Holy crap Veej! What're you doing? You just put a post up! Yeah well, this is substantially different, and just so cool that is warrants another post.

One thing that comes out of having Zach here as a roommate is that the intense videogame conversations are rampant around here. The industry is evolving and changing so much, it's always interesting to riff interesting ideas off of one another. After seeing Zach go through the entire Jak and Daxter series and chipping in my input when I could (such a great bunch of games!)

We got to chatting about how spectacular some of the voice acting and cinematography was in those games, and soon god on the topic of other games that acheived the same. Another example that came to mind (primarily because we were looking for a PSP copy of it) was Valkyrie Profile, which told a huge array of compelling stories in a sprite format - excellent RPG.

And of course, one of my personal favorites was Shadow of the Colossus, which is easily one of the most gorgeous pieces of art I've ever seen. Just talking about it has made me want to play it again. Right now.

But the really compelling one was a little game well known as one of "The best games noone played", Beyond Good and Evil, an absolutely astonishing game that really is different than a lot of the other games out there (especially for its time period, given that it was released in 2003). Not only does it have a compelling storyline unique from many of the trivial game plots out there, it's a game where you can genuinely care about your characters and motivations. Jade is a powerful female protagonist (whose breasts aren't the sizes of watermelons! *gasp*!) that is a joy to play. It really is the closest thing I've seen to a movie, game, and art piece combined. I sit here, watching Zach play it again (for the 3rd time, I believe), imploring and begging you to go to your closest game store and buy a copy for the 10 bucks they're selling it for, since not enough people buy it (and trust me, it's there - we stumbled across about 20 copies while looking for Valkyrie Profile). It's a game that at least starts to prove where video games have been trying to head for a long time.

In fact, the reason I started typing this whole thing up was because of this really interesting article about why Beyond Good and Evil didn't succeed that I highly recommend reading.

It really is games like these last two that are really what excites me about being in the industry and where we're going. I hope that one day, before I leave the industry (in one way or another), that I can say I've created a piece of art that is as compelling and unique as one of those games. I know there are some people that want to work on similar things, and I hope I get the oppurtunity, because it seems like too many people don't realize what games could and have become. I wish that more people could appreciate games like Shadow of the Colossus and Beyond Good and Evil than the small groups of people that have played them.

"Let them know the truth about gaming: innovation hasn’t died; it just doesn’t always share the same amount of shelf space as mediocrity."

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