MediEvil 2 is an action-adventure game developed by SCE Cambridge and released by Sony in 2000 for the Playstation. Five hundred years after Sir Daniel Fortesque redeemed himself and rescued Gallowmere, the warlock Lord Palethorn discovers a part of Zarok’s spellbook and unleashes havoc on London.
Instantly, the narrative of MediEvil 2 is lesser than that of the first, since Dan has already proven himself as a hero, thus his position as a failure is not something the player will immediately desire to put right. They could have made a point of his having been forgotten in 500 years, but he’s kind of there and ready to rescue the day. Of course, he still gets belittled and is given little respect, but it does not hit as hard this time around.
The series is funny, so it’s not totally out of place, but it’s a sign of the decreased gothic atmosphere in MediEvil 2, something I enjoyed in the first game. Seeing that the industrial revolution is happening in Gallowmere, this makes it logical, but the game does not do enough with it, in my opinion.
This undertone of magical aspects in Gallowmere has been washed away in the past 500 years by humans, which might have been a nice angle for the narrative or some humor, but it is not the game’s emphasis.
It is sort of hