I admit it. I've been a major slacker on both of our blogs over the last six months. My latest excuse has been video games. I received so many great video games over Christmas that I spend all of my free time in the basement playing. I finished up Beyond Good & Evil, which was a fantastic game. If you have never played it, it is definitely worth a try. The game bombed with the public, and many retailers were left with lots of copies on hand that they had trouble unloading. They got marked down to discount bin prices (I got mine for $10.50 at Fry's), and when the inventory was sold out, retailers didn't order any more. The game is available for Xbox, PS2, Gamecube, and PC, but you will be lucky to find a copy for any system anywhere. It's really a shame too, because it was a fun game. You play as Jade, caretaker of children who have been orphaned by the residents of planet Hillys' fight against an alien enemy known as the Domz. The Domz attack at regular intervals, and kidnap residents. A special forces unit known as the Alpha Sections has been sanctioned to take care of the threat, but they seem to be more of a media stunt than an effective defense. You quickly become involved with a subversive group known as the IRIS Network. The IRIS Network believes that the Alpha Sections are actually assisting the Domz, and charge you with finding evidence to support their claims.
Beyond Good & Evil plays like a modified Zelda type adventure. In addition to the features of any game in the Zelda series, you ake your living as a photographer in BG&E. You get paid for each photo of a different species of animal on the planet, and you can use these funds to purchase items throughout the game. Your quest requires you to get clandestine information from the enemy, and the only way to get it is through stealthy infiltration of the Alpha Sections headquarters. The stealth element of the game is extraordinarily well done. I found myself actually holding my breath as I waited for a guard to pass by my hiding spot. The game also sports some interesting battles that sometimes act more like puzzles than action sequences. The game is very accessible to those who aren't avid gamers, so you don't need to be a button mashing pro to pick this one up and enjoy it.
Beyond Good & Evil is a great game, and if you can find a copy, get it. It runs a little short (I completed the game with under 20 hours of play time), but the story, characters, and clever twists on the standard action / adventure genre are well worth it.