I purchased this game knowing full well that it was probably more aimed at kids than adult gamers, but that it would still be fun to play. I wasn’t wrong. There’s little in the way of invention or innovation in this game, but there is still child-like fun to be had here. Motion gaming has yet to really find its footing with the core gamer and while Medieval Moves doesn’t mark its arrival, it’s an enjoyable adventure for your kids.
Your story begins with a 2-D comic book style intro. (This is how all cut-scenes are handled) You play as Edmund, a young squire in training which lends itself perfectly to tutorial control introductions. As you make your way through training, you’re introduced to all the sword swiping, arrow shooting, ninja-star throwing, and shield bashing we all became very familiar with in Sports Champions, back when the move was initially released. As I’m sure you’ve guessed Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest from San Diego Studio isn’t the deepest story plot you’ll experience in gaming.
Immediately after completing your training Morgrimm attacks the castle, stealing the gate-stone artifact and turns you and all the town inhabitants into undead skeletons. This is where you get the nickname “Deadmund”….Edmund…..Deadmund… clever isn’t it. You’re now tasked with tracking down Morgrimm and the Gate-Stone, which has been split into 4 pieces and must be collected to restore order. Your guide along the way is the ghost of King Edmund (your uncle) who resides in the amulet that you wear around your neck. So begins your adventure to save the kingdom. That’s about as far and as deep as the story gets.
The game looks nice, but graphics aren’t why you play this
game either. Environments look the part, just nothing too interesting going on
here. Nothing really pops or stands out. I guess I would have liked to see more
imagination along the lines of the upcoming Sorcery. It doesn’t have to look
hyper-real, but this cartoon style look they went with could have been really
fun, had they tried to add more fantasy elements and appeal. Everything just
felt so familiar and generic.
As mentioned before, controls are instantly familiar if you
played Sports Champions. Right down to using your amulet to
“power-up” your attacks for a short while. This is identical to the
gladiator mini-game from Sports Champions. The only new things added to this
game comparatively are: tipping the Move controller to your move to drink milk,
replenishing your health, and the grappling hook. This tool is used to get you up or down to a
location since there is no jump. To perform the grapple move, you hold the Move
straight down by your side, hold the trigger button, and raise your arm up till
the target snap-locks on. At times it felt much like Indiana Jones’ whip,
flinging yourself from place to place. Other times it failed to lock on
properly, or the game mixed up the controls and thought I was reaching for
throwing stars. One end-game boss in particular requires you to use the
grappling hook at frequent intervals in a pattern, in order to keep from being
blown off the platform. It was so finicky that I spent more time preparing to
grapple “just right” rather than attacking the boss. Turned an
otherwise fun boss encounter into an arduous activity of frustration.
Motion Makes It Better
The actual gameplay is the main draw of Medieval Moves. Your character utilizes on-rails movement which I thought I’d hate, but turned out to be pleasantly freeing. Instead of being bogged down with moving and turning, I was free to focus on the action. I remember playing the Archery mini-game in Sports Champions where you had to shoot the skeleton-cardboard cut-outs sliding toward you before they reached you. This takes that idea and actually makes it fun.
It’s way more satisfying to kill enemies and collect coins and move on to new areas, instead of one mini-game after the next. I also liked the little puzzle additions to gameplay. Turning levers, shooting targets to move gears, and drinking milk to replenish life are all done well and really fit what motion-controlled games are trying to achieve. To be honest though, it feels like this game is step 2 of 3 in an effort to bring Move players a truly great motion-controlled experience (with step 1 being Sports Champions and step 3 being Sorcery).
Medieval Moves is not a hard game by any means. I found even on the hardest difficulty, not having my arm wear out on me was the most challenging part of the game. This may be different for children, but as a 30-year-old man, my arm got tired. Deadmund’s Quest did toss in some extra game modes, but none of which were very fun. A survival round and a multiplayer batter, either co-op or vs.
It’s hard to dislike this game when it has so much charm, and is fun to play with kids in small bursts. But with Sorcery on the horizon, I can’t help but feel like Medieval Moves is just a reskinned, on-rails version of Sports Champions. Having beat the game in 2 days (that’s with the breaks I took for my tired arm) I can’t recommend a purchase, even if it’s in the bargain bin. Definitely rent this one for your kids as it can be a lot of fun, but save your money for Sorcery, as it’s sure to be the answer for motion gaming if there is one.
Easy to pickup
Fun for families
Extra game modes aren't interesting
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