fold over your eyes and refusing to see that there are people living outside your own country that are doing thing you don't know of.

        I don't live in Europe, i live in Quebec, Canada. Due to the fact of the bilingual situation here, we get the best of the three ways (European, American and Japanese [we get both english and french translations of those]).
        In our market, European graphic novels actually is making it as big as the American way, if not even bigger.
        The french versions of american comic books (in their trade-paperback forms as they don't exist in "comic form") are NOT those that sell the most. European graphic novels like XIII sell a lot more.
    • XIII didn't do well because the game was utter crap, not because of any obscurity. You can put all the famous voices you want in, it doesn't change the fact that the game is a horrible FPS, and was implemented extremely poorly. The save system was awful. Save points in an FPS are a step backward, not forward. There were several sections of the game where gameplay slagged to a near halt thanks to some hidden graphics problem or some other bug, I'm not quite sure, because I didn't care enough to try and w
    • Hey, I'm glad of it's obscurity in the U. S. I got the game for $14.00. Of course, I'd have preferred to get it for $13.00, but what are you going to do.

      Of course, now if there is ever a sequel, it'll probably be Europe only, oh well...

  • by NotZed (19455) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:50AM (#15838518)
    As subject says. It was a good game, but a bit too short, and definitely too girly (for mainstream).

    Having said that, I stayed up for 3 nights in a row and finished it faster than most games I've played - it was definitely fun, quite playable, and i liked the slight quirkyness, but i'm probably not your average player.

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:15AM (#15838597)
    Xiii is a, if not the classic franco-belgian thriller 'comic'. It's been running since 1983 and - curiously enough - it's story takes place mostly in the US.
  • I enjoyed it. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BandoMcHando (85123) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:15AM (#15838599)
    I bought the game (for PC) when it was discounted in the sale, as I'd heard it was meant to be quite good.

    I enjoyed playing it, and have recomended it to friends. It was a nice change to play something that wasn't yet another FPS/RTS/whatever that was just the same as all the rest.

    About the only bad thing I would say is that it did get a bit too easy towards the end.

    I always assumed it didn't do too well because people looked at it and thought, "What? I'm a photographer? and I take pictures of things? F%$& that." without bothering to try it out.
    • I dont know why I didn't play it, (I seem to remember reading a review and being put off, perhaps 'bugs', perhaps other games drawing my focus).
      But I may well get it now, it should be in a bargain bin somewhere.
      I remember not getting XIII after playing the demo, it didn't work that well.
  • Anthro oddities. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The game was, dispite its generic plot, not bad. But those animals seemed odd.

    At first, I was rather excited to see them. I happen to rather like anthromorphics - cute things, sometimes. Seeing them in a game had to be good. But... it was ignored. Completly. They had the appearance of anthros, but that is all. They were treated perfectly human, they acted perfectly human, noone even raised an eyebrow at it. Even the voices. It was as though someone, at the last minute of development, had thought "Ohh, lets
  • by JFMulder (59706) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:28AM (#15838670)
    Wow. I mean. Wow. This has to be one of the best games last generation offered me with Halo, Burnout 3, Soul Caliber 2 and Knights of the Old Republic 1. I only had an Xbox, so I can't say about GC and PS2.

    This might be the first game I played that actually FELT cinematic. The camera angles and the way everything was "filmed" during cut-scene was done extremely well. This was also one of the most beautful game I played on the Xbox. It wasn't shader or texture heavy, but the whole world was colorful and the design of the enemies and environments always felt like a cohesive whole. That's the game that made me realize who Michel Ancel was and why he was highly regarded. I was a bit distracted by the fact that my sidekick was a pig at first, but hey, it's a fantasy game. Even the Final Fantasy games have moogles, talking cats with a cybernetic suit or furry creatures as one of the main caracters (Umaro!!! :)), so who cares?

