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November 14, 2005
MediEvil Resurrection - Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
1/10/2005SonySonySCE Studio Cambridge
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating
128KBEasy1-2G

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Look folks, Dan's back!
Sir Daniel Fortesque is a name which will probably sound familiar to many of you, yet you mightnít be able to put your finger on where from. The fact this is a review of Medievil: Resurrection should give you some hint. He is of course, the lead hero from the original Medievil on the PSOne many years ago, and heís back again for another bout of undead action on the Sony PSP. Rather than making Medievil: Resurrection a sequel to the original Medievil, SCE Studios Cambridge have chosen to make a port of the Playstation title, tweak it a little and add in some extra features. While this may work for popular and original or addictive titles, this approach unfortunately seems to have fallen short of the mark here.

Your introduction to Sir Daniel begins as a soldier fighting in the Battle of Gallowmere against the evil sorcerer Zarok. Being more of a coward than a hero, he was killed during the first archer attack, and was laid to rest in a slightly more fitting tomb than he deserved. 100 years later, after peace had returned to Gallowmere, the evil Zarok is back again and has managed to raise the dead; leaving demons, zombies and mummies roaming the land of Gallowmere. Fortunately for Sir Daniel, he is also revived, and now has a second chance at proving his worth as a soldier and redeeming his honor.

Medievil: Resurrection plays out as a 3rd-person action hack-n-slash adventure. Beginning in Sir Danielís crypt with little more than his detachable left arm as a club, you progress in a linear fashion through various enemies and platform puzzles in your quest to bring a stop to Zarokís reign. The typical weapon upgrades are present throughout, with swords, shields and daggers, ranging through to melee weapons with Ďhealthí that will only last a set number of blows.

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The level selection screen.
On the PSOne, the dual shock lends itself perfectly to games such as Medievil with the dual analog sticks to control movement as well as the camera. In the transition to the PSP, the lack of analogue sticks and buttons means that camera control is limited, and is quite detrimental to the game; especially with the cameraís tendency to like looking at walls and straying away from the action. It hurts the game, and makes much of the action frustrating trying to work with the single Ďcentre cameraí button.

My other concern with Medievil: Resurrection concerns the gameplay, or rather the lack-of gameplay. While the hack-and-slash style of Medievil worked well on the PSOne, this style of game has since evolved and left Medievil: Resurrection behind. Button-mashing is just as effective on the later enemies as it is the early ones, and is party encouraged due to a flakey collision-detection engine. As a result the weapon upgrades found throughout the game quite frankly arenít as appealing as they should be, and youíll more often than not find yourself reverting to the early weapons as they perform just as well.

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Nice sword Dan.
When you first power on the game, you are greeted by a familiar menu system which will bring a sense of deja-vu to those who have played the original. Involving quick flybys through a creepy cemetery, the graphics are reminiscent of a Tim Burton film, spooky and full of character, whilst simultaneously keeping up a slick frame rate. Unfortunately the moment you start playing the game while the graphics still keep their charm, the framerate takes a steep tumble. Donít get me wrong; the game is entirely playable, but it just comes as a shock given the initial smooth-as-silk frame rate. The models throughout are nicely detailed and textured on the small screen, and the variety between environments and enemies alike is very welcomed.

Now Iíll admit that typically at the mention of old sci-fi series Iíll be the first to run screaming, however here Iíll make an exception. Tom Baker, of Doctor Who fame, is responsible for the narration in Medievil: Resurrection, and he does a phenomenal job. Not only does he merely tell the story as it progresses, he adds in the sense of humor which definitely has an English feel to it rather than the crude American humor style (hey, the lead character has only one eye, and can use his arm as a club!). The English accent tied in together with the eerie music meandering through the levels completes the earlier-mentioned Tim Burton-esqe atmosphere.

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Oh dear...
While Medievil was respectable adventure platformer all those years ago, it sadly is starting to show its age on the PSP in Medievil: Resurrection. While it looks and sounds great, the gameplay is lagging somewhere behind, and the automatic camera positioning has fallen asleep in the corner. It isnít hard to beat the game, though thereís little incentive to replay it more than once; while there are a bunch of unlockable mini-games, they are again let down by the somewhat klunky engine and camera. For a fun trip down memory lane or to fulfill your undead adventure needs, Medievil: Resurrection should fulfill your needs, but donít go expecting a several-times-replayable adventure game here.

Review By: Chris Gobbett

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GRAPHICSTim Burton eat your heart outÖ a spooky humorous style.
87%
SOUNDBrilliantly done, with voiceovers throughout.
91%
GAMEPLAYAaarghÖ camera bugs + iffy combat = bad times.
65%
VALUEThe minigames help the longevity to a certain extent.
70%
OVERALLSir Daniel is looking a little worse for wear after all this time, but thatís not to say all hope is lost here. Medievil: Resurrection will appeal to itís fans, and is at least deserving of a brief trial by those who enjoyed it back on the PSOne.
69%

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