So I bought Beyond Two Souls as the video game for my two week vacation. I was really tempted to buy the PS3 FFX remaster with trophies. I totally could see myself playing that game for 100+ hours and stat maxing all my guys in order to face the new uber boss that was introduced in the international version. I still remember the balloon racing for Tidus' ultimate weapon... that was throwing controller level of frustration as I once got .001s (you needed a sub 0 time to get the item iirc).

The thing is - I know what FFX is. It'll be amazing fun but there's only a limited amount of time for me to do things. The catalog of good games that I want / could be playing is growing much faster than the time I have to play it. I remember growing up as a kid - I had so much time that I would be able to replay all my games. I used to beat Sephiroth in KH2 every lunch break. I would go home for lunch, eat, then body Sephiroth for fun. It got to the point where I could flawless victory him if I wanted to. I would use reflect to time his attacks and even do damage to him. Good times.

Heavy Rain was one of my favorite games of all time on the PS3. Beyond Two Souls was a game that I was looking forward to playing because of how great Heavy Rain was. When the game first began there was an opportunity to select the game difficulty level. It was I'm a really casual gamer or I actually play games. Nowadays, I play games so little I was tempted to select the casual gamer but then I did some research. The casual gamer makes the game way too easy in a sense that you don't even get to explore. You move to pre-programmed locations which I feel takes away the fun of it. I played the normal version of the game - and I never gamed over even once. So the game is easy I would say.

The game does the story telling narrative of showing the present - and then going back in time. And then there is a bunch of time skips which is really confusing. In the opening scene you're introduced to the main character Jodie who is played by Ellen Page. Basically she has a psychic ghost that can do crazy kinetic things for her like make a shield that makes her immune to bullets and crazy shit.

You go backwards in time from the introduction present scene. But the game timeline isn't linear. It jumps all over the place. It's almost as if there's something wrong with doing things in chronological order such that it always tries to mess you up. You get to play as Jodie in various phases of her life. It's pretty interesting because certain things affect the future. One thing that I didn't enjoy as much was how disjoint the story was. There are a couple of phases in Jodie's life but in general they don't really relate each other and it's basically independent of each other - so sometimes it feels like there isn't an overarching theme... which doesn't work for most of the game I feel.

My favorite scene was when you were at a birthday party as Jodie. And everything is fine and shit when you have control. You talk to everyone and they like you - and then the cut scene happens and then they start abusing the shit out of you. It didn't really feel realistic to me - but I guess now I'm old and maybe teenagers change from like to hate in 10 minutes. /shrug. Anyways, after they abuse the shit out of you and put you in a locker you get out really easy with your ghost powers. Aiden the ghost gets you out and you're given the option of revenge or the higher road. I think I'm still a kid... I know that in real life I should take the higher road but I guess in real life I'd still go for revenge at shit. So the revenge path lets you go crazy all over the party people and freak them the shit out - and inflict some injuries. I gotta say, revenge was pretty satisfying for me. /shrug

Most of the game is story scenes with puzzles where you need to use Aiden to help you do things. Like break into places or break out of places of protect you from the swat team. There's quite a bit of supernatural stuff so it's a sci-fi game that isn't exactly realistic. What I liked about the game was the beautiful graphics - and towards the end of the game shit started making sense. I feel like there was quite a bit of unnecessary fluff, but that's just me. Sometimes I wish that games like these had an autoplay feature so I could just sit back and relax.

The things that I didn't like about this game was how hard it was to find interact-able shit. For example, when I was breaking into a supermarket. I opened the door, and then I used the ghost to search the place for the security system. I searched for 10 minutes and couldn't find anything that let me disable the security. Then as soon as I walk in - the security goes off. WTF. I even know that there would be a security system - I just couldn't find it. The same thing happened when this guy was dying... I didn't know that I could heal him so I just let him die. Sadness. The other thing is you can only interact with shit in specific ways. Which... makes no sense. You ghost can suffocate enemies, but only *specific* enemies. Your ghost can possess enemies, but only *specific* enemies. OMG. Why is the ghost behavior so stupid. That was the other frustrating aspect of the game.

Overall - I did really enjoy the game. I loved the Heavy Rain game play and story line. Beyond Two Souls is the spiritual sequel and the storytelling is very similar. The acting is really good - even though the story wasn't nearly as good or exciting. Positives are story + graphics + Ellen page. Negatives are stupid interactive gameplay + hard to individual replay stories to alter the outcome. You have to backtrack to a specific mission and play the entire thing from that point in time.

Story: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Music: 7/10
Gameplay: 6/10
Overall: 7/10

Going back in time - I'd still tell myself to play it. It was an enjoyable experience. Play it if you enjoyed Heavy Rain.