    I liked the stealth aspect which was a lot more forgiving than Splinter Cell's. There were some really cool scenes to play like the one near the end of the game where you are running away from a mob on the roofs of the city and the perspective is made so that the camera is in front of you so that you can see your character running in front and the bad guys running at the back and you twist and turn your way to safety and you have to sometimes jump from one rooftop across the street to another and the game just switches view and gives you a slow-motion version of your jump and then picks up gameplay right afterwards. I didn't overwrite the save game just after this so I go play over it and over and over gain. The combat was simply, I mean you only had to push A to attack ennemies, but the heroine was very fluid in it's movement and you could turn around mid combo and attack another ennemy. I was really impressed at the maneuverability of the main character. She felt actually even more nimble than Ryu in Ninja Gaiden (another last-gen masterpiece).

    All in all, one of the best game I ever played. It's a shame I sold my original Xbox and that the game is not backward compatible with the 360 yet.
  • I thought it was a great game, dragged down by a very awkward title. And yeah, it did get buried by other titles at release, but that might not have made a difference. Look at Psychonauts, another fantastically good game (better than BG&E in my mind), which got the full marketing treatment and didn't release into such a crowded marketplace but completely died at retail. It may just be that most people really don't care about this kind of thing, and that the gameplay geeks are a far smaller minority t
    • I liked BG&E, but Psychonauts... wow! Now that's a GREAT game. I've tried to make my friends play it, but only two of them actually did and they also loved it. But the rest of them just started playing it and said like "So... you are a kid? Worst. Game. Ever.".
  • BG&E (Score:4, Informative)

    by FlynnMP3 (33498) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:33AM (#15838695)
    The game starts with a cinematic sequence. It is pretty engaging. Then all of a sudden, you are thrown into battle with the Doms. These are the ultimate enemy of the planet Hillus and the galaxy. As you play the game, you find out why you are here what you are doing. You are a reporter tasked to expose the real thruth and inform the people. Along the way you actively see that teamwork and caring are rewarded. The cities change based on your progress. There are a very sad moments as well as a quite a few feel good moments. It is easy to identify with the main character.

    The ending of the game throws everybody for a loop. It is a cliffhanger of galactic magnitude. On the support forum you'll find an online petition to continue the story in a sequel. http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/908103432 /m/907107432/p/1 [ubi.com] It is filled with personal stories of how the game affected them and how much they want the story to continue.

    It really is a heartwarming game and once you play it, you realize how much it stands out against your collection of games. If you enjoy adventure cinematic epic stories at all and can put up with somewhat limiting character control, the game is really worth your time. About 10 hours worth of your time.
    • heartwarming. almost 10 full hours of gameplay. teamwork. limiting character control. sequel expected anxiously by fanbois.
      Yup! That's what I wanna see in a single-player game. Treehugging fluff for content, dumb "click faster" control model, dumb scripted NPC sidekicks, short game time, linear storyline, zero replay value. I wonder how I managed to abstain from buying this gem.
    • The game starts with a cinematic sequence. It is pretty engaging.
      You've neglected to mention its a sequence involving the main character holding conversations with animal orphans. For the orphanage she runs. For talking animals. With storyline supposedly called "Zelda for adults" there's little in the way of adult subjects. It's really not as engaging as people keep suggesting. Yes, it's better than the other Zelda knockoff, Star Fox Adventures. But that says as much as saying "it's plotline is better than
      • You obviously didn't like it or don't think you would like it based on descriptions from others. No harm in that. But for people that can suspend disbelief (like most movies requires) it *IS* pretty engaging.

        So my gaming tastes aren't the same as yours. Fine. BG&E has been relegated to word of mouth advertising anyway. So what does it matter? There will be a few that will like it and a few more jaded players that don't.

