MediEvil: Resurrection is a remake of the original MediEvil developed by SCE Cambridge Studio and published by Sony for the PSP in 2005, 7 years after the original. The story is largely the same, focusing on the redemptive adventure of Sir Daniel Fortesque as he quests across the kingdom of Gallowmere as a resurrected skeleton to save the land from the evil sorceror Zarok. Only this time, he's accompanied by an annoying genie named Al-Zalam who has taken residence in Dan's empty skull and refuses to shut up.
While the story is effectively the same in Resurrection, it is quite a bit sillier this time around. The original is a gothic story that happens to be goofy, while Resurrection is a goofy story that happens to be gothic. As a result, the game spends a lot of effort trying to be funny and sadly, seldom succeeds.
At the forefront of this change is Dan's new unfunny sidekick, Al-Zalaam. I get wanting a character who reacts to the environment and drops hints for the player, but good god is he obnoxious. There are only so many jokes about camels and kebabs done in a "funny" accent that I can take before I want to strangle the writer.
Ignoring him (good luck), the rest of the game follows the same suit. Almost every scene tries its damndest to fill some sort of joke quota that it just can't meet. Now, being built on the original, there are still funny gags, but they're drowned out by a script that needed some trimming. Preferably with an axe.
Still, I wanna give props to the literal writing in the game, as Dan's journal and the rest of the books you can find across Gallowmere are quite hilarious. Shows that the dev team still had some wit left in it. A shame they didn't put more of that in the cutscenes. The end result just doesn't hit the same wonderfully spoopy tone as the original.
The borderline mindless button-mashing that fueled the original is very much present in Resurrection, but I find it slightly worse here and not just because the framerate is less than ideal. There have been more moves added to the weapons, but aside from the new charge attacks, I find them completely useless, as the combat system is not deep enough for varied combos to matter.
The strafing is a lot better than in the PS1 game, but it's almost required this time around. Normal swings can feel off, as the hit detection has been made stricter, making it harder to hit with certain attacks when not strafing. And even when you do hit, some weapons do not feel good to use at all, like the nerfed War Hammer. A lot of the weapons also de-equip your shield (as they have been made two-handed), leading to more menu shuffling if you switch weapons often.
The end result aims for something greater than the original, but fails to live up to that ambition. The more focused behind-the-back approach has merit, but it just doesn't work here as well as it should. I much prefer the simpler and more functional approach the original has to combat, as it doesn't try to lean on it as a strength.
As I said before, the game isn't as gothic as the original, which is most apparent when comparing the levels. A good deal of the levels here are set in what's basically daylight, when Gallowmere is supposed to be under a spell of eternal night. I really do not get this decision, more comedic tone or otherwise. It offers a greater selection of skyboxes, but it messes with the atmosphere a lot.
The fact that a good chunk of the levels have been cut is something I do get however, because I doubt this game had the best of budgets, but I'm still gonna complain about it. We do get an alright new pirate level to try and make up for it, but neither that nor the posse of new minigames of questionable quality manage to offset how much shorter this version ends up being. It really undermines Dan's journey from zero to hero when there are less places to explore. They even cut the final level!
Still, there were a few nice additions to the game, like better jumping controls and the chalice of souls in each level being collectible before it's full, cutting down on the backtracking of the original. But it's not enough to make me pick this version over the original or the PS4 remake.