Sony had a host of amazing first party games on the original PlayStation and while the PlayStation 4 does have some heavy hitters, my best memories are with their original creations. One of their creations was a little title called MediEvil which was released in October of 1998 and garnered a few sequels. One of the sequels aptly named MediEvil II was released on the original PlayStation as a follow up, then in 2005 the last MediEvil game was released for the PSP, MediEvil: Resurrection. This PSP exclusive is a remake of the original title, which was a great idea; MediEvil on the PlayStation is a ridiculously difficult game. Dark Souls difficult for me, especially since I’ve been babied by newer titles. Had games kept up with the same difficulty I’m sure I would have been able to breeze through it, however my time with the original was filled with rage and sadness. So props to Sony for letting me play an updated version that is a bit easier all around, both in visuals and controls.
The story is a more fleshed out (pun intended) version of the PlayStation version. Gallowmere is the land that you must save as a resurrected Sir Daniel Fortesque, a cowardly knight who has been turned into a hero over time. King Peregrine had a sorcerer in his court named Zarok, who was found conducting experiments on the bodies of the dead. When the King discovers this his banishes him from Gallowmere. Time passes and Gallowmere experiences a time of peace until Zarok returns with an army of demons. Luckily Sir Daniel kills Zarok before ultimately succumbing to his wounds. One hundred of years of peace envelops the land, and then Zarok returns with hordes of the undead he has raised. Oddly enough Zarok accidentally raises Sir Daniel and gives him a little gift of a genie in his head. A genies named Al-Zalam that also seeks vengeance against Zarok. Your quest is to kill Zarok again–or die again trying.
The controls are about one-thousand times better than the PlayStation version. On the PSP they placed movement onto the D-pad and the small thumb-stick, using the thumb-stick makes the game so much less difficult. On the original all I had was a D-pad and you just get murdered if your enemy is at a 45 degree angle to you. In the new one I can slaughter everyone and barely take any damage. Circle allows you to jump whenever you need to hop over deadly water and other threats. Triangle is a run attack that is pretty useless. X and Square are attack button. You can attack with swords or certain weapons that degrade over time, or if you’re really bad you can attack people with your right arm. The camera can make this game tricky seeing as the level design is bland and things can often look so similar that you’ll get lost. I found myself getting lost over and over again. If the camera gets all funky then you can press the Right Trigger to reset it behind you. I did find many parts of this little escapade through Gallowmere to be repetitive; I mean how many Runes can there be lying about that I need to find?
The graphics, music and voice-over quality surprised me. When you first fire up the game you are greeted with a lengthy narration of what has gone on before. His voice is great and fits the mood of this game perfectly, even Al-Zalam is a blast to listen to and he gives you hints when you miss items in a certain area. I always forget how powerful the little PSP is, when the cut-scenes start up I’m always surprised at how great they look on this little portable system. The in-game action is a bit muddy but it’s leaps and bounds better than the original on the PlayStation. I can find my way around the cemetery and other maps, but even with the upgraded graphics I do still get lost frequently. I get lost everywhere but the actual wilderness, it makes no sense. Don’t even get me started on the one way streets. I digress, the game looks and feels great and I had an amazing time revisiting my late teens and the improved graphics sure didn’t hurt!
This game is hilarious. They really don’t develop games like this anymore. There are just so many little touches everywhere that add so much humor and character to this world. I’ve yet to play a game on current gen systems and actually laugh from the clever writing. Games are so gritty and depressing now with less quips and clever puns. Now it’s mostly just blood and guts. Every now and then though I would like a game that makes me giggle and laugh and one that isn’t a LEGO game. Those games no longer exist from the big developers and publishers and it’s just sad. I’m glad that I have older games to fall back on that will allow me to relive some of the more lighthearted era of gaming.
I enjoyed my time in Gallowmere. This has always been one of the most unique IP’s in my opinion and I just can’t fathom why Sony won’t resurrect it (Haha). If Sony wants to jump back into this series they could go one of two ways with it. They could concoct a completely new Dark Souls style of franchise or they could replace their failed Knack as mascot and replace him with Sir Dan with a humorous fantasy tale of good versus evil. Either way I would buy the game. The quirkiness of this series should make any gamer take a look at it. This series is part of gaming history that developers and publishers seem to want to forget. They have sucked the fun and creativity out of developers, thankfully Swery and Suda 51 still exist to give us amazing new IP’s.