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This Years Beyond Good & Evil


Pekoe
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Having not played a Castlevania game since the Snes outings, could you give me a rough idea of how it works in 3D. For some reason I assume it plays like DMC, I'm probably wrong though.

You could download a consolevania and get a video review.

Or you could just hear me say "get it, it's great."

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I played Beyond Good & Evil recently and found it very childish. It's fantastically put together though and I'd really recommend it to a 8-14 year old. I just don't understand how an intelligent person could enjoy spending time solving trivial puzzles and following such a Saturday-morning-cartoon style plot though.

But then, people in their 20s still tell me I should watch Neon Genesis Evangelion, Full Metal Alchemist, Chobits and Naruto so...

I thought it was rubbish, tbh.

Didn't understand what all the bleating about it was for when I returned to the forum after a spell away.

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Having not played a Castlevania game since the Snes outings, could you give me a rough idea of how it works in 3D. For some reason I assume it plays like DMC, I'm probably wrong though.

kind of, there certainly isn't anywhere near as much platforming as the snes games. it has a hub system from which you can choose which areas of the castle you want to explore. the reason this game is so good is the combat system, which has great depth and is superbly integrated. it laughs in the face of PoP and such titles.

it has great atmosphere, amazing graphics and is a sheer joy to play. i thoroughly recommend it without any hesitation.

it's the best Castlevania since Symphony Of The Night on PSone.

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I played Beyond Good & Evil recently and found it very childish. It's fantastically put together though and I'd really recommend it to a 8-14 year old. I just don't understand how an intelligent person could enjoy spending time solving trivial puzzles and following such a Saturday-morning-cartoon style plot though.

But then, people in their 20s still tell me I should watch Neon Genesis Evangelion, Full Metal Alchemist, Chobits and Naruto so...

Now, hold on a minute. I agree that BG&E is hardly a sophisticated plot, but people love it for its charm. The game loves the player and lets you do anything in this world. It feels totally free and the production values are stellar. Its plot is far from mature, but it is handled very well and the characters are memorable and full of personality.

Too many people dismiss cartoons or animation as something for kids. "Saturday morning cartoons"? I don't watch many of them. I fondly remember the ones I watched when I was young: GI Joe, TMNT, Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles. I recently purchased four DVDs of 1992's Batman: The Animated Series; you know, the cartoon that changed cartoons forever, the amazingly dark, noir, mini-movie, mature cartoon show that took Tim Burton's Batman and stylized him to make him the final form of the iconic figure, the form that we still love today?

Regarding Japanese animation, a lot is pretty silly. Many of the TV shows recycle the same cliches again and again, and they too often play to a particular... Japanese silliness. However, there are amazing things in that bunch. Ghost in the Shell and its new TV series explore the social and political implications of a full computerization of the person, including the brain, a piece of science fiction that we may well see come true within out lifetimes; it also uses this premise to explore what it means to be a human person. A well-loved children's animator named Miyazaki is often described as being very Disney, but he writes beautiful stories about the relationship between human civilizations (whose features are ussually fascinating) and nature. However appealing to children they are, there is much to be appreciated by adults, as well. And you dismissed Neon Genesis Evangelion! NGE is possibly my favorite created thing, my favorite piece of art, ever made. That is a hell of a statement, and I've made it before readily. It explores existential problems of self-other dualism through extraordinarily human characters and Kaballah mystic symbolism. The interplay of myth, science, and humanity is brilliant and allows for many viable and fascinating interpretations. The direction and music are absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend it to everyone I can. And please, in the original Japanese with subtitles, and watch the full TV show before the End of Evangelion film.

My point is that things don't have to be clothed in maturity to be sophisticated, and, even when they aren't sophisticated at all, they still can appeal to adults quite rightfully.

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Now, hold on a minute.  I agree that BG&E is hardly a sophisticated plot, but people love it for its charm.  The game loves the player and lets you do anything in this world.  It feels totally free and the production values are stellar.  Its plot is far from mature, but it is handled very well and the characters are memorable and full of personality.

