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Medieval Moves PlayStation 3

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by Zindagi Games

Medieval Moves puts you in the shoes of Prince Edmund, a young boy who sees his father, the king, killed and finds himself turned into a skeleton by the evil sorcerer Morgrimm. Morgrimm has invaded Edmund's castle and is scheming to take full control of the kingdom. As the skeletal Edmund it's up to you to get back a weapon enhancing amulet and defeat Morgrimm and his hoards of bony minions. Using either a single PlayStation Move controller (or two if you prefer) you'll get to use a sword and shield, fire arrows and throw hira-shuriken (throwing stars) and explosives as you fight you way through a seemingly endless amount of enemies.

The game is an on-rails action game that sees you making various gestures with the Move controller in order to wield weapons against the overly large skeletal army of Morgrimm. You'll simply swing the controller to imitate the swing of the sword. Pressing the Move button activates the shield and you'll have full control over its direction which is important because enemies will swipe at your lower and upper body in addition to your head and it's up to you to put the shield in the relevant position. Put the Move controller over your shoulder and press the T button and you'll switch to a bow and arrow. Whilst you are aiming with the bow and arrow you can press the Move button to zoom in for greater accuracy. Point the Move controller at the floor and press the T button and you'll have the grappling gun equipped. This can only be used in specific locations however. To restore health you can have a swig of milk by mimicking the drinking action with the Move controller and pressing the Move button. For the most part I was pleased with the responsiveness and intuitiveness of the controls in the game. However, using the throwing stars felt fiddly and lacked precision.

In addition to the main game, which is called Story mode, you also have access to a Battle mode which caters for both online and local multiplayer and can even be experienced as a solo player. If you want to play a local multiplayer battle however you'll need two PlayStation Move controllers otherwise you won't have access to either the Team or Versus mode.

The biggest problem that Medieval Moves has is a lack of variety. As good as the motion controls are, it doesn't prevent the action from becoming tedious far too early into the game. Combating swathes of enemies in predictable patterns gets old much too quickly and there isn't even a strong enough storyline here to encourage you to continue through the monotony of it all. In fact what you'll find yourself doing is playing the game in small bursts to help prevent boredom from setting in. This is a shame because had the game been designed in a less predictable manner and had more variety in regards to what you can do in the game, it would have remained interesting for longer. It also doesn't help that the combat model is actually quite basic. Yes the controls are satisfying but there's not a lot of complexity here and, with the sword fights in particular, it can feel like you're simply doing some virtual fly swatting rather than engaging in a sword fight.

There can be no denying that visuals in Medieval Moves have a certain charm even if they aren't pushing the PlayStation 3 to its limits. The skeletal enemies look good and all animate nicely. The various environments you find yourself in look quite good too although you won't really get a chance to fully appreciate them thanks to the on-rails nature of the game and not being able to explore the surroundings at will. In place of true cut scenes the game uses motion comics to deliver the storyline. The artwork here is a little crude which is disappointing. There are no performance issues to speak of with the frame rate and the load times all being absolutely fine.

Medieval Moves is quite a good experience for deaf gamers although you wouldn't think it at first. This is primarily because by default the subtitles are enabled for only the in-game dialogue and not the game's motion comic cut scenes. Upon loading the game for the first time you are taken right into the game's Story mode meaning you don't have the ability to enable all of the subtitles beforehand. Thankfully you can press the start button and visit the options menu to enable all of the subtitles without missing much (and you are given tutorial information to begin with which is delivered via text). With the subtitles enabled you'll be able to follow all of the game's storyline. There are some comments which are not subtitled such as the taunts from your enemies and comments from Edmund such as "Where are they all coming from?" when surrounded by enemies, but thankfully neither of these omissions are of any importance. All tutorial information is displayed visually via text and illustrations. You're also notified in text of any challenges that come your way. There are also visual notifications for checkpoints and any treasures, coins and health restoring milk that you collect.

Whilst there have been some good games that utilise the PlayStation Move controller there hasn't really been one that's an essential purchase. Medieval Moves isn't going to change that but it shows a lot of promise with its motion controls. However, the on-rails nature of the game hampers the ability to explore the game world as you wish and the repetitive nature of the gameplay means you'll begin to feel tired of it long before the story reaches its conclusion. The gameplay desperately needs more variety because as it stands, and as impressive as the motion controls are, it becomes tedious when played in anything other than short bursts and that's a real shame.

In our opinion this game is: Average
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Deaf Gamers Classification

DGC B

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