|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
|Developer:||Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE)||OPTIONS:||
No.1 No.2 No.3
|Distributor:||Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA)||1 Player|
|Game Type:||3rd Person Action||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||November 1998||Dual Shock Compatible|
Setting the Scene
Welcome weary travelers, come along and join Sir Daniel Fortesque - an undead skeletal hero - in his quest to defeat the evil sorcerer Zarok and his army of the undead. From the Kingdom of Gallowmere, the history books tell of how Sir Dan fought gallantly to save the villagers of Zaroks evil minions and although mortally wounded, ultimately defeated the sorcerer. Truth be told, Sir Dan actually caught a stray arrow in the eye quite early in battle and was killed. Good thing the kingdom army wasn't aware of this at the time... Now 100 years after the epic battle, after a time of peace and solitude, Zarok has returned! He has cast a spell that has turned the townsfolk into living zombies and the undead into walking monsters of destruction. Unknown to Zarok at the time though was that his spell also revived Sir Dan from the dead. Now with a chance to set things right and truly live up to the title of hero that was falsely imposed on him, Dan shakes off his cobwebs, rattles his bones and gets set to engage Zarok one final time! Released around Halloween, MediEvil is out to prove that having a spooky time can indeed be a lot of fun!
MediEvil is a 3rd person action oriented "hack 'n slash" title that puts you in the shoes...errr, bones of Sir Daniel Fortesque...would be hero and all around dead guy.
Get ready to experience some awesome graphical effects in MediEvil. I was delighted with the attention to detail the developers of this title delivered. The horrific story line is complimented perfectly with the special effects dished out in this game. Beginning with the light-trails that ensue from Sir Dan's weaponry to the little puffs of smoke that billow from his feet when he skids to a stop, everything is expertly presented here in a dizzying array of colors and lighting effects. The light-sourcing is totally killer with fire casting eerie shadows off the walls and reflecting real time lighting as Dan or other characters move between the light and darkness. There are also nice particle effects for explosions as well as for something simple like embers jumping off a fire. The game also features a damn good software routine that brings some of the best anti-aliased environments to the Playstation that I have ever seen. The graphics in the game are absolutely killer and must be seen to be believed. The color palette that is used is extraordinary...expertly blending muted earth tones with rich vibrant hues that seem to jump off the screen at you. Among some of the graphical highlights that you will witness in this game are fantastic particle effects, real time light sourching, specular lighting and a damn good software routine that brings some of the best anti-aliased environments to the Playstation that I have ever seen. The opening CG FMV and cut scenes throughout the game are spectacular and worth a first time viewing to be sure. If you have ever seen the Tim Burton flick "A Nightmare Before Christmas", you can start to get a good idea of what this game resembles.
Sounds and Effects
The music is perfectly suited for this style of adventure with creepy gothic melodies that build up and swarm around you, setting the scene just right. In fact one of the earlier levels features a synthesized score that could be taken right out of a Phantom of the Opera movie! Overall the music will indeed stir your imagination and place you firmly into the meat of the game. The sound effects are plentiful and imaginative. All of the proper spooky sounds are present like squeaky doors, rattling chains and the customary screams now and then. The noises are alive and once again, plan a very active role in getting you absorbed into the game.
MediEvil is a 3rd person 3D romp through a fantasy style environment. It seems that as the Playstation has matured, these types of games are beginning to pop up more and more frequently. The good news is that it seems that each time a game like this appears it is looking and playing a whole hell of a lot better. The good stuff started to appear with games like Croc and Gex and have now culminated to great games like Spyro and MediEvil. The biggest thing to always get concerned with in these kinds of games is the camera angles. There always seems to be a tendency for the camera to creep around to the wrong vantage points at just the worst times like during a fighting or jumping sequence. Sorry to say but MediEvil is not the exception. The camera tends to be a little sloppy at certain times in the game causing you to have to re-adjust at various intervals. Luckily its as easy as tapping the shoulder buttons to straighten things out, but in some areas the camera control is disabled and what you see is what you get. This is truly a minor annoyance though as for the most part the camera is where it should be...I have just been spoiled with Spyro's near flawless camera tracking. The title opens up with a nicely produced story and drops you into Dan's crypt where you get the opportunity to test out the controls and pick up a few goodies including your initial weapon, the small sword. There are no enemies here, so take a bit of time to familiarize yourself with some of Dan's abilities. Once ready its time to travel to the old Graveyard level. As you traverse the spooky terrain, coffins will begin popping up from the ground all around. Once above ground the lids crack open and out pops scores of dim-witted zombies that stumble around until they pick up your scent and then charge at you...a few flicks of you rather "large" small sword and its zombie stew. As you kill stuff, there is a small golden chalice icon at the top of the screen that has a percentage amount beneath it. Once it reaches 100% you are able to gather the Chalice of Souls. This chalice is on each level, often well hidden or guarded by evil demons and monsters. Once you obtain the chalice you will be able to enter the Hall of Heroes at the end of that level. At the Hall of Heroes you can speak to statues of Dan's past friends (one friend per visit) and usually obtain special items from them. As you reenter the hall, you can speak with more dead buddies and continue to collect additional valuable items. While movement of Dan can be a bit touchy at times all the rest of the controls respond with pinpoint speed and accuracy. It's a good thing too, because you are often attacked by multiple creatures at once, or tasked with getting through tricky traps by timing your moves. As the levels progress so does the difficulty in both the puzzles and in fighting the creatures. The first few levels get you up to speed with the various nuances of the game, in addition to picking up a new special move as well. You will also encounter a few end bosses just for chuckles. The boss characters are great, providing the gamer with a nice challenge in which you need to select your most effective weapon and also learn the monsters movements and weaknesses to be truly victorious. The puzzles are generally intelligently thought out as well, providing you with a nice challenge but not to the point of becoming overly frustrating. The overall balance is a good one and provides players with the proper sense of accomplishment and enjoyment. I found the theme of each level and its associated creatures to be extremely refreshing and well presented. You are really given the feeling of traveling through a fantasy world filled with all sorts of spooky sights and sounds. Just wait until you see the ant caves or travel around the ghost ship...the atmosphere is downright eerie! Last Halloween brought us Nightmare Creatures and now this year we get MediEvil. Its little wonder Halloween is one of my most favorite times of the year...
Value for Money
There is a lot to do and discover in MediEvil as well as 21 levels in which to do it all in. The game features lots of hidden areas that will only be discovered by scouring every square inch of every single level so you are insured of a nice long game if you intend to find everything!
is a truly awesome game. I loved the premise, enjoyed the graphics,
jammed on the sound effects & musical score and became absorbed with
It's truly rare that a game with a spooky theme such as this one actually turns out gobs of hilarious results. I mean you have this goofy looking skeletal hero, all kinds of wonderfully animated creatures like pumpkins and scarecrows...the game just oozes character.
If you have ever seen the Tim Burton flick "A Nightmare Before Christmas", you can start to get a good idea of what this game resembles...and if you liked the movie your gonna love this game!