Too many people dismiss cartoons or animation as something for kids.  "Saturday morning cartoons"?  I don't watch many of them.  I fondly remember the ones I watched when I was young: GI Joe, TMNT, Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles.  I recently purchased four DVDs of 1992's Batman: The Animated Series; you know, the cartoon that changed cartoons forever, the amazingly dark, noir, mini-movie, mature cartoon show that took Tim Burton's Batman and stylized him to make him the final form of the iconic figure, the form that we still love today?

Regarding Japanese animation, a lot is pretty silly.  Many of the TV shows recycle the same cliches again and again, and they too often play to a particular... Japanese silliness.  However, there are amazing things in that bunch.  Ghost in the Shell and its new TV series explore the social and political implications of a full computerization of the person, including the brain, a piece of science fiction that we may well see come true within out lifetimes; it also uses this premise to explore what it means to be a human person.  A well-loved children's animator named Miyazaki is often described as being very Disney, but he writes beautiful stories about the relationship between human civilizations (whose features are ussually fascinating) and nature.  However appealing to children they are, there is much to be appreciated by adults, as well.  And you dismissed Neon Genesis Evangelion!  NGE is possibly my favorite created thing, my favorite piece of art, ever made.  That is a hell of a statement, and I've made it before readily.  It explores existential problems of self-other dualism through extraordinarily human characters and Kaballah mystic symbolism.  The interplay of myth, science, and humanity is brilliant and allows for many viable and fascinating interpretations.  The direction and music are absolutely wonderful.  I highly recommend it to everyone I can.  And please, in the original Japanese with subtitles, and watch the full TV show before the End of Evangelion film.

My point is that things don't have to be clothed in maturity to be sophisticated, and, even when they aren't sophisticated at all, they still can appeal to adults quite rightfully.

Good points well made.

I was turned off Beyond Good & Evil by finding the gameplay unchallenging and the plot uninteresting. I'm sure the game was pitched at just the right difficulty for some people and many will find the plot interesting, but neither appealed to me. After deciding to stop playing I questioned whether Zelda games - which I am a big fan of - could be criticised on the same grounds. While I often feel unstimulated by Zelda games I think generally the puzzles are more elegant and the plots (particularly in Ocarina Of Time and Majora's Mask) are better, or at least more subtly presented.

I admit "Saturday-morning-cartoon style" wasn't the most accurate way to describe the plot and agree that there are many great cartoons, but the overwhelming majority don't have the substance to appeal to an intelligent adult. I was comparing BG&E's plot to such ones - it's an 'exciting' adventure romp and not much more.

I've watched a lot of anime and have been consistently disappointed by the pseudo-philosophical, political, psychological or sociological elements that get mixed into series and have fanboys believing they are watching something "intelligent". I keep being told by people who have never read a proper Philosophy book in their lives that series such as the ones I mentioned are "deep" and "thought provoking" only to find these elements are shallow and exploitative.

I have watched 13 videos-worth of Evangelion (26 episodes? Is that all the episodes before the films were made?) and admit that the series played with some mature themes but I personally found them very clumsily placed and muddled to the extent of looking like a fudging over. Now I may be very wrong, perhaps you saw NGE and then inspired, went and read up a lot of relevant Philosophy which made the series even more sublime. Or perhaps you didn't and are basing your view that it "explores existential problems of self-other dualism through extraordinarily human characters and Kaballah mystic symbolism" on other people's analyses. I've seen the same happen with The Matrix - people being struck by a misinformed but well written opinion about the deeper meaning then relaying it ad nauseam.

You're right that "things don't have to be clothed in maturity to be sophisticated, and, even when they aren't sophisticated at all, they still can appeal to adults quite rightfully." but in order to do this they need some element that an adult will enjoy. Whether this is humour, another theme working on a higher level or just puzzles the adult finds 'fun' (I am reminded emjay2kay said earlier he enjoyed the puzzles in BG&E) it doesn't matter, but it needs something. Beyond Good and Evil had nothing for me.

There didn't seem to be an appropriate place to fit this in so I'll put it at the end. I'm very familiar with Miyazaki and agree with everything you say about him. His work is fantastic. Also high five about Batman The Animated Series.

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Thanks for responding so much. I feel sometimes like I say a lot on forums and no one really cares. High fives indeed.

