MediEvil Resurrection Review

MediEvil was originally a PlayStation game and so the subtitle “Resurrection” is après pro now that is now making its comeback via the PSP. It’s a new system, with new graphics and some new gameplay, but it suffers from some very old problems, notably the camera control. This is a shame because the game has its own quirky sense of humor and some great visuals and should really be a better game overall.

Before I get into the particulars, let me start by giving you a little bit of background information. MediEvil stars Sir Daniel Fortesque, an accidental hero so to speak. When the kingdom of Gallowmere came under the attack of a necromancer named Zarok, Daniel reluctantly heeded the call of a battle, only to die by taking an arrow in the eye during the opening of the battle. Well it’s not good for public relations to lose your most famous knight in the opening salvo, so PR being what it is the king spun the events to make it seem that Daniel saved the day. He was then laid to rest with all of the ceremony befitting a hero. Now it’s 100 years later and Zarok has returned, again with designs on the kingdom but this time with a spell that raises the dead to populate his army. Daniel is pulled into this “uprising” but instead of joining Zarok he decides to put things right and actually earn his reputation as a hero. So with the help of an advice-dispensing genie who lives in his skull (let’s just leave that one alone) he sets off to defeat Zarok again for the first time…

Here comes Dan, sword in hand.

The game is divided into several levels with suitable settings such as a cemetery and mausoleum. These levels are crawling with kooky monsters of the night and undead and you’ve got to hack your way through them to make them un-undead again. To do so you’ve got two attacks to work with, weak and strong, that vary depending on the weapon that you’re wielding. Some are ranged such as a crossbow and others require the up close and personal touch such as a sword or hammer. As you progress through the game you’ll have access to more and more weapons, but there’s not much need to switch between them. First of all changing weapons is a bit cumbersome and requires way too many button presses, but mainly it comes down to the fact that it doesn’t matter that much which weapon you’re holding when all you’re doing is constantly smashing the attack button. The game does have a combo system, but you won’t bother with that either since the game pretty much boils down to running in circles and hacking away.

The challenge in this comes not as the result of clever enemies. Aside from the bosses they pretty much lope around at random or converge directly on you. The real trick is in managing to keep track of them in spite of the game’s camera’s best efforts to prevent you from seeing what you need to. Making matters worse, the collision detection is consistently inconsistent so there’s no guarantee that you’ll even cause any damage when it looks like you’ve connected the business end of your weapon to the enemy. Ranged weapons are rendered nearly useless since the game’s target lock can’t seem to lock to a target and more often than not you’ll be sticking your bolts into the walls. You’ll begin to find yourself trying to avoid fighting anything as you try to make your way to the next puzzle or boss battle. This is not a good thing in an action game.