        I dare say this is the way the world works.
  • by mikeisme77 (938209) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:34AM (#15838702) Homepage Journal
    I have moderator points and I was going to use them for comments in this story... But this game is in my top five games of the current (or last) gen (depending upon how you look at it). It is the only game besides the original Metal Gear Solid and Eternal Darkness that I thought was awesome (and short) enough that I took the time to play through it more than once. The game can easily be beaten the first time in 10-12 hours (similar to Metal Gear Solid), but the storyline is great (very 1984ish). The gameplay is a mix of Zelda and (as strange as this may be) that Pokemon Snap game (where you took pictures of the Pokemon). The puzzles weren't as challenging as maybe they could have been, but they were pretty solid. The battles were more difficult, and I think more action packed than either Ocarina of Time or Wind Waker. This really was an incredible game and anybody who hasn't played it should really at LEAST borrow it from a friend or rent it--you won't regret it.
    • I forgot to note that there's also a nice splattering of Metal Gear type stealth in this game. So basically you get a Zelda-Metal Gear hybrid game with a pretty strong 1984-ish storyline (and a little bit of Pokemon Snap thrown in for flavor). This combination may not have worked in a longer game, but for this 5-12 hour game (5 hours if you've played it before and know what you're doing--I think records even show that some people have even beaten it in 3 hours or less.
    • I disagree about Beyond Good & Evil being more action packed than Wind Waker or Ocarina of Time. In Beyond Good & Evil, you're mostly sneaking around or driving around in the boat while in Wind Waker, you fight enemies nearly all the time.
      • But I consider the sneaking around to be action... Metal Gear Solid is mostly sneaking around as well... I actually prefer a good balance of sneaking around + fighting to balance the gameplay as it's often harder to sneak than to just fight your way through. Although my second playthrough of BG&E I fought my way through because I was seeing how quickly I could beat it--there are times when you HAVE to sneak though--just like in Zelda: Four Swords (GameCube) there are times when you HAVE to sneak.
  • by edremy (36408) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:45AM (#15838759) Journal
    I decided to try the game out on a PC since it seemed to be different from the piles of me-too FPSes and RTSes.

    First, there was no option to invert the yaxis on the mouse, an utter killer for people used to it. Come on guys, nothing screams "bad console port" (I'm looking at you, Silent Hill) like missing this simple option.

    The camera had a tendency to swing wildly at bad times, obscuring the action

    Finally, the game simply didn't run. I got to a place where I had to go to the next stage. Crash. Hmm, reload. Crash. Try changing graphics/sound options. Crash.

    I returned it and bought something that actually *worked*

  • I have seen a lot of comments on /. and other forums about the lack of original gameplay concepts, and lack of storytelling in games these days, and after RTFA, I think we know why this has happened. BG&E was a game that had nothing going for it (average graphics, gameplay, etc) except the above mentioned originality and an absolutly increadable story that pulled me in and kept me playing until the very end. I was amazed at how they handled the character development, and advanced the story by slowly r
  • It didn't break new ground really in any way I can think of. However, that's not a prerequisite for a good game. The problem we have with games that don't innovate isn't the lack of new mechanics/technology, but that they're relying on old mechanics/technology to carry the game on its own, when it has already lost its glitz.

    THIS game however, was very well done, the mechanics/tech were not front-line features. It took a backseat to the game's atmosphere and storytelling ability. Even plot outlines don't nee
  • Good, not Great (Score:2, Interesting)

    I like underdogs, I like obscure cult classics, and I love innovation. When I finally got word that BG&E was a great game, I bought it and tried it. It was a good game, but unfortunately it completely failed to hold my interest.