Since you've given Eva a chance, that's quite fair; it's fine if you don't like it. I think you should try seeing the film End of Evangelion that was to replace the last two episodes, though. For me, the series ended feeling unfinished, and End of Eva propelled the show far beyond what had been my expectations. Death & Rebirth is a well-done recap. to watch first.

But anyway, what you say is true for many anime series, and it is quite difficult to find the ones worth watching. I've wasted money on some things that reviews glowed about -- but I've also been surprised by the high quality of others, like a little show called Kino's Journey that I didn't even bother to watch for over a month after I got it in the post. It's very hard to find the good stuff, but generally I think some Japanese animators are using the unique capabilities of their medium to do things that could not be done elsewhere, just like the best game designers. That's what I look for in a game -- utilization of videogaming's interactivity. It's disappointing if a very moving RPG like FFVI could have just been done as an animated film. I think some animators are successful at some feeling of fluency in their medium, just as Half-Life 2's or Silent Hill 2's creators are fluent in the special features and abilities of games as a medium.

Batman was and is an amazing example of this. I get a real kick out of watching the small documentaries on the DVD discs where they talk about the Warner Bros. execs early on saying, "Are you sure this is right? It's so dark!" again and again and again. It was really something new and it's still unique and special. In fact, Batman's lessons still haven't been learned by many.

Actually, I'm graduating from university in a few months as a major in Philosophy with a minor in Religious Studies. My views on NGE are my own, although I did read one or two good interpretive articles online after watching it all. I use the term "existential" with care when I describe Eva.

But speaking of existentialism, philosophy's relationship with the mass public is interesting right now, since it's really lost the prestige it had a short century or two ago but lives on more than ever in their frustrated, modern, office-working hearts. Although it can irritate me to see lay philosophy books in barnes & nobles, I really liked the first Matrix movie. I thought it was excellent because the philosophical questions were implied, not explicit. So the rest of the trilogy was ruined for me when the Zion mayor or whomever and Neo had a midnight conversation about free will. I think someone even quoted Descartes. It was terrible.

It seems to me that Japanese animation has a similar place in Japanese culture. It toys rather without sophistication with philosophical ideas, and, since outside the Matrix films, there isn't much like that in regular serial format in America, a great number of lay young people are taken in by it. And I think that's okay. If they were really fascinated by some of the issues, they would probably do some investigating and find out that there is a whole bookshelf at the library for philosophy books. But you know what? They might find a book by Rudolf Carnap and be bored to tears. Anime, at least the better anime, brings this stuff to life in a way that the philosophers often fail to do. On the other hand, they might find Nietzsche's The Gay Science, or Sartre's Nausea, or Heidegger's Introduction to Metaphysics. I don't think the lack of sophistication in animation or the matrix or any of this other stuff prevents people from finding things that are really deep and terrific and fascinating. On the other hand, I don't know why so many young girls, my sister included, would rather watch TRL all day, every day, than to pick up a Roald Dahl book.

I probably just don't understand the real role of media in culture.

I will admit that Beyond Good & Evil didn't seem to me to live up to its hype (I mean the more private kind of hype, not the mass market stuff where it was a sleeper). I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it didn't move me like an FF (one of the better ones, anyway) or make me think like a Silent Hill. And you know what? Since then, I've played two Zelda games that have left me feeling entertained and little else. Zelda used to be magic, back when ALTTP was new. I remember the feeling of playing it. The Minish Cap and the Windwaker are very, very pretty, and the puzzles are more elegant than BG&E through the way items and their uses are introduced, but there's less a feeling of freedom and a changing world depending on me and influenced by me in Zelda and more in BG&E. Zelda has lost the feeling of epicness in the recent games -- the enemy in Minish Cap was laughable. BG&E at least got scope right. That felt good.

I bet you were also bothered by the fact that the game, despite its title, does NOT go.. beyond good and evil. I was, very much. It could have been more mature. I saw the simple side switch miles away. I'd say, as a game, BG&E is really great, but as a piece of literature, it falls a bit short. And that's what your complaint really is, isn't it, my friend?

