Sony looks determined to bring some of its successful PSX classic games to the PSP, so it doesn’t surprise me to see another PSX game gone to the PSP, which of course is MediEvil. So far two games have debuted in the franchise, both for the Playstation. The PSP installment of MediEvil goes off it its own path, yet still retains fimiliar locations and plots. Graphics, voices, code, are all different and the game features an expanded plot, additional mini-games, multiplayer levels, and a bonus save when you want feature. However, franchise enthusiasts will have fond recollections of most of the game’s features.

The story line is revamped, and takes place 100 years since Sir Daniel Fortesque, the games hero, heroically took down the evil Sorcerer Zarok at the Battle of Gallowmere. This however was a lie told to the common people, in truth, Sir Dan was no more then a one eyed frightened skeleton. Now the evil Sorcerer, Zarok has made his return known by turning day into night, while also conquering the land using his undead army. To counteract Zarok’s return, Dan too has been resurrected and is now given the opportunity to become a hero in death to make up for the coward he was in life.

The graphics are very sharp and look beautiful on the PSP’s magnificant screen. The series have always had a certain style that remained unique to the franchise, and that stays the same with the PSP MediEvil, the developers even mentioned that the game takes a hint from the classic movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas. In fact one of the original designers for the Playstation version of MediEvil, Mitch Phillips, is also the lead artist for the PSP version of MediEvil. A downfall to the look of the game is the poor camera system. This problem was also common in previous installments in the franchise. The lack of dual analog support hinders the camera angle and your visibility. There is the option of centering the camera by pressing the “R” button but this was only a minor alternative to the problem.

The game is more or less a hack n’ slash platformer. Gamers will take the role as Daniel Fortesque and enter a 3D world filled with adventure and swordplay. This time around Dan will be equipped with a few new combat manuvers and sword attacks, to help take down a new group of bosses. However the core gameplay has not been altered and you can still find much enjoyment in slicing more holes into the enemy then there are holes in swiss cheese. In addition since the game is designed ground up to be played on a portable system, the developers decided to make the game easy to pick up and quick to achieve goals. In order to do this they made the levels about 50% smaller then the PSX version. However around double the amount of enemies are in each level. This gives the game a fast paced feel, and will send Dan in one heck of an adventure through 18 different levels.

Hmmm, looks like a boss to me.

In addition to the single player mode the game features a variety of mini-games. These mini-games are unlocked in a Carnival level where you can play games such as bow and arrow target practice. These may seem like odd mini-games but the developers said they will be entertaining as well as get you ready to use similar skills as the game progresses. MediEvil also incorporates WiFi game modes in two ways. Each of the game’s mini-games feature head-to-head challenge modes where gamers can fight to the death to see who can survive the longest or reach the high score. In addition the game inlucdes a checkpoint style race mode using the game’s levels where one player’s success penalises the other player’s time. This creates a unique interesting tactical challenge.

The puzzle aspect of the gameplay is also a refreshing taste after playing action/adventure games. For example in one level that was in the streets of Gallowmere, the task is to be able to light a cannon and then utilize that cannon to begin firing at a ship. To accomplish this goal, you have to run down a hill and jump while making sure you get your club on fire, then race back to the cannon and light it. Then the game will allow you to take control of the cannon and aim for the ship.

MediEvil proves to be yet another game to look out for in the growing PSP game library. With unique graphics, and gameplay, Sir Dan is out once more to gain the attention of many MediEvil fans. Despite having its minor faults at this stage, we can see the game being a success when it releases. Check PSP Advanced for more coverage on MediEvil.