The Definitive 50 GameCube Games: #22 Beyond Good & Evil

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

In an industry overwhelmed by cookie-cutter sequels to established franchises starring muscle-bound men on quests for blood, Beyond Good & Evil stands as a shockingly smart and unique title that elevates the entire video game medium.

Beyond Good & Evil follows the story of Jade, a journalist taking care of children orphaned by an alien invading force known as the DomZ. When her orphanage comes under attack, Jade is forced to begin taking jobs to support her work that slowly introduce her to the complex political situation of her home planet, Hillys.

It seems that Alpha Sections, the military dictatorship that’s responsible for protecting Hillys is conveniently poor at fighting the DomZ. Jade soon finds herself working for the underground movement, IRIS Network, which sends her battling through caves and other facilities, solving puzzles, and teaming up with amusing sidekicks in a quest for the truth.

Additionally, Jade is tasked with providing photographic documentation of the wildlife which inhabit Hillys. As the player, you’ll be doing more than the standard third person action-adventure thing, you’ll also be whipping out your camera to take shots of Hilly’s animals.

More than being a care taker, hero, photographer, reporter, martial artist, and resistance fighter, Jade is also one of the single strongest, and frankly best female video game characters to date. Put simply, Jade speaks, acts, and dresses like a real human being. Her characterization and the fine voice acting behind it are unbeatably likable.

Of course, Beyond Good & Evil 2 has been long teased, but I don’t know how excited I should be. On the one hand, its predecessor is refreshingly unique, and I’d be happy for it to stay that way. Still, I’m desperate to go back to the world of Hillys.