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Customer Review

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent display of the Move's capabilities in a fun, action-packed game, November 15, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest was developed by the same studio that developed Sports Champions, which to this date was one of the best Playstation Move game developed. Question is, can they continue their success with this game? I'm happy to say the answer is yes.

To play the game, you can choose to use one or two Move controllers--I definitely recommend two for the most natural gameplay (for example, as with Sports Champions, with two controllers you can hold a shield in one hand and a sword in the other; with one you're constantly switching between the two). You can also choose whether you're right-handed or left-handed. For purposes of this review, I'll be speaking from a right-handed point of view, but just reverse everything if you're left-handed.

The first thing the game does is take you through a little training session so you can get used to all the tools at your disposal in the game. In a nutshell, here they are:

Sword: You swing the sword with your right hand. As with Sports Champions, the controls are one-to-one, and by far the best, smoothest, and most precise on any platform.

Shield: You hold your shield in your left hand and press the Move button to activate it. You can use it to block attacks or to deflect objects that are thrown at you.

Ninja Stars: You can throw Ninja stars with either hand by holding the controller horizontally and flicking your wrist while pressing and releasing the "T" button. It's essentially the same motion as throwing a Frisbee in Disc Golf on Sports Champions.

Bow and Arrow: The bow and arrow are also similar to Sports Champions. You hold the "bow" with your left hand, make a motion to take the arrow out of your quiver with your right hand, and draw back and shoot by aiming with both hands, pressing the trigger button with your trigger finger of your right hand while aiming, and releasing the button to shoot the arrow. It takes some getting used to the motion, but once you get it to work it's very natural.

As the game progresses, you'll pick up other gadgets and tools, including:

Grappling Hook: There will be certain times in the game where you need to scale walls or use grappling hooks to swing your way from place to place. Hooks will be marked on the walls. When you see one, you point your right-hand Move controller down, hold the trigger button, and point the controller forward towards the hook, and release the button.

Milk Bottle: As you withstand attacks from enemies, your health will go down. You need to collect and drink milk to replenish your health. To do so, hold your right Move controller over your moth like it's a bottle of milk, press the Move button, and make a "drinking a bottle of milk" motion.

Dynamite: Later in the game you'll be able to use your Move controller as a stick of dynamite; you'll be able to carry three at a time. To "light the fuse" you cup your hand over the light ball. Then you throw it. It is an absolute blast (no pun intended).

Throughout the game you'll see objects to collect like more Milk and Coins which you shoot or strike with your sword. As the game progresses, there will be certain times when you need to use the controllers to do other things, such as pull down a drawbridge, turn a lever, or pick a lock.

As with other games of this type, you'll reach milestones called "bookmarks". If you lose your life, you go back to the last saved bookmark within each chapter.

The one thing that some people may find constraining is that you don't control your character's movements as you do in other FPS games; in that sense the game itself is more like a rail shooter than an open world game. In other words, your character will run automatically through the world and will automatically turn to face whatever "action" is going on at the time. The reason they chose to do this is obvious: with two hands controlling the weapons, you would need a third one to hold a Navigation controller. Where this becomes most frustrating is when there are objects in the room you need to collect; the game will pause for a few seconds and you need to frantically try to shoot whatever you can before it automatically moves you on. But overall, I think they made a good decision: the game was plenty fun and busy enough just handling all the weapons you have at your disposal.

Now that I've finished the game, I do have a little gripe about the boss battles. Here, the motion controls got a bit gimmicky and tedious. At some point it felt less like a realistic simulation and more like the game developers were thinking, "hey, we have cool motion controls--how can we stuff them in over and over and over again". As such, they made the boss battles very, very repetitive, with a ton of emphasis on archery. Yes, the archery mechanics are pretty cool, but not when you have to repeat them a hundred times for no particular reason. Worst of all, there will be times when you think you're doing the motion correctly, but because of the nit-picky game mechanics the game will say you've failed and penalize you accordingly. In some cases you may die a thousand deaths before you finally can get past these levels.

