Remember when before Final Fantasy 7 came out, the graphics in Playstation role playing games weren’t that much different from 16-bit role playing games? Thankfully early Playstation RPGs, like their 16-bit ancestors, made up gameplay and storywise for what they were lacking in graphics, so you were still able to enjoy titles like Suikoden and Arc The Lad I and II. Sadly, this was not the case with Beyond the Beyond. This game had a boring storyline which did nothing to move the genre forward, and it didn’t exactly help matters that the game’s graphics resembled a 1993 SNES RPG. Actually, scratch that. In 1993, the SNES had games like Lufia and Secret of Mana that made this game’s graphics look like pong. Not that that was hard to do,

Beyond the Beyond wasn’t the first Playstation RPG, it was the first Playstation RPG to be released in North America. Think about that for a second. THIS was the first entry that American RPG fans got on their Playstation while we had to wait until 2002 to get the much more superior Arc The Lad. Nearly every little cliche of the Japanese RPG genre is in this game. You play as your typical nameless, voiceless hero who goes on a quest to meet people and kill bad guys. Beside the overworld graphics, the game takes very little advantage of the PS1’s hardware at all. The soundtrack is MIDI, as opposed to Red Book quality which was commonly used in RPGs at the time. If it wasn’t for the 3-D camera battle sequences, you’d still think you were playing a Sega Genesis game. At least Arc The Lad, Vandal Hearts, and Suikoden threw in orchestral soundtracks and computer animated sequences to at least try to utilize some of what the then-new technology had to offer. The battle system tries to do something different by rewarding you for timing your attacks right, but because the rest if the game is migraine inducing and random battles are so goddamn frequent, you’ll get tired of battling as well.

Now you noticed that I mentioned the Arc The Lad series a lot during this article. While this game, along with its wasn’t exactly a representative for the 32-bit generation of RPG’s, it, along with other early PS1 RPGs had a compelling plot and fun gameplay. Beyond the Beyond is a relic of the Sega Genesis era that frankly wouldn’t have been all that if it has been released back then. Being that it was released at the dawn of the Playstation era, it’s downright atrocious.