MediEvil: Resurrection Review
MediEvil: Resurrection is a "by the numbers" action game. The gameplay is nothing special. Most of the time, you're wandering levels in search of key runes and new weapons, while chopping away at one undead soldier after another. Throughout the game's 22 levels, you'll also run into a few basic puzzles and a few not-so-basic bosses. That's all there is to it, really.
Yes, there are dozens of different weapons to find. That's a good thing if you're the sort of person that is curious as to how a war hammer works on a rotting zombie, as opposed to a flaming club or short sword. Hint: goopy mess.
You can even occupy yourself with a side quest that involves finding chalice items and redeeming them for rare weapons, or hook up with a friend that also owns the game so that you can take part in various MediEvil-themed mini-games.
What makes this otherwise formulaic game palatable is its presentation. In particular, the cinematic scenes that are shown between each level could give some of the cartoons on Cartoon Network a run for their money. Game engine graphics and spoken word dialogue are used to convey a story that is absolutely hilarious. In a nutshell, Sir Daniel Fortesque has been resurrected after 100 years to oppose an evil sorcerer named Zarok. It seems Sir Dan was a sniveling coward back when they originally met, to the point that he was the very first soldier slain on the battlefield. Right quickly, we learn that Sir Dan was actually killed by a countryman's arrow (oops) and that history remembers him as a hero thanks to one heck of a successful public relations campaign. Oh, and a goofy genie has been living inside his eye socket for the last century. Each voice actor does a superb job of bringing his or her character to life. There's a lot of chit-chat, but it's all extremely funny and well-acted. While playing the game, the dialogue from a previous scene would inspire me to keep going, as would the realization that I'd get to learn more of Sir Dan's story if I made it to the end of a level.
The actual in-game graphics and audio are fairly decent too. You're probably aware that this game is a remake of a PSOne game that came out in 1997. You sure wouldn't know it from the graphics and audio. All of the environments and characters have been redone (more polygons, better textures, etc) and new effects, such as misty rivers and hazy skies, have been added to the scenery to provide a bit more pop. Some levels are a bit too empty of decoration for my taste, but at least the textures aren't blocky and butt ugly. Character animations, for movements and attacks, are fluid... and there are loads of them. The camera suffers from the same epileptic jitters that also plagued the camera in Death Jr., but it's not such a big problem here since platforming jumping is kept to a minimum. On the audio tip, I totally love the rich classical soundtrack and all of the goofy character voices.
There's little else that bears saying. If you loved MediEvil on the PSOne, you're going to go nutso for MediEvil: Resurrection. And if you don't have any previous knowledge of the property, all you need to know is that it's a solid, albeit formulaic action game that you should take or leave depending on how important things like story and humor are to you. Love to laugh? Get this game. Just want to play a great action game? Rent, or perhaps look for something else.