Medieval Moves: Deadmundís Quest
Developer: San Diego Studio/Zindagi Games
Publisher: SCEE
Release Date: Out Now
Players/Online features: 1-2 local and online
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In Medieval Moves - Deadmund's Quest being dead isnít the end, itís just the beginning of our heroís adventure... Evil Sorcerer Morgrimm invades Prince Edmundís Castle as part of his devilish plot to take over the kingdom. His plan includes raising an army of skeletons to act as his undead army. While trying to stop Morgrimm, our hero, Prince Edmund (thatís you that is) is also turned into a skeleton, and now known as "Deadmund" you must fight to save the homeland and defeat Morgrimm and his bony minions!

Medieval Moves is an on-rails game, meaning like an old-school light gun game you donít actually control the movement of the character within the world, you just fight the enemies as they appear in front of you with your sword and shield, as well as various other weapons you pick up as the game progresses. Distant enemies can be dispatched with your bow and arrows and there are also specific raised areas that you have to use Deadmundís Legend of Zelda-esque grappling hook to reach.

A game like this could easily have felt linear and aged, but thanks to occasional splits in the gameís pathways and controls and aiming that work well thanks to the precision of the PlayStation Move motion controller itís a pleasure to play. The cartoony, stylised graphics are well animated and Deadmundís castle is an excellent backdrop to the adventure.

Although it has some hectic moments the combat never really gets too hard and you can press the Move button to hold up your shield and be almost completely defended against attacks from normal enemies. More advanced enemies and Ďbossesí will require you to move the controller to block strikes with the shield more accurately as they will swing their sword or shoot arrows high and low to the left or right. A second motion controller can be used to position your shield and aim the bow separately if you have one. Youíll get the opportunity to shoot milk bottles as you progress that can be stored and used to replenish Deadmundís health bar; this is done by pressing the Move button and performing a pleasingly accurate ďswig bottleĒ action.

Unfortunately the gameís action sometimes annoyed us with its tendency for onrushing enemies that mask ranged enemiesí attacks (which irritatingly pass through them and hit you), and the equally annoying set piece attacks (like pulling scenery down on enemies to crush them) that frequently just donít give you enough time to spot and utilise them. We also found certain actions (particularly the healing swig oí milk) difficult to activate when the action gets hectic, although this may have been more of a case of us panicking and not performing the action accurately than the controls failing.

Unfortunately we found that despite some effort on the part of the designers the on-rails game mechanic unavoidably starts to make the game feel repetitive after a while, and so they keep adding new gadgets and gameplay ideas. After the ninja-style throwing stars and grappling hook you get to light and throw sticks of dynamite (not sure about the chronological accuracy there, but weíll let that ride), balance-walk across tightropes, pick locks with a skeleton key and jump/duck dodge left and right to avoid oncoming obstacles. While the locations around the castle do change the cartoony graphics donít really make the game look varied enough, so the game seems repetitive in this sense too.

Fortunately Medieval Movesí solo campaign is backed up by a multiplayer Battle Mode which features local and online competitive & co-op play (solo, team and versus), all of which work surprisingly well if you have 2 motion controllers or can actually find anyone online to play the game with (it took us 3 days to find anyone and this process includes the usual painful EULA agreement procedure when you go online-Aaaaargh!

Medieval Moves is a nice variation on the Move games theme and going by the subtitle San Diego Studio and Zindagi plan more games in the series, whether Medieval Moves sells well enough to justify a Sony backing sequel is open to debate, I personally think not despite the gameís undoubted charms.


Best Bits

- A nice, family-friendly combat adventure variation on the Move Sports theme.
- Accurate aiming and intuitive controls.
- Co-op and versus modes.
Worst Bits

- Gets repetitive before long.

by: Mal Function

Copyright © Gamecell 2011