Let’s just get this out of the way first. I am not a fan of motion-controlled games. There I said it. Don’t get me wrong I love my Mario Galaxies, Mario Karts and Skyward Swords but they are some of the rare games that really utilize motion technology in an innovative way to add to the gameplay rather than throwing it in there for the sake of things. So when the Playstation Move was announced and released with less than thunderous applause you can guess I wasn’t racing to my local retailer in a bid to get me one of those glowing waggle sticks.
However back on track, Medieval Moves by Zindagi Games has landed, designed specifically for the Playstation Move and is actually surprisingly fun. Surprisingly fun for a purely waggle-fest motion controlled Move title that is. Some gamers would be far happier reigning hell upon New Marais as Cole in InFamous 2 or perfecting their combos on Super Mega Ultra Mahoosive StreetFighter IV or whatever version we’re on now. However if you’re willing to give the Playstation Move a try and don’t mind standing in your living room or bedroom swinging your arms around like a slightly confused, disgruntled ape then this should be the game you try first.
Medieval Moves lands us in the role of Edmund, a future ruler of a particularly generic storybook kingdom. But after one particularly nasty curse from the leader of a goofy looking Skeleton army, Edmund is transformed into the undead himself becoming Deadmund. Morgrimm invades the kingdom and steals the powerful Gatestone for his own nefarious plans. The citizens of the once peaceful realm are transformed into nasty little Skeletons to add to Morgrimms invading army and Edmund is thrown out. Edmund, now Deadmund must journey back through the kingdom and to the top of the castle to confront Morgrimm, take back the Gatestone and save his land.
The story does a neat job of providing enough motives for the characters you encounter throughout yet keeps it simple enough that even younger children would be able to follow and enjoy. The story is mainly delivered through short motion comic style cutscenes. These are by far my least favourite style of cutscene in any game especially when they’re as unpolished as this. The art in the book for some reason looks scribbled and still has faint pencil guidelines left in as if they were rough sketches from artist. I understand this would be an artistic style decision however it results in the art looking cheap and unfinished. The voice actors do a decent enough job of capturing their larger-than-life characters however you won’t be falling in love with any of them anytime soon.
Gameplay wise we control Deadmund on his journey through the kingdom to the castle while fighting off the hordes of skeletal undead on the way. When I say control Deadmund I mean watch him move around the environment and flinging your arms around to swing his sword. The whole game is on-rails and controlled purely with the Move motion controller. Deadmund will proceed through each of the environments and stopping occasionally to confront enemies or let you snag some of the treasure dotted around the levels.
Combat is fairly intuitive with 1:1 motion capture meaning whatever you do with your Move controller, Deadmund will do with his sword on-screen. Just faintly flicking the remote won’t be enough to tackle these bad guys however. You have to give it some oomph when swinging to get a decent hit which is a nice touch and adds to the illusion that you are in the game, fighting these things.
As the game progresses you will learn different motion commands to get Deadmund to use a new weapon or item. Deadmund’s shield is controlled by holding up the controller where you want to block and pressing the Move button. You can reach over your back with the controller and bring it out again to draw an arrow into Deadmund’s bow allowing you to then point at the screen and fire the arrow at foes or treasure. This is particularly intuitive and I did feel a slight rush reaching into my imaginary quiver and firing arrows left, right and center like some deranged Robin Hood. The only thing that took away from the immersion was the on-rails nature of the game. It would’ve been a whole lot more fun to use a Navigation controller for movement and a Move controller for action, allowing players to explore the environment at their own pace.
Apart from the campaign, Medieval Moves offers a few minigames to play either solo or with a friend online or off which adds replay value. Other than that players won’t really have much incentive to head back to the game after beating it other than collecting the various treasures and scrolls, which reveal a secondary story through the levels.
This game was reviewed on the PS3.
Intuitive motion controls. Bright and colourful environments. Competent voice acting.
Would’ve been better off-rails. Cheap comic book style cutscenes. Not a whole lot of replay value.
A fun romp through a medieval storybook land filled with plenty of remote swinging and arrow firing. A fun game to that demonstrates potential of Playstation Move.
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