    Now, the graphics and the gameplay seemed pretty solid, as did the story. However, at the same time these things all worked together to kill my interest. It was weird, because I wanted the game to succeed. I liked the idea of a game without blood, sex, and overdone violence. Unfo
  • by spyrochaete (707033) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @09:21AM (#15838989) Homepage Journal
    Yade! Yade? Great job Yade!
  • The main characters 'assets' were not big enough to interest the male game player. The female game player market is not big enough to drive game sales enough to proclaim the game 'successful'.
  • by analog_line (465182) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @09:43AM (#15839130)
    Or to put it another way (too long for the slashdot subject header) each individual part of the game was great on its own, but when added together somehow came up with something less than the sum of it's parts.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I certainly think it's a great game, and I'm glad I played it, and I would certainly recommend it on story, dialogue, voice work, and cinematic craft alone. It's polished well beyond most games, and while I've heard of bugs on the GameCube version, I didn't experience any going through it myself. However, all that polish couldn't hide the gaping holes that were found, mostly in the "free roaming world" portion. While it seems big enough when you're only using the little hovercraft to shuttle around in, once you upgrade to the flying machine, the limitations become very obvious. It only took some 20 seconds to fly across the entire available "massive world". There was only a single area that was unreachable without the flying machine, and 99% of the locations you could get to were pointless to explore, because they looked crappy to fly near and were ridiculously out of scale. I realize there are limitations on space in the console universe, but when everything is was obviously slashed to fit, it just felt like I was let down. If they had created a bigger Hillys than the one we're given to tool around in, with more extra stuff to do, then I think it would really have lived up to it's potential, but sadly it's just not the case.
  • I, personally, have never played this game but I have played a few fantastic games that didn't do well as far as sales are concerned. Mainly, POP: The Sands of Time and the first 3 Ratchet and Clank games. I think some people(myself included), when planning to buy a game, first try the game and base their decision on their initial impression as well as reviews from magazines and websites etc. I think if everyone did this, more people would be exposed to what games really are good and bad, and games like B
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @09:52AM (#15839200) Homepage Journal
    And if anything I found the world to be a little too small for my liking. The planet's rendering was very pretty and I wanted to go explore wide areas of it and I hit up against the boundries pretty quickly when I tried to. Reversing the controls in the battle with the final boss was downright obnoxious, though. Ubisoft seems to have a talent for obnoxious though -- play the last 2 or 3 levels of Blazing Angels and you'll see what I mean.

    Apparently Ubisoft released the soundtrack for download, so if you want the racing mini game song for your drive to work you can find it easily enough :-)

  • Outlook (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by arose (644256)
    It didn't have new and exiting features, like a port of Microsoft Outlook.
  • I know 'Jade' is what is most commonly identified with the game now. But is that a good thing?

    When I think of BG&E, I always wonder how that game would have done, if the main protagonist had been male, instead of female. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think many casual gamers thought the game would be too "cutesy", if they had to play a RPG with a female lead, for hours on end. She didn't look like Laura Croft, she looked like one of those Girly TV cartoon characters you see on some Saturday morning shows.

    The g
  • 1) Huge save games
    2) Not much replay value
    3) Relatively short compared to other games
    4) Somewhat disappointing ending
    5) Not really a "mature" game as much as a "family-friendly" game.

    It got buried because while good, it wasn't better than the competition.
    • I'm amazed that:

      1) The file size of the save games is an issue whatsoever in your game review. (God forbid you play Morrowind or Oblivion!)

      2) Based on your tanking, the size of the save game is *more important* than replay value.
  • Maybe because the Marketing Unit had no idea of what they were going to sell?

    BG&E was a game directed to "casual gamers", or at least to people that don't care about the latest shader effect or technology improvment...

    And Ubisoft had no idea how to show it to the public.The closest thing the have ever produced is Rayman, and it was presented the same way : Like a childish Platform Game.

    PR:"what? No Uber shader Effects? No 14.540 different weapons? NO EXTREME VIOLENCE? How we should sell this stuff???

  • I think that we're overlooking something...

    The game can be EASILY found for less than $10 now (and yes, finding it new at that price is still possible).

    The game had its faults (what doesn't?) and was on the shorter side, but for the $7 it cost me to get the PS2 version from Toys R Us? It was worth every penny, without a doubt.

