If you were to cross the movie Halloween with Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas,
you'dd probably end up with MediEvil, Sony's newest adventure/action title. The game places the
player in the role of Sir Dan, a fallen hero whose corpse has been reanimated. As Sir Dan, players
must fight for the land of Gallowmere and defeat the evil Zarok.
MediEvil is basically a hack-and-slash sort of game, with a few puzzles thrown in for good
measure. The puzzles, however, are what keep the game from getting old and monotonous. The
game also features a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, and never takes itself too seriously (with a
funky looking hero like Sir Dan, it's impossible to take anything too seriously).
The 3D landscapes, however, do need to be taken seriously. They are a testament to the power
that the PlayStation still has underneath the hood. The elegant rolling terrain is something that really
hasn't been seen before on the PSX.
The game has a couple of nuances that make it special. For one, every level has an artifact called
the Chalice of Souls. Elite players will strive to get every Chalice in the game... smart players will
try to get as many as possible. Every time you collect a Chalice, after you complete the current
level, Sir Dan is sent to the Hall of Heroes. When there, you can present the Chalice to a hero
statue of your choice, and you will receive a special item or weapon. It is here that all the game's
special equipment will be received. So, as you can imagine, snagging some Chalices puts you in a
much better position to advance through the game.
The diversity of enemies also helps keep MediEvil interesting. Enemies range from big to small,
from genius to idiotic, from deadly to harmless. Finding out for the first time is the real kicker.
Boss fights are also always interesting. MediEvil could be compared to Legend of Zelda games in
respect to bosses (actually, MediEvil has many similarities to Zelda games). Each boss in MediEvil
has it's own quirkk and weakness, and the key to beating it/them is figuring out the quirks and
weaknesses, and exploiting them.
Weapons range from swords to crossbows to your own arm (there's nothing like removing your
own arm and then proceeding to beating everything in sight with it). Sir Dan can also equip a
shield, which does receive damage and (after taking a bit of damage) breaks... but hey, better the
shield than Dan, eh? The sword and shield combat of MediEvil is very entertaining... and quite
similar to a Zelda game.
MediEvil suffers from some problems though. Most notably are control and camera angle issues.
Regarding control: in tight places, Sir Dan isn't the most cooperative of superhero corpses. As for
camera angles, like any third person game, camera angles are an issue. While MediEvil has the
option to rotate the camera with the L and R buttons, this feature is often unavailable in places (and
they always seem to be the places where you would need the blasted thing). Still, these problems
aren't gamebreakers. For simple fun with some nice puzzles and cool combat, MediEvil is the
game to play.