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Medievil HD Remake Review.

By Gaming Australia.

Medievil, Medievil, Medievil...... once again you've got my attention. I remember the younger version of me being in absolute awe of the original version of the game. For me, it was very different to anything I'd played before. Even back then, the graphics were brilliant, and the story was fun and engaging. This time around it's much of the same. Of course, over the space of the last 21 years since its original release, (October 1998) I have played a lot of games. It has been a long time since I have had that feeling that Medievil gave me back in the day. Delving in to this world again, I was immediately hit with a feeling of nostalgia and the memories of sitting down playing this game with my dad came flooding back.

MediEvil is an action-adventure hack and slash video game developed by Other Ocean Emeryville and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation 4. It is a remake of the 1998 PlayStation game MediEvil. It was released on 25 October 2019. Other Ocean Emeryville have done a fantastic job of bringing Medievil into 2019 without losing any of that classic PlayStation One charm. The art style is a massive part of how they manage to do so. It presents a brilliant balance of gore with a family friendly feel. I mean you regularly dismember the enemies, but it never quite feels aggressive or violent. MediEvil is played across a series of levels that are selected from a world map. Sir Daniel Fortesque is the games playable character. His only starting defence is a detachable arm to fight his enemies but branches out to include a wide variety of weapons. They range from close range weapons such as swords and clubs to long-range weapons such as throwing daggers and bows. Many weapons can be charged for a more powerful attack. Sir Daniel is also able to equip a shield alongside his weapons for defence. Shields can resist a limited amount of damage and do not protect Sir Daniel from certain types of damage, such as long falls.

As Sir Daniel is hit by enemies, he will lose part of his health bar. If he loses all of his health, the game will end. While Sir Daniel does not recover health automatically between levels, he can utilize ‘Life Bottles’ to automatically recover all of his health; should it be completely depleted. Sir Daniel encounters two varieties of gargoyle heads throughout the game. Green gargoyles offer Sir Daniel information, while blue gargoyles offer Sir Daniel ammunition in exchange for gold he finds. In each level, the player is able to find the ‘Chalice of Souls’, which is collected if the player defeats enough enemies. The player can use the chalice to gain access to the ‘Hall of Heroes’. If the player collects all of the chalices, the game's true ending will be shown. Needless to say, there is much benefit to spending the extra time in each level to find yourself the chalices.

While the game remains largely identical in content to the original MediEvil, several new features have been introduced. One example is the ‘Dan Cam’, an optional camera viewpoint which uses an over-the-shoulder perspective. This is a new feature that I think is a great addition and makes exploring much more comfortable. Medievil plays really, really well. I mean usually, remakes like these feel clunky and some feel downright unplayable. This was not the case here. The controls make sense and again retain that nostalgic feel whilst holding its own. Where the game does show its age is the story telling aspect. Similar to recent release Spyro, you talk to the random gargoyles spread around the map or find yourself reading random books dotted around. A simple text box pops up which will explain the meaning behind why you’re doing what you’re doing. I personally believe that to be a very outdated method of communicating the storyline and should be improved upon.

One of my favourite things about remakes like these, is the uniqueness of the enemies; in particular the bosses. In what new games would you find a boss made of stained glass whose glass heart is his weakness. This cute character design is brilliant and something I am really enjoying about Medievil One thing I noticed with the game was the slight lack of direction. From the map which, whilst being accurate to the original is still poorly designed, to certain aspects of the gameplay itself. I mean without giving anything away I will give you an example…. I retrieved a key that I knew unlocked a certain door in the middle of a previous level. Knowing the door it unlocked I travelled back to the earlier level and attempted to use the key on the door only to be told you can’t use that here. Stumped and after spending a good 10 minutes scratching my head I decided to give up, go back to the map and proceed through the game. Once back in the map I selected the next level which once loaded I quickly realised that it was the previous level I selected but in reverse order with the sole purpose of unlocking the door I had just been trying to unlock. Low and behold it worked. It’s a bit frustrating to say the least. This is really hard to follow.

My absolute favourite thing about this game is actually a feature I haven’t unlocked yet myself, but it demonstrates the attention to detail that Other Ocean Emeryville have gone to with this remake. That feature is the optional ‘Lost Souls’ objectives, which require the player to complete a mission that you receive from a ghost in each level. Completing each of these missions actually unlocks the complete, original 1998 version of the game for you to play as a bonus feature. Overall, Medievil is a fun, family friendly hack and slash adventure game that absolutely nails almost every aspect of its gameplay and feel. There are a few minor ways in which the game shows it’s age but I think that if they had of changed these aspects, a whole different target audience would have been a little upset. I would recommend this game as casual, fun game play something that the PS4 doesn’t have many options for. At least not good ones anyway. I found myself wanting more, which is always a good sign.

Overall 7.5

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