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Beyond the Beyond (PlayStation) artwork

Beyond the Beyond (PlayStation) review


"The characters have no personality to them, and the game seems to just always be going SO slow. From the storyline, to the graphics, it all just seems slow and boring. Dungeons are pretty much long and tedious, with tons of random battles."



Introduction:

Being my first playstation title ever, I expected fair deal from Beyond the Beyond. It was my absolute first impression of the console, and was my introduction to everything playstation could do at the time (or at least that's how I saw it). Beyond the Beyond wasn't a bad RPG to start out, but perhaps that was just because I was in-denial, and maybe a bit naive. I could tell right off that the graphics, sound, and overall presentation of the game were little above that of SNES. I soon went on to find that the gameplay was also bland, as was the storyline, and the challenge was too great, considering the meager rewards. All in all, I found this game to be one of the LEAST impressive titles I have ever played for any system.

Gameplay:

Beyond the Beyond plays like the average old-school RPG, but without the classic touches which make those old games so worthwhile. You control one of those non-personal characters who doesn't ever speak, and has no personality whatsoever. This isn't actually that bad, and can be overlooked in games like Breath of Fire and Chrono Trigger, but that's because they have gameplay to balance it out. Beyond the Beyond has nothing to balance this fault out, or any of it's other issues, for that matter. Take that boring character, have him meet some other boring characters, go on one boring quest through dull environments, all the while trying to stay awake for the uninspired plot, and you have Beyond the Beyond in a nutshell. I felt that the whole game was just filled with problems, and I can't think of a single redeeming quality it has to weigh out the multitude of flaws.

Graphics:

2D, 2D, 2D. Hey, there's nothing wrong with it, but when the environments are un-imaginative and lack style, the animations are 16-bit-quality, and the characters look like some of the ugliest people you've ever seen in your life, 2D just isn't good. Beyond the Beyond looks like a late SNES title in almost every way perceivable. Aside from some slightly advanced battle effects, there isn't a doubt in my mind that the rest of this game could have been done on a Genesis or Super Nintendo. There was really no reason to do it on Playstation, because they obviously didn't put any effort into maximizing the hardware capabilities. Even for an early title, the graphics could have been nearly doubled at least in style, if not quality. If you are looking for one of those ''beautiful'' 2D games with wonderful character design, hand-drawn backgrounds, and smooth animations, grab something like Saga Frontier 2 or Legend of Mana; just whatever you do, don't reach for Beyond the Beyond.

Story:

Ah, where to begin? Oh, I know, how about with the fact that the plot in this pathetic excuse for a game is one of the most un-involved and un-inspired I have ever come across. From the characters, to the setting, everything feels incredibly dull and at times just pointless. You'll come across characters that don't really seem to have any major role in the storyline; like they're just there to fill up game space and time. The game is like a long series of errands from town to town to dungeon to dungeon, fetching items, killing monsters, for no real purpose. You'll come across some challenging but tedious puzzles which are ultimately so boring they'll test your ability to stay focused. The game crawls at such an alarmingly slow rate, it would put even a snail to shame. The characters have no personality to them, the plot is dull (to say the least), and the game just feels pointless.

Sound:

Can you say ''MIDI''? Ok, so maybe the sound isn't that bad, but it really isn't much ahead of midi in terms of quality and composition. I honestly can say that I have never played an RPG and felt so disconnected with the music and sound effects at all times. It sounds like something I could have made on my computer 10 years ago... From the battle ''music'' to the town ''music'' to the overworld ''music'', none of the ''music'' even sounds like real music! At least, not in the sense that it's enjoyable and even noticeable! As for the sound effects, they're generic at best. Thunk, bump, psht said the poorly made sound effects as they try to help you enjoy the random battles. Just believe me when I say that it's bad.

Replay:

There is very little in the way of extras. Play through the terrible game once, and do it again just to see how much worse it is the second time through! It'll take a while to beat, but after that, there's nothing. Why would anyone want to even finish this game, let alone play it again?

Conclusion:

Sucky, stinky, terrible, bad, digusting, repulsive, pathetic, unimagineably poor, incredibly stupid, morally wrong. All words which come to mind when struggling to describe the quality of this sad, sad game. The characters have no personality to them, the storyline is as flat as a board, the graphics are uninspired pixels, the game design is poor, the random battles are frequenty, the sound is sleep-inducing and the game is overwhelmingly challenging. What other reasons could you want for not buying this game?

Breakdown:

Graphics: 4/10
Sound: 2/10
Gameplay: 3/10
Story: 1/10
Replay: 4/10

Rating: 3.0/10

ender's avatar
Staff review by James Gordon (Date unavailable)

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