    I'd be willing to bet that the majority of people here who have played it didn't spend $40-$50 to do so. I'd have felt let down if I had, yes, but it dropped in price so quickly afte
  • ...philosopher than game designer?

    Of course, his version of 'Beyond Good and Evail' tanked too. He had to self publish, be ignored and live in squalor for years after writing it (not that many philosophers have every lived like rockstars, or game deveopers in in the past). Funny though, I have a copy sitting right beside me, but I'm sure he see's no royalties from it.

    Something new, intersting and unique always has first sell problems. If it really was as amazing as what they say, it will be found in the
  • I'd just like to add that the text input used in the console version of BG&E with the analog controler was brilliant! I wish the console makers would pick it up as a default entry method. Much much better than poking around an on-screen keyboard.
  • OK I'm biased, I played Legend of Zelda PERIOD. The original. That's one of my favorite games, obviously. I played Link to the Past and that is my favorite Console game. (Only game ahead of that is System Shock.) So yeah I know Zelda.

    Beyond good and evil was crap compared to Zelda. It did have charm and interesting skills, it starts off with a story that sounded very cliche, but it was stuck in a position where it was too uninteresting for hard core games, too hard for simple gamers, and being made by Ub
  • I loved the game, for me it was right up there with Ico in terms of enjoyment (though Ico was still a lot better, don't get me wrong).

    I think a big part of why I enjoyed it so much though was the use of a camera in the game. In real life I enjoy photography and to me the ability to take pictures in a virtual world was great - sure you could just take quick snapshots of things and meet the games goals, but you could also spend time framing and making some really nice shots. I always thought it was a shame
  • by fahrvergnugen (228539) <fahrv@hotmail . c om> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @01:37PM (#15841061) Homepage
    The game died on the vine because of packaging. Nobody in gaming gets the reference in the title, and it's too reminiscent of Black & White, which was a major disappointment. If they'd called it Jade after the main character, it could have done much better.

    Next, the box. The cover art features Jade armed with a - camera? She doesn't look sexy, or fierce, or engaging - just a chick wearing green lipstick with a camera over some generic apocalyptic background. None of the interesting aspects of the gameplay or the storyline are conveyed in the cover art, and it emphasizes the parts of the story (the camera!?) that aren't as fun.

    The tagline on the back, "Expose the CONSPIRACY. Capture the TRUTH," is way too generic. The blurb is short, and makes the game sound generic and uninteresting:
    "A government conspiracy wreaks havoc upon the planet Hillys. As the rebellious action-reporter Jade, you must penetrate your leaders' web of lies and expose their horrific secrets. In a world of deception, believe in nothing... except yourself."

    Okay, first - it's pretty much clear from the get-go that the government is full of bad guys. Next, there's almost no conspiracy theory aspect to the gameplay, it's a straightforward Zelda for Grownups quest. And last, that blurb sounds BORING. The back of the packaging is just as uninspired. It's just a bunch of fairly unimpressive screenshots, done over to look like they're on strip 35mm film.

    BG&E sold for crap because on the shelf, it looks like crap. It failed to distinguish itself from the hundreds of other generic games with generic titles released that year.

    Fortunately, Ubi seems to have learned the packaging lesson, by and large. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was a better game than Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, but it sold for crap because the cover art is arguably as bad as BG&E's. Warrior Within, though, sold much better. The cover art for that one? Stark white background, pissed off guy, two giant curved swords dripping with blood. Straight, to the point, interesting enough to make me check out the back of the box.

    Marketing counts for more than you'd think.
    • Okay, first - it's pretty much clear from the get-go that the government is full of bad guys. Next, there's almost no conspiracy theory aspect to the gameplay

      This is the absolute balls-honest truth about BG&E, and I want to make sure everybody who thinks this game has an excellent surprise-filled deep dramatic plot makes a note of it.

      Largely fun gameplay, predictable story, too-small world. This game was over-hyped to appeal to "thinking gamers" who wanted something intense and cinematic... well, we

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