MediEvil: Resurrection ReviewCain Dornan
Simple hack-and-slash games were quite popular back in the day. If you included a solid storyline a bunch of interesting characters, you were bound to garner the attention of gamers. While this train of thought was certainly practical back in 1998, in the year 2005 the industry has changed considerably. No longer are we looking for bland button-mashing affairs, rather, we desire unique, solid and enjoyable games that offer depth in almost every aspect.
In an attempt to revive an age-old franchise that first made an appearance back on the original Playstation, Sony has brought the MediEvil series onto their newest, shiniest sleek system. Essentially a remake of the original MediEvil, the PSP outing follows the happenings of famous cowardly knight Sir Daniel Fortesque. Killed via an arrow through the eye whilst running from a battle against an evil necromancer, the King of Gallowmere for whatever reason chose to idolize the weakling knight after the necromancer, Zarok, mysteriously disappears, claiming that Fortesque had rid the world of the evil menace. Fast-forward 100 years and Zarok has returned, casting a spell that re-awakens the dead to disrupt peace and cause havok amongst humanity. In the process, however, Sir Fortesque has been revitalized, and is persuaded to live up to his false reputation by a small green genie that now lives in Fortesques empty eye socket. While the opening cinematic that explains the storyline to us is thoroughly interesting and amusing, the moment you are thrown into the game is when it becomes immediately evident that the game will be far from enjoyable.
Throughout the course of the game, you will encounter a large number of creative and amusing characters that help to drive the somewhat interesting storyline. The humorous genie that is confined to Fortesques empty eye socket, for example, can often be heard as you battle hordes of the undead, commenting on your progress and warning you if your health if low in an amusing manner. The genies fantastic voice-over work aids in presenting his unique character, who remains to be one of the interesting aspects of the game throughout the experience. Youll also encounter other amusing characters on your quest, such as famed heroes who now stand proudly within the Hall of Heroes. Whenever you manage to locate a special Chalice, you will be able to talk to these skilled warriors, who will provide you with a new weapon and a good laugh. The weapons awarded range from a long bow through to a large hammer, all of which can be accessed through a menu that is accessed by hitting the Select button, allowing you to whip-out whichever weapon is appropriate for the situation.
The key problems with MediEvil: Resurrection are the frustrating controls, awkward camera work and the bland, repetitive battle system. Controlling Sir Fortesque can be done by using either the directional pad or the thumbstick, with the melee attacks being performed with the X button and the more forceful attacks with the Square button. The somewhat useless battle charge is assigned to the triangle button, while tapping the Circle button can perform jumping. The problem that lies within the controls is that the game is extremely awkward to control, even after spending countless hours with it. The clumsy controls can often result in unintended damage and inaccurate guidance of the skeleton knight, which certainly does not aid the poor battle system. Virtually all encounters involve simply tapping the Square or X buttons repeatedly, in a hope to inflict damage on the attacking creature. The awkward controls often make this task quite challenging, as the controls will often cause inaccurate swings that ultimately result in you taking damage. Finally, the clumsy camera often prevents a solid view of the action, with the tapping of the right trigger to swing the camera behind you becoming useless with the swinging camera angles that prefer to show you the scenery, rather than the attacking foes.
Potentially the only enjoyable experience found throughout the entire game is the interesting mini games that can be unlocked after visiting a specific area in the game. These mini games range from classic target practice with a bow and arrow through to mouse hunting, or to be more specific, mouse squashing, with an oversized hammer. While the control issues continue to be evident during these mini events, the presentation and overall enjoyment of the mini games offer a refreshing experience after battling the frustrating controls.
Visually, MediEvil: Resurrection is quite pleasing. Cinematic cutscenes are presented in a detailed, well-constructed manner that successfully immerses the viewer into the world of Gallowmere. In-game visuals are also solid, providing a moody world that varies slightly with each level, although the overall darkish theme of the game makes an appropriate influence in each area.
While this review does contain many negative comments on the game, upon looking at the sound aspects is when the positive comments begin to flow. As previously briefly mentioned, MediEvil: Resurrection offers a fantastic collection of voice over work that perfectly suits the character and situation in which it is used. The fantastic voice over work is complemented with a solid lineup of music that varies according to each level.
While the game did start off with good intents of providing an interesting, enjoyable and somewhat unique experience, it unfortunately fails in almost every aspect. The gameplay in its entirety is appalling, with the voice over work and solid storyline being of the only notable sections of the game. With the Playstation Portables library of games expanding quite rapidly, your money is better spent on some other worthy titles.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.