- Developers: Other Ocean Emeryville
- Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Platform: PS4
- Price: $29.99
- Release Date: October 25th, 2019
- Date Reviewed: October 28th, 2019
- Reviewed On: PS4
- Review Copy Provided: No
Before we begin here, I would like to tell you some things about the development of the first game during the PS1 era. As MediEvil begins its construction around 1995 at Millennium Interactive in Cambridge under the title of “Dead Man Dan,” many of its visuals were hugely influenced by Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Originally it was conceived as an arcade-style shooter for platforms such as Windows and Sega Saturn. Still, Sony’s Purchase of the SCE Cambridge Studio evolved it into a PlayStation title. Chris Sorrell, which was known for the James Pond game series, also created the original concept of MediEvil and served as the game’s creative director. Sorrell joined Millennium after completing his third title for James Pond. When he was asked what he wanted to do, Sorrell said that he wanted to work with someone on the visual side. Jason Wilson, who would become the designer and writer for a game, met up with Sorel and began working on MediEvil.
“Don’t care about graphics!, Do care about Processes!” – Dave Burrows.
MediEvil had received positive praise from most critics upon release by including the blend of Halloween-themed visuals but totally was criticized for its controls and the cumbersome camera work. It was released to North America in 1998, then Japan in 1999, even having a sequel two years after in 2000.
Other Ocean Emeryville looked at the first game and didn’t want to deliver an exact replica of it, as they tried to provide something that people or fans remember playing it. Instead of going back recreating it ideally, they wanted to recreate what many remember and what you took away from that game. Surprisingly, they had access to the original coding to the game. Totally a big thing to keep in mind is working on this game with the source code, it shows intents that the SCE Cambridge team back then could have taken it further.
So walking in the shoes of the original creators of MediEvil made it an archaeological project for them. By digging up material, by talking to the innovative team to find out what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling at the time, Other Ocean used it to springboard into the new direction and how the game should believe in the mechanics. The team on the remake/remaster’s challenge was the enemies as there are around 56 different types of enemies. Today’s standard, as in most triple-A games, doesn’t have this much variety of characters. Even with specific areas in the game, they felt like they were written to it with the personalities involved, charming you to spend time in the world of MediEvil.
Many fans hoping to get a return to the hero of Gallowmere after the mysterious hiatus of the PSP title MediEvil: Resurrection, it came on a particular day at the PlayStation Experience 2017, they asked Shawn Layden what is under his jacket? Even though he wasn’t supposed to show it but many asked, so he insisted on doing so. Many thinking MediEvil but it sparked to show a trailer that it is, as during the PS Blog of the announcement stating the game to be a full-fledged remake/remaster of the first game. Did Other Ocean Emeryville make sure it lived up to the full potential as the new team working on it says? Let’s find out.
For starters, it is basically very faithful to original but reimagined with these modes to choose from by the skeleton pointing his finger at the tombstone having a selection for you to begin the journey.
- New Game: This basically is the main story of MediEvil and how the town of Gallowmere being haunted nor cursed by the evil wizard causing it, as Sir Daniel Fortesque has to redeem himself as a hero by defeating the evil wizard Zarok.
- Load Game: Continue where you left off on your journey
- Options: Set up anything you need to change and manage to your liking and even the language too. The colorblind settings are very robust and offer accessibility that should be standard in games.
The world of Gallowmere looks lovely and vibrant through its atmosphere. I also wanted to point out that they made it quicker to choose between your Sword and Shield, like in MediEvil 2. Even the charm and sense of the sublime music make it just like the originals.
When the brief demo released, it did have some frame drops on the standard PlayStation 4 and even with the PlayStation 4 Pro except the Pro only had it when many enemies were hoarding Sir Dan. There were little lighting issues, and some other aspects had problems, and it seems to be about fixed in most parts except the frame rates, which I will explain later.
I also love the fact that certain weapons can be used differently between crowds, impact, and that holding a charge can release its full potential, etc. Even with potions that carry as this life bar system.
If Sir Dan’s health goes out, it uses a potion like other games, for example: If you have lives and fall to death where you would lose a living, but instead of loading back up where you were, it uses Dan’s life potion. If that went down, it would continue on, with you also losing that potion, which will be used for him being back to full health on a mid-fight, so make sure you keep them handy. You are limited to a few health potions which are found throughout Gallowmere for you to stay healed or need to fill up your bottle, as the life bottles are a rare chance of earning you more chances of surviving in the world.
To progress through certain areas, you’ll have to find these “Rune Stones” to unlock a doorway. Don’t forget that during your time exploring through Gallowmere, you’ll have items in the inventory that could be useful, and can help find things from the enemies you encountered in the Book of Gallowmere and see what certain things are, even don’t forget that there are many secrets to find so do backtrack once awhile.
There is an object known as the Chalice, and every time you take down an enemy, it will fill up for you to collect it. There is one somewhere in every location. At the end of a level, you can get a weapon or something like life bottles or coins from the Hall of Heroes that has statues of the people. They will lend arms for Sir Dan’s quest so he can become worthy enough to get his own icon in the hall, a second chance of defeating Zarok, and claim himself the possibility of a hero life. Be warned that the Challices are hidden very well later on. As I’ll state again, you may have to backtrack to find each one, there are about 20 in total around Gallowmere.
My issues with the game would be that certain levels in the game appear to have frame drops, which hardly bothers me as much, but mostly the level I have seen dropped severely would be “Scarecrow Fields.” It has plenty of frame drops and freezes there. Hopefully, they place a patch fixing some of the frame rates on the standard PlayStation 4, as I was using the PlayStation 4 Pro during the time being and seen a little bit of the frames drops.
Nonetheless, the map of Gallowmere and the journey of stopping Zorak that awaits you is breathtaking. Take a glimpse into this nostalgic remake even though the story isn’t quite as long as you may expect it to be, and some things had rough edges. MediEvil is also a reasonable price for what it has to offer. The soundtrack especially has a tremendous sublime feeling.
It did have some issues on parts like the levels having frame drops. Pulling a wrong move can be quite agitating sometimes, and when you have to start over from the beginning of the level as there are no checkpoints, so be careful in your journey, even with the camera in certain areas can be cumbersome.
Getting everything so far also includes the lost souls, which are a new addition to the game. The game has about 19 souls in total for you to collect and put to rest after you finish the game, I’m surprised at some of the detail and work they put into this game. There’s stuff that the old developers could have done back then if they had this much technology, and even they have a lovely easter egg for the fans as players can select the old game in the main menu and play the PlayStation 1 classic after putting the 19 souls to rest. Many enjoyed it back in the day, and I can see how much it’s changed here. Fans of the classic will definitely enjoy this remake made by Other Ocean Emeryville, even though there are problems like the classic had. It’s still a great game to try out but will say again it’s very faithful to the classic.
“A very faithful remake.”