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Game Reviewed: Medievil
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: SCE Cambridge Studio
Reviewer: Paul Stewart
Platform: PS1, PS3, PSP, PS Vita
Category: Action/Adventure, Hack-and-slash
ESRB Rating: T
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In 1998, Sony Computer Entertainment came out with one of the best classic Gothic-horror games in the history of gaming: Medievil®. Medievil takes place in the mythical kingdom of Gallowmere, where an evil sorcerer named Zarok unleashes an army of the dead upon the realm. The game's protagonist, a cowardly knight named Sir Daniel Fortesque, falls in battle at the beginning of the game, but is undeservedly christened the Hero of Gallowmere. A hundred years later, Zarok returns and raises his evil army from the dead again, but accidentally resurrects Sir Dan too. With one more chance to redeem himself, Sir Dan must fight against Zarok and his evil minions to protect the kingdom of Gallowmere and earn his place in the Hall of Heroes.
NOTE: This review is based only on partial play.
What Parents Need to Know
The violence in this game is cartoonish, but there is a bit of blood when Dan kills an enemy. Of course, zombie and demon blood are green, and since Sir Dan is only a skeleton, he doesn't bleed. Some enemies explode into pieces when killed. Also, several enemies use frightening weapons like axes, swords, and magic.
In the beginning of the game, Dan takes an arrow to his eye and dies on the battlefield. We see his skeletal self remove some cobwebs from his eye socket.
Three misuses of the Lord's name and one use of the British expletive, "bugger".
One of the female statues in the Hall of Heroes mildly flirts with Dan, much to Dan's shock.
This game is based on gothic-horror fiction, so expect there to be plenty of magic and mythical creatures. The evil sorcerer raises an army of zombies which are horrifying to look at. Sir Dan is also (accidentally) resurrected by the sorcerer. Sir Dan encounters an evil wizard, zombies, ghosts, ogres, magic pumpkins, demons, witches, gargoyles, and possessed townspeople. When Zarok returns to Gallowmere, he uses his black magic to possess the townspeople, which is quite disturbing. Sir Dan can also aid certain witches in his quest throughout the game. If Sir Dan collects the Chalice of Souls from each level, he goes to the Hall of Heroes, which is loosely based off Valhalla, the Norse afterlife. There Sir Dan will speak with animate statues of past heroes who will give Sir Dan a new weapon, treasure, or health to continue his quest. There is also a goblet called the Chalice of Souls, which can be obtained in each level if Dan slays enough enemies to fill the chalice up to 100%.
At the very last battle, Sir Dan uses the Chalice to summon an army of skeletons to fight Zarok's army.
SPOILERS: If the player collects all of the Chalices throughout the game, the game ends with Sir Dan entering the Hall of Heroes, where he drinks wine from a goblet.
Sir Dan starts out as a cowardly fraud, but his quest is a means to redeem himself and become the hero that everyone falsely believed he was. In one mission, there are some possessed townspeople that attack Dan on sight, but it is discouraged to kill them. If you do kill one, a message tells you that a good soul was lost.
A Child's Perspective:
This game revolves around medieval horror, and the cut-scenes are pretty scary. The ideas of possessed townspeople and fighting demons might turn some parents off. I wouldn't recommend this game to kids, unless they have a good understanding about the dangers of magic and demons in the real world. For teens 15 and older, this game might be okay.
Medievil has received much recognition as one of the best gothic-horror games in gaming history. The music of the game is beautiful, and there are some humorous parts in the game. Sir Dan has also made an appearance as a playable character in 2012's Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale. Personally, I found this game to be quite enjoyable, but I also want to take into consideration the violence and spiritual content mentioned in this review. I personally recommend this game to fans of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and Christians who have a good understanding of the Bible's teachings against magic.