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By the way, I was watching Adult Swim Saturday night (they play Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex) and caught an episode of Full Metal Alchemist. I too had heard of it. I found it not only disappointing but irritating. Although some ideas like alchemists being sponsored by the military and subject to review as well as the necessity for sacrifice in alchemy since a new substance must come from the transmutation of already existing ones, the first subject was hardly explored at all and isn't very original on its own (the same has been done with government-sponsored sorcery in the past as a take on real world science) and the second was just an excuse for the episode's plot, which was very typical.

I do find it interesting to see magics being almost scientized (like in FF6), but the show barely showed any hint of exploration there. You get glimpses of how the alchemy is done, the circle figures, etc., but only glimpses. There's not much of a society there.

The truth is, occult subjects like alchemy are often preyed upon by anime series as a gimmick. Many shows do this. RahXephon even used music; the giant robots were called "tuners" and had names like Falsetto. Now, Neon Genesis Evangelion did it with Christian imagery and Kabbalah mysticism, but it goes very far in intertwining it with the science (Absolute Terror Fields, for instance, which are the boundaries of the soul and the separation between beings) and with the human themes. The imagery is not just a gimmick and comes to a real end in the final movie, an end that really uses the imagery set to give the main character options that he couldn't have otherwise. It's needed to explore the human condition. You also get a clever interplay of psychological v. real world events that lead to, by the end, an ambiguity of things much like Silent Hill's. So it doesn't always have to be this way. It's not all shite.

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Excellent post(s). I agree with what you say, which makes it impossible to make a response to specific points other than "yes", "completely", "I know", "isn't it terrible!". What a cop out after several long posts in this topic for me now to do a short one.

Needless to say, I'll seek out Kino's Journey.

I'd say, as a game, BG&E is really great, but as a piece of literature, it falls a bit short. And that's what your complaint really is, isn't it, my friend?

I think that's exactly right. For me, a (for want of a better word) 'gamey' game is Ikaruga, a complex fighting game, Halo 2, Monkey Ball or other games which require very finely honed skills and which involve what might be called 'zone gaming'. Other games need to appeal to me artistically, or as you say "as a piece of literature" (clearly they're not literally pieces of literature, but it's pretty close to describing what we mean). I wanted to box BG&E into the second category and yes, it falls short.

They might find a book by Rudolf Carnap and be bored to tears.

Or worse, Hegel. There's a great quote from Mark Twain (I believe) about Hegel. A reporter had heard that Mark Twain had been reading Hagel's work (in the original) and asked him what he thought. Mark Twain responded:

"I don't know. I'm on book two but I still haven't got to the verb". :lol:

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BG+E gameplay-wise wasn't revolutionary of course, but it did have plenty of strenghts. The story was quite good in a Disney-esque way and it was packed with charm and personality. There were some genuinely funny and touching moments throughout - quite a rarity in games generally. It was a bit of fun rather than trying to attempt anything overly ambitious. Plus it was not supposed to be a hardcore challenge really, but something for everyone. It seemed much more linear and limited than Zelda, but for me the joy was exploring and just enjoying the world. I thought the artwork was beautiful.

It was a refreshing change to play a game that just made me smile without being too taxing. Playing through it was a bit like a holiday - a relaxing break from my other more hectic games. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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So - from a simple post which basically meant "Whats going to be a nice little game this year?" we've wandered into

Super IN MY OPINION mode Turbo!

Interesting :lol:

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While we're in such a mode, I'll take a moment to say that Flatout and Castlevania were both utter fucking shit.

Seriously, Biglime, what's to like about CV? It's just utter nonsense, with bad save points and rubbish combat.

Flatout just makes me yawn very loudly. Dullest game of the year.

Anyway, this year's BG+E would have to be... nothing.

In terms of PAL releases, I've played nothing with the same sort of "magic" as BG+E had. It was warm and fuzzy and you wanted to wrap it up in a blanket of love.

Plus, it actually felt finished, unlike just about everything this year.

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NGE is possibly my favorite created thing, my favorite piece of art, ever made. That is a hell of a statement, and I've made it before readily. It explores existential problems of self-other dualism through extraordinarily human characters and Kaballah mystic symbolism. The interplay of myth, science, and humanity is brilliant and allows for many viable and fascinating interpretations.

Or a series created to steal money from my wallet. Oh what's that, a Director's cut? Yeah, cheers.

