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'MediEvil:' Good scary fun for Halloween

By CNN Interactive Senior Editor Dave Ragals

October 26, 1998
Web posted at 12:51 PM ET

(CNN) -- Halloween, like Christmas, is becoming more and more of a marketed holiday. Each year, you see more themed movies, television shows, decorations, and all sorts of tricks and treats.

The videogame market isn't immune, dating back to the somewhat forgettable "Halloween" for the Atari, based on the movie of the same name. This year's major offering is much more impressive.

Sony Computer Entertainment's "MediEvil," released this week with an aptly-timed marketing blitz, is a 3-D action-adventure with the look and feel of Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas."

In the game, players assume the role of Sir Daniel Fortesque, the slain hero who led the successful fight against Lord Zarok years ago. Now, his nemesis has returned, so the skeletal knight must rise again. As it turns out, Sir Dan wasn't such a likely -- or qualified -- hero, after all. And he's reminded of that fact throughout the game.


Click to see a screen shot

Throughout the game's many levels, you must fight off all kinds of zombies, scarecrows, imps and much more while working your way through graveyards, castles, and many other spooky settings.

While the theme is unique, there isn't a whole lot new to the basic premise -- fight your way through the enemy and solve various puzzles to reach the end of the level. But it's what surrounds the gameplay that makes "MediEvil" such a gem.

The characters Sir Dan interacts with are humorous -- ridiculing Sir Dan, and in some cases, themselves. They provide helpful, though often cryptic, advice as well as weapons, shields and money to help him on his way.

The graphics in this game create a wonderfully-spooky effect. Everything has a cartoonish feel. Even Sir Dan, for all his heroics, is rather clumsy looking, as are a lot of his enemies. The landscapes for each level look great, with sharp lighting effects amid a hauntingly dark atmosphere.

There are numerous computer graphic movie sequences that are downright beautiful to look at, and they help keep the storyline moving, as if the game were in fact a cartoon. And the soundtrack helps round out the atmosphere.

"MediEvil" is a great game for people of all ages. It's fun to play and look at, and it's also rather challenging. Whether you're just looking for a good action-adventure, or you're looking for something to help you get in the mood for the haunted holiday season, you'll be impressed with is one of the best games of the year.

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