It is Christmas. As such, we’re slinging some Christmas-themed stuff online as the 12 Days of
Christmas Crowsmas rumble on. Later during this dozen of days, we’ll be looking back upon and shaking our fat heads at 2012, the year in which life on Earth once again failed to end.
So sit back, relax, have a nice burp, and enjoy our sour festivities.
On the eighth day of Crowsmas, Bread&Crows gave to me a review of PlayStation classic and Bread&Crony Award nominee MediEvil 2.
Many moons and Christmases ago, I received the PlayStation game MediEvil 2, as released in the year 2000. Until this day, I have had no reason to write about the game or to capture screenshots of it from YouTube walkthrough videos, and to put the combination on the internet.
Fortunately, I managed to slip MediEvil 2 into our nominations for 2012′s Best Flippin’ Video Game in the Bread&Crony Awards (you can vote for your favourite here, along with your favourite movie and album), and have thus gained reason to do both the things outlined above. Please, allow me to begin.
It is 1886.
Well, no, it isn’t 1886, but that’s when the events of PlayStation game MediEvil 2 are set. I’m just establishing the scene.
It is 1886. Using the salvaged spell book of the dead and Sir Jimmy Savile-faced magician Zarok, our game’s antagonist, a ghastly figure by the name of Lord Palethorn – who looks and acts like the perfect EastEnders Christmas special villain – brings life to the world’s deceased and decomposed, constructing himself a vast army of rotters.
Obese and bearded ballerinas plague a London carnival, walking pumpkin beasts stab members of the public at Kew Gardens, and vampires snooze throughout the rooms of an isolated mansion, looked after by slobbering ogres and terrifying, brain-twiddling infant girls. Jack the Ripper, portrayed by a gelatinous Edward Scissorhands, stalks the cobbles of Whitechapel, a metal-armed professor ponders saving the world in a leaky basement, and little green men sulk in the sewers beneath his feet, bothered to tears by an onslaught of fat, fanged serpents. Undead sailors roam the docklands of Greenwich, giant mechanical elephants threaten circus-goers, and a man-sized dog called Dogman plods about in a ragged suit.
Luckily for the innocent bystanders of 1886, a lovely dead character by the name of Sir Daniel Fortesque, hitherto tucked away at the back of the British Museum like a Milky Bar wrapper down the back of a settee, is also returned to life in the wake of Lord Palethorn’s curse. Having rested for several centuries since the events of MediEvil (which I’ve never actually played), Fortesque shakes himself loose and asks the nearby ghost of a child for some pointers as to what the flipping hell is going on.
Thus begins our interactive tale, which sees Sir Fortesque dash, duck, and dive through the gutted London landscape, battling dinosaurs, slicing up zombies, and, eventually, summoning an alien spacecraft through the power of music.
Whether he’s boxing with a steampunk Iron Man in a cellar or electrocuting a lanky reptilian incarnation of Jack the Ripper, our lack-jawed hero Sir Daniel Fortesque is a delight to control. His arsenal of pseudo-Victorian weapons expands rewardingly as the game thunders on, and, as well as getting a girlfriend, his outfit changes several times. To witness such things outside of Grand Theft Auto was extremely exciting for my younger self.
Yes, the game posits an incoherent model of time travel, and yes, the skeletal Styracosaurus at the end of the first level is an anatomical nightmare, but do these things really matter to me? Do they? Do they really? Do they even really?
With possibly the greatest video game soundtrack I’ve ever heard, and a beautiful, never-boring array of settings and villains, MediEvil 2, like a dangerous clot, will remain close to my heart for decades to come.
But apparently the first game is better.
The 12 Days of Crowsmas, Dec 26 to Jan 6: click here for more
Thomas Howarth is a moral nihilist, meaning that whilst he enjoys cheese-on-toast, paisley shirts, and Roy Walker clip shows, he will never declare that they are ethically good. Why not follow him on Twitter? You may as well.