Monday, September 05, 2005

From the deepest pits of hell...

...I emerge, blinded by the fires, flesh seared from my bones, and-

-Okay, okay, I just got buried by life for awhile.

See, this is why I try not to make promises like "I'll update once a week with -something-". Because I have the willpower of a tumbleweed, and once the habit breaks, PABAM! IT'S GONERS!

But this is a blog, not a repository for personal drama(HA-HA!), so I'll digress from flogging myself and talk about something interesting.

I was recently admitted to the City of Villains beta, and it's [NDA][NDA]

Pretty cool, huh?

In news I can actually talk about, school's started up again for me, and in addition to working part-time, I haven't had a lot of time to work on various things. To boot, I am...less then satisfied with my current level of coloring work, which has lead me to put off some projects rather longer then I should have. Visiting Fred Perry's websites does little more then fill me with dread and inadequacy in this regard, but I do it anyway, because part of me enjoys pain.

I've also recently become aware of the greatest game ever made.

Which is a perfect segue into an UNDERRATED GAME REVIEW!

Typically, when I talk about a game I think is underrated, there's some aspect of the game that hindered it's success in some understandable and unfortunate way. Advent Rising's frame issues early on, or the microscopic length of Way of the Samurai, or the tragic flubbing of the last fifth of KOTOR II.

However, in BG&E's case, there's really nothing wrong with this game. There's absolutely NOTHING that should have kept this from being game of the year on at least -some- list -somewhere, as well as selling a million copies at launch.

Nothing, except brand recognition.

BG&E had the misfortune to come out against Prince of Persia, a couple LOTR games, Deus Ex 2, And numerous iterations of Batman, Harry Potter, Max Payne, Resident Evil, as well as others. And with a hasty urge to compete, Ubisoft dropped the game to a budget price to make their little product look more appealing.

Which just goes to show that a big price tag says "Quality!" to the majority of the human race.

But I digress from the review! Let me count the ways! Beyond Good and Evil is a game directed by Michael Ancel and published by Ubisoft. Astute gamers might recognize Ancel's name from other things.

Starting with a fantastic blend of music and visuals to create a very poignant mood, the game begins with Jade, a tomboyish young woman who predictably is very fond of green, having to fight monsters to save the lives of the orphans she and her adoptive uncle Pey'j have taken into shelter from the interstellar war their planet is caught up in.

Right from the beginning, this is a game that sells itself on heart. Jade's relationships with Pey'j and the (impressively likeable) cast of BG&E are what make the magic that underlies through this whole game.

The basic gameplay is simple, but fluid, with a lot of fundamental similarities to the 3D Legend of Zelda titles. At it's core, it's an action/adventure game with a focus on fighting, but there's also a very well implemented stealth component to the game, which is implemented very well. All in all, it's a balanced, fun experience, and the cinematic style and the execution of it's heartfelt story makes the whole thing glow with goodliness.

You should go buy it. Now. It's cheap. (No excuses! Go!)

If I had any complaint, it's at the somewhat short length, and the fact that the story isn't finished. Initially, this was a source of solid woe, but recent word from the creator indicates that, despite the fact that the game didn't launch as well as it should have, they -are- planning to make more.

My heart rejoices!

But regardless, it's getting late, and I have other things to do before I abed for the night, so to the two or three people that are actually going to read this, I'll see you on IM. ;p