Beyond The Beyond
Let the deluge of PlayStation RPGs begin! Beyond the Beyond is a game more along the lines of a traditional RPG. The battle sequences don't require strategic placement of troops, placing an emphasis on story rather than war.
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Sony is finally releasing Beyond the Beyond, and thousands of PlayStation-owning RPG fans are shouting, "It's about darn time!" This long-awaited title is the first true RPG to come out for the PlayStation (no, King's Field doesn't count), and its release brings relief to gamers who feared Sony wasn't too keen on games that lacked constant action.
Beyond the Beyond is about as traditional as console RPGs get (meaning it plays very much like a Final Fantasy title). The adventure takes place in an overhead perspective, with players guiding a party of tiny characters through towns, wilderness, the underworld and across the sea. The game's plot, which is as convoluted as anything from Square, opens in the tiny village of Isla. Here, the player's character is being trained by his father, Sir Kevins, to become protector of the kingdom of Marion. It seems that Marion has some nasty neighbors-namely, the war-mon-gering Bandore Empire-and skilled soldiers are in short supply.
Marion's situation goes from bad to worse early in the game. Bandore's soldiers attack and take over the kingdom, and Sir Kevins winds up missing. The hero's goal becomes pretty simple: He must find his father and help win Marion back from the Bandore Empire.
As the hero searches the land for help in defeating Bandore, he learns that there's more to the evil empire than meets the eye. It turns out that Bandore is receiving aid from the Underworld, a region populated with sinister wizards, that lies predictably enough, beneath Marion and the rest of the land. Now the hero has to deal with this more powerful menace, and his quest changes from saving Marion to saving the world.
Fortunately, players won't have to go about this monumental task alone.
The hero's party can contain as many as five people, and the land is full of folks who aren't too happy with the Bandore Empire. As players progress through the game, they'll run into healers, wizards, barbarians, love interests and all manner of people and beasts who wish to join the quest. Besides the five fellow adventurers, players are also helped by Steiner, a baby dragon that occasionally fights alongside the hero. (Take Steiner to a certain island in the game, and he will mature into a mammoth flying beast that will save your party from a lot of walking.]
Combat in Beyond the Beyond is pretty standard stuff. It's menu driven (no Zelda-style, real-time battles here) and usually occurs randomly, but the party will face the occasional Boss monster in the darkest recesses of a cave or castle. Players can choose to control the combat actions of every member of the party or set them to automatic.
The combat sequences are also some of the few features of Beyond the Beyond that take advantage of the PlayStation's abilities. Battles take place in a 3-D perspective, with each character's attack or spell played out in a brief animation, and the spells themselves are often spectacular. Besides these battle scenes, only the excellent soundtrack and extra colorful graphics clue gamers in that they're playing a next-gen RPG.
Beyond the Beyond may not bring anything new to the role-playing genre, and it's not an overly impressive debut RPG for the PlayStation, but it does have a solid plot that will keep players busy for up to 60 hours. For PlayStation gamers itching for adventure, that's more than enough.
When you're not talking to folks or wandering through villages in Beyond the Beyond, you're fighting, and this constant combat can get tiresome. Fortunately, you don't have to guide the actions of all your characters during battle; they fight automatically.
Yet that doesn't mean you have no say in the performance of your fighters. When your party's turn rolls around in battle, you can set up their overall battle plan by bringing up the Tactics Screen. From this screen, you can choose to have your party blaze away with its most powerful spells. Or, if you're running low on magic, you can forget spells and instead order your troops to get medieval on the bad guys' butts with weapons.
Of course, you can always go with the manual approach and control each fighter independently--the best option when facing Bosses.
Beyond the Beyond is a hot new RPG heading to the PlayStation in Japan. (It's not coming to the States yet...) Beyond the Beyond is your basic RPG with the world exploration set from a top-down view. What really shows off the PlayStation's capabilities are the battle sequences. The screen rotates around as monsters and party members switch off doing their damage. The character attacks and the pyrotechnic away.
