For everyone who grew up with the PS One as their dominant console chances are Medievil will hold a special place in their heart. Originally released in Europe & North America in 1998, it was a gloriously gothic action-adventure/hack & slash game starring the undead knight, Sir Daniel Fortesque.
Heavily influenced by The Nightmare Before Christmas the Kingdom of Gallowmere is being invaded by the evil Zarok. Sir Dan is brought back from the dead accidentally by Zarok’s magic & given the chance to redeem his name & save the Kingdom once & for all.
The Tim Burton-esqe visuals, tongue in cheek humour & smart level design made it a hugely popular game & one that many gamers look back fondly on. We do & you can read our review of it here.
Medievil Resurrection is a re-imagining of the original Medievil game. It was released on the PSP (PlayStation Portable) in 2005 & on the PlayStation Network in 2008.
The plot remains the same as does most of the gameplay elements. Sir Daniel Fortesque is resurrected by Zarok’s magic accidentally. So he sets about saving the Kingdom of Gallowmere while also attempting to regain his honour.
Players control Dan from the third-person perspective as he traverses the imaginative & wacky land of Gallowmere. Dan is able to wield a large number of weapons that include swords, hammers, crossbows & even his own arm! Each level has a variety of enemies that Sir Dan will have to face off against. Including a number of interesting but often far too easy boss battles.
Resurrection takes most of the original levels & changes them up in visual style. As well as changes to layouts. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. Some levels have been completely removed but it does include a few new additions. New levels that, truth be told, don’t really stack up against the original. The Chalice of Souls also makes a return but is far easier to collect. Each level, defeating enemies fills the Chalice. Once it reaches 100% & Sir Dan leaves the level he will be transported to the Hall of Heroes.
There he can converse with legendary heroes who will gift him with weapons & other items. Collecting every Chalice in the original would see the best ending earned in the game but here it doesn’t matter if you get them all or not. Unlike the original though, the Chalice can be picked up before it’s filled. This makes it far easier to collect them all especially as most are far from hidden.
There are a few other changes such as the inclusion of a the ‘Anubis Stones’, actual voice acted cut-scenes & a heavier emphasis on comedy.
Medievil Resurrection seemed like the kind of remake/re-imagining that really couldn’t have failed. Unfortunately, it’s far from perfect, there are some seriously fundamental flaws within the game. A lot of which can be attributed to the lack of development time given (just a year).
The camera is a serious point of frustration. Hard to control & extremely messy during combat. Throw in that the hit detection is somehow worse than the original & combat is one of the least fun things about the game.
The re-working of original levels is extremely hit & miss. Some, such as The Pools of the Ancient Dead, Hilltop Mausoleum & the Ghost Ship are vastly improved. However, others like the Enchanted Forest, Haunted Ruins & the Sleeping Village have lost all life. Resulting in boring treks through basic level designs. The new ones are also far from perfect. Scurvy Docks isn’t as imaginative as it could be & Dragon Island is a boring & easy boss battle. While Gallowmere Plains is nothing but a level filled with mini-games. This is where you can earn tokens to get a powerful weapon but they are so repetitive that it’s just not worth it.
These mini-games can also be played via multi-player online. However, you’ll struggle to connect to any other players at this stage in the game’s life!
Perhaps the worst change of all though is the Hall of Heroes. Taking on a more ‘heaven in the clouds’ look, the Valhalla style of the original was far better. This one just looks far too clean.
The thing is though, Medievil Resurrection still has so much charm about it. Visually it is a vast improvement & the voice cast/music is excellent. The sound design is great, mixing original music but with a more theatrical flourish to them alongside newer but fitting music.
Fans of the original game will get a serious kick of Medievil Resurrection. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to not notice the many flaws.