allprox's MediEvil (PlayStation) review

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Meticulously... Mysteriousing... MediEvil or something.

Oh Medievil, how engaging you are, how unique you are, how brilliant you are and yet how frustratingly crappy you are. There is nothing more I would like to tell than that this game is amazing, and don’t get me wrong it is fantastic in the most literal sense, but there are things that prevent me from recommending this without hesitating.

You play as the resurrected one eyed skeleton Sir Daniel Fortesque, a wily swordsman who has returned to the land of the living after falling at the front lines (via an arrow to the left eye) in the battle against the evil sorcerer Zarok.  A lot of time has passed since the battle ended and the warriors who eventually defeated Zarok are all long since dead.  It seems though that Zarok still has a plan up his gigantic wizard sleeve and has cast a spell that has raised the dead to be recruited for his own personal army. Unknown to Z-face though, his spell has awoken his arch nemesis, Danny boy himself.

Gameplay consists of melee based combat with swords, hammers and your arm but there are ranged weapons as well such as throwing daggers, crossbows, long bows and of course throwing your arm. The combat in this game is quite satisfying considering how enemies kind of bounce around when you hit them, but there is nothing better than charging up your hammer attack and lettin’ ‘em ‘ave it. You’ll explore lots of varied environments on your way to hunt down Zarok including a notable trip to a flying ghost ship. There’s puzzle solving to be had as well which is best presented in a level where you must answer the riddles of Jack the Green to escape the dangers of the asylum’s maze.

Presentation is something that I feel this game excels at. The graphics hold up pretty well nowadays in the way that they don’t tear your eyes out by looking at them but the music is what really sets this game apart. When you’re greeted by the level select screen for the first time (and I guess, every time) the tone of the music makes you feel that Gallowmere (did I not mention what the place was called, no? Well now you know) is a mystical expanse of mysterious mysteries that are just waiting to be discovered by you. But at the same time it gives a sense of foreboding that tells you that there are even more mysterious mysteries of magical making that are yet morbidly unknown to you even with  that initial makeshift mindset of meticulously believing that the map only maybe made certain makeshift levels available m... mm... mM.. MEDIEVIL.

So, the premise is fairly solid, combat is satisfying and the tone that this supernatural setting and music  gives it is unseen in other games so what’s the problem? Well, to put it simply, the platforming is a bitch. Controlling the movement of Dan is endlessly frustrating and it wouldn’t be so much of a problem if they  didn’t have it as a central part of the gameplay. Too often are you asked to jump to ledges over bottomless pits or sludge filled vats only to fall and lose a life bottle. The health system operates in such a way that you become more afraid of holes in the ground than actual enemies. And really that’s the only flaw I have with it. I’m sure other people could pick out something they hated about the game but at that point it’s all purely subjective.

I bloody love this game and I think everyone should give it a shot even though the jumping can be a bitch. It’s on PSN for 5 bucks and really, for that price there’s no reason for you not to buy it.

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