The CD music of Beyond the Beyond is a fast-paced magic attacks will blow you symphony that creates the perfect fantasy mood.
With RPGs being held up by Sony, it seems unlikely that this one will come here.
Pick it up on import if you can.
Every role-playing gamer with a PlayStation has been waiting for a title to come along and lead the field in next-generation RPGs. The wait continues, as Sony releases Beyond the Beyond, a lame and predictable RPG.
Looking suspiciously similar to Shining Wisdom on the Saturn and the Shining Force series on the Genesis, Beyond the Beyond does nothing for those hungry for a meaty RPG. Lacking any 32-bit refinements, Beyond the Beyond seems like a waste of time.
In BTB, you play a young knight who must prove he is worthy of saving the kingdom. He also faces a bigger challenge-proving to his father that he's a man, not a boy.
Without venturing too far into the game, you pick up some needed allies like Annie (a healer), Samson (a strong man), and Edward (the young prince who is taken from his throne and nearly executed). You also get the standard array of weapons (Short Sword, Rods, and so on), armor, and magic spells--none of which has any of the impact or visual imagination of other popular RPGs like the Final Fantasy series. Super Mario RPG had better-looking spells than this, and that's a 16-bit game!
U R Not Satisfied
The graphics also have some glaring imperfections, like extremely pixelated fight scenes, simply illustrated and boring enemies, and dull backgrounds. Spend a minute in the Tree-house level and you'll know what I mean.
The sounds don't even take advantage of the CD technology. RPG-rock (a new type of music that sounds like it's from the Olympic ceremonies) dominates this game, but it's tepid and uninspiring.
The controls are even a problem. The main character doesn't always go where you're manuevering him, and the menus are thoughtless and cumbersome. Also, the turn-based combat system throws monsters at your every footstep.
Like most RPGs, even the bad ones get you hooked, and you may find yourself giving a hoot about the events in this game. With all the attendant hype surrounding this product, you'll wonder why Sony made gamers wait so long for such a mediocre title.
- Don't count on Samson saving your Beyond behind when he Joins your party later In the game. He's cursed, and may or may not fight.
- Beyond the treehouse, the Tumble Rabbits aren't as tame as before, and they Indict massive damage.
- After solving the first puzzle, a pastor will come out and congratulate you. Talk to him and save your game; otherwise, you'll have to solve It all over again If you die In battle.
- When you get to the cottage In the woods (the one with the well in front), walk east and you'll enter a giant treehouse.
- If you miss one of the puzzles In the treehouse, walk out of the room and then back in. The puzzle will reset.
- When you fight the soldiers to get the key to save Edward, don't use any magic spells: It's a given that Samson will wipe out the competition for you.
- The game doesn't start in the manual mode. During the tough battles (caves, dungeons, and so on), you should turn the battle menu to "Manual" so some allies will use magic while others use attacks.
PlayStation-owning RPG fans will finally see an end to their suffering with the release of Beyond the Beyond from Sony. It's not a very remarkable game, but seems like a gem, thanks to the drought of similar games.The graphics look pretty nice and screenshots really can't convey the zooming and movement in the game.The characters and enemies look a tad pixelly due to zooming, but it doesn't detract horribly.The story's nothing special, but the final U.S. version may be improved from the original, so you never know....
This is the second RPG being prepared for the PlayStation, following the hit Arc the Lad (made by G-Craft, the developers of Square's Front Mission for the Super Famicom). BTB is under development by Camelot, a new company formed by key members of Sonic, who produced the Shining Force series for Sega.
Unlike the Shining Force series, BTB is a more straightforward, turn-based RPG with a visually stunning battle system. In combat, the vantage point rotates 360 degrees to give the player striking displays of might and magic. Camelot claims that a unique combat system will be used instead of the usual hit-point systems of typical RPGs. Let's hope Sony translates this one for America!