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Or a series created to steal money from my wallet. Oh what's that, a Director's cut? Yeah, cheers.

Oh, please. Marketing and the work itself are two different things. Even though some will be tempted to buy both versions, I don't choose to hate Halo 2 because they released a separate limited edition that we all now know isn't limited at all.

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I've started to buy the new Platinum DVD releases of Evangelion to replace my old tapes. I'm not sure how it will stack up in my mind at the end, but I still think the show has a lot of interesting moments, on various levels, to attract many viewers. I don't ever try to get caught up in heavy debate - I just enjoy it on my own terms.

This years BG&E? - Seems like many suggest it isn't a classic worthy of discussion, so can there be a true case of such a game. I think Flatout is a great racing game and am pretty sure it won't sell a lot of copies, so does it qualify? How about Psi-Ops?

Basically, most good/great games on GameCube could be considered as underperformers at retail, due to the current console situation, but loved by many and critically favoured.

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Gah. I wish the forum would makes its mind up over Flatout. It seem pretty split over whether it's good or not, possibly 60/40 in favour of it being shite. Normally we all seem to declare a game as great, with maybe 7 people declaring it shit. I'll have to rent the bastard now.

:lol:

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Gah. I wish the forum would makes its mind up over Flatout. It seem pretty split over whether it's good or not, possibly 60/40 in favour of it being shite. Normally we all seem to declare a game as great, with maybe 7 people declaring it shit. I'll have to rent the bastard now.

:lol:

I thought it was shit, if that's any help.

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Okay, given the elitism that's cropping up in the other threads, which game will be the one this year that's ignored by everyone ( including teh h4rdcor3 ) to then be purchased by the chosen few for peanuts in the January sales and then proclaimed as a beacon of everything the mainstream should be ( even though no-one cared at first )

Current predictions are :

Flatout

:lol:

You must be joking?

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In terms of PAL releases, I've played nothing with the same sort of "magic" as BG+E had. It was warm and fuzzy and you wanted to wrap it up in a blanket of love.

Too right, I don't care if it was aimed at kids or no (although I feel like it wasn't aimed directly at them), I love BG+E. I mean hell, your sidekick is a farting pig, whats not to love about it? Damn, I just feel like playing it again now.

There won't be an unsung hero this year like it.

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Too right, I don't care if it was aimed at kids or no (although I feel like it wasn't aimed directly at them), I love BG+E. I mean hell, your sidekick is a farting pig, whats not to love about it? Damn, I just feel like playing it again now.

There won't be an unsung hero this year like it.

Your mum is a farting pig.

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Gah. I wish the forum would makes its mind up over Flatout. It seem pretty split over whether it's good or not, possibly 60/40 in favour of it being shite. Normally we all seem to declare a game as great, with maybe 7 people declaring it shit. I'll have to rent the bastard now.

:angry:

I'm another in the RUBBISH in single player but with very enjoyable multiplayer mini games.

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This year's Beyond Good & Evil? In terms of a magical little fantasy game, I would say Fable easily.

But if you mean a game that's insanely under-rated and not as popular as it deserves, I gotta say Jump to Lightspeed - the SWG Expansion. It's like a brand new X-Wing/TIE Fighter game, but massively multiplayer, and some of the best fun I've had all year. Amazingly good from a technical stand-point too (can walk around on your ships, etc) - yet no one's interested or playing it.

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This year's Beyond Good & Evil? In terms of a magical little fantasy game, I would say Fable easily.

But if you mean a game that's insanely under-rated and not as popular as it deserves, I gotta say Jump to Lightspeed - the SWG Expansion. It's like a brand new X-Wing/TIE Fighter game, but massively multiplayer, and some of the best fun I've had all year. Amazingly good from a technical stand-point too (can walk around on your ships, etc) - yet no one's interested or playing it.

Bleh, Fable's not all that. Not a bad game, but it has no sense of real adventure about it.

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Too right, I don't care if it was aimed at kids or no (although I feel like it wasn't aimed directly at them), I love BG+E. I mean hell, your sidekick is a farting pig, whats not to love about it? Damn, I just feel like playing it again now.

There won't be an unsung hero this year like it.

o/\o

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