Back from the dead:
Ghosts, Ghouls, and Cowardly Knights. This is just a few of the things that make Medievil more than just a cute Tim Burton-like game. Medievil is a 1:1 remake of the 1998 Playstation exclusive platformer from Sony Computer Entertainment Cambridge. Medievil was followed by Medievil II in 2000 and surprisingly this title isn’t included in the remake. Maybe they decided to wait for reception on this remake before they start on Medievil II or maybe it’s just lost in time. This is the second remake of Medievil; in 2005 Medievil was remade for the PSP as Medievil Resurrected. This Remake comes courtesy of Other Oceans Interactive, developers of Rick and Morty Virtual Rickality and Minecraft 3DS edition. Now, onto the review.
In Medievil you play as Sir Daniel Fortesque, a medieval knight who a hundred years or so ago was charged with leading an army against an evil sorcerer named Zarok. Unfortunately for Sir Dan, he died in the first charge by taking an arrow to the eye. Luckily Zarok was defeated so the people of Gallowmere championed him as their hero. Newly resurrected, your first order of business is to vanquish your foe once and for all. You traverse across the Kingdom of gallowmere through 20 levels hack and slashing your way to the finish line. Every foe you vanquish gives you a percentage that slowly fills up a chalice that once collected lets you go to the Hall of Heroes. At the hall, the heroes chastise Dan for his previous life’s cowardice and offer him weapons to defeat Zarok once and for all. This isnt a long game by any stretch the game can be beaten in about 6 to 8 hours depending on your abilities.
Controls & Display:
Other Oceans did a fantastic job on recreating the look and feel of the original Medievil. Everything looks like a more upscaled version of the original. I played on a base PS4 and everything performed beautifully. I barely noticed any hiccups or frame drops. For the most part it even sounds like they used the original voice actors. Having just played the original for comparison only made me appreciate the small touches so much more. The controls still feel like a dated platformer from the 90’s you have a basic attack and a secondary attack that needs to be charged in most cases. One thing that might turn off unfamiliar players away is the dated checkpoint system. If you die during a level you have to start the entire level over from the beginning. Most levels are about 15 minutes long so it isn’t too bad at first but towards the end when you’ve spent 40 minutes navigating one level and have to restart it it can get annoying. The run and block button are both mapped to the same button and that led to a couple troubles during some of the trickier parts. Once I decided to ignore both options I didn’t have too much trouble getting through most levels. There is only one difficulty in Medievil and it fluctuates. A month or so ago there was a timed demo titled the short lived demo and if you were curious and played it you should have collected Dan’s helmet which was only available in the japanese version of the PS1 game. This will actually make the enemies stronger but if you didn’t play the demo when it was available this option won’t be available to you.
Like I said a little earlier, this remake only includes the first game so don’t expect a teaser for the sequel or to unlock it. You can however unlock the original PS1 game after finding all the lost souls and completing their quests in Gallowmere. The game comes in the standard/Physical edition with just the game, and a digital deluxe edition that comes with the newly rerecorded orchestral soundtrack, a comic book that serves as a sequel to Medievil II*, an artbook and a dynamic theme for the ps4. These options retail at $29.99 for the standard and $39.99 for the Deluxe and neither is a bad price for what your getting.
Medievil is a 6 to 8 hour game depending on your skill and add another 2 hours on if you decide to do the lost souls portion. I absolutely recommend it to any one who is looking for a nostalgia trip or for people looking to try Sir Dan’s hero journey out for the first time. The game looks and sounds great if spooky atmospheres similar to 90’s Burton projects are your thing this might be worth picking up. For $29.99 I feel this is a great value purchase even if I wish they also had bothered to include the sequel. 4.5/5
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* Medievil: Fates Arrow the comic book included in the deluxe edition is also getting a physical edition available on December 3rd. The Prequel/Sequel comic is written by the original Medievil co-creators Jay Gunn and Chris Sorrell.