PSP Previews: MediEvil Preview

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MediEvil Preview

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Scheduled release date:

2005

Sony is hell bent on resurrecting a number of classic franchises for play on their upcoming PSP (PlayStation Portable) handheld system. We've already told you about Ape Escape and WipeOut Pure, and now we're going to give you the lo-down on a third franchise soon-to-be revived: MediEvil.

MediEvil for the PSP is a sequel to the PlayStation game that came out way back in 1998. The story picks up 100 years after Sorcerer Zarok's defeat at the hands of Sir Dan. Somehow, Zarok has returned, plunged the world into darkness, and enlisted an entire undead army to aid his conquest of the world. Following suit, the noble Sir Dan has been brought back to life and given the task of stopping Zarok and his army.

Like its predecessor, this new MediEvil is a 3D adventure game steeped in swordplay. Players will be able to go through a single-player quest (with 18 areas) as Sir Dan, or play head-to-head against their friends in a collection of MediEvil-themed mini-games.

SCEE Cambridge is working on the game and many of the same team members that helped develop the PlayStation game are helping with the PSP game. According to our insiders inside SCEE Cambridge, this new game will use many of the same locations that were in the PlayStation game, but they will be updated graphically and environmentally to reflect the PSP's hardware capabilities and how the world of the first game would be 100 years later. New voice acting is being recorded as well, and you can expect the story to be chock full of sassy jokes and quirky humor.

The play system won't differ all that much from the old MediEvil we know and love. Sir Dan will have a few new combat moves and sword attacks, and (of course) a new set of bosses to face, but general gameplay will still mainly involve slashing the enemy to bits using a variety of swords and clubs. One interesting factoid we've been told about is that levels are being designed with the portable / quick-play nature of the PSP in mind. Levels in the PSP MediEvil will generally be half as large as those that were in the PlayStation game, but feature twice the number of enemies and involve a greater degree of fast action (such as jumping and puzzles). A "save anywhere" feature is also being implemented, so you can take the game with you and jump back out of the action instantly without losing progress.

A series of WiFi enabled mini-games will be included as well. Players will be able to fight one another, participate in checkpoint races co-operatively or competitively, and go through selected levels and boss battles together.

MediEvil is still early in development, so it likely won't ship alongside the system's U.S. or U.K. launches. We'll bring you more information as we receive it. Until then, check out those screenshots by clicking the link on the right.

12/22/2004 Frank Provo

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