I don't mind clever use of their innovative controls nor tough boss battles, but these felt terribly contrived. It was as if you were contending with both the motion controls and the game. A little moderation and perhaps something a little more clever than just archery practice would have made the game more enjoyable (that said, there is some interactivity to finish off the big boss at the end of the game which is pretty cool).

Overall, the best way to summarize Medieval Moves is that it feels very much like an extension of Sports Champions. It takes many of the same mechanics and tools and applies them to an adventure story. I tested the 3D on the new Playstation 3D Display, and it really enhances the game play tremendously.

As for the story itself, my best advice would be to come with the right expectations. Don't expect anything like Resistance or Uncharted. The storyline and cut scenes is definitely more geared for kids and families. It's a fun but not-too-deep story about how a young prince is attacked by an evil creature, which disfigures him into a skeleton and turns all the subjects of his kingdom into evil skeletons. The game is the prince's quest to "free" the subjects (by doing away with the skeletons), find the villain and restore his kingdom. You don't really get too much of a chance to get too emotionally attached to the hero nor to his friends. Also, when I reached the ending I found that it was very anticlimactic--for all the work I'd put into the game, I would have preferred a much more satisfying end.

Aside from the story mode, there are two mini-games; one where you fend off waves and waves of attackers, and one where you stand in a sniper's position and have to defend a royal statue from being destroyed. These are fun, and allow for multiplayer play, both using the same system and online (when sharing the same system, each player will see the action on a split-screen, and can choose either one or two Move controllers, depending on how many you have).

There's a tremendous amount of customization in both the story mode and the mini-games--you can adjust everything from the difficulty level (squire / knight / champion) to the language used (both spoken and in optional subtitles) to the vibration, handedness, and number of controllers. Oddly, in my version the voice-over narration didn't work at all so I had to rely on subtitles. Hopefully they'll fix this in a future patch.

Overall, the novelty of being able to wield various weapons and gadgets in a realistic way makes this one a game a positive step forward for Move games. While the storyline and premise may be a little rudimentary for some, what more than makes up for it is that you're actually wielding a sword and shield and throwing ninja stars by just making natural motions. This ultimately provides an experience that goes way beyond old-fashioned button mashing, and one area where the Move definitely outshines the Kinect (in general, I find the Kinect stronger for "full motion body detection" games like dancing games, while the Move is definitely more powerful for any game which requires you to hold and manipulate an object like a sword or a bat).

As they did with Sports Champions, I think Sony is sending a message here to game developers--start developing games that don't treat motion controls as a mere gimmick and stop just trying to ape the Wii or the Kinect. Instead, develop games which really enhances game play and really takes full advantage of the strengths of the Move platform. Medieval Moves does this with great success.
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Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 15, 2011 9:17:39 AM PST
may we know why did you put 4 starts instead of 5? please clarify

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2011 10:48:43 AM PST
Gaming.Fit says:
It was a tough call, but ultimately I think three things prevented me from giving it the perfect 5 for the overall rating: 1) being confined to being on a rail, 2) occasional clunkiness of certain controls in various situations, and 3) the game being somewhat repetitive as you progress further into the game.

None of these in itself were show-stoppers to my enjoying the game (I actually did rate it 5 stars for "fun"). And I trust that others will give it a 5 for that reason. But I tend to reserve my 5's for games which are "practically perfect in every way"...this one was definitely close.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2011 2:25:24 PM PST
mister_man says:
It was a very fair assessment. 4 stars is good enough for me to get it, after having tried the fun demo. Plus I need something for my 2 ps moves other than the fight lights out

Posted on Nov 18, 2011 6:08:06 PM PST
what's your psn ? mine is smurfmanx

Posted on Feb 11, 2012 2:39:53 PM PST
A. A. says:
Yes, but can it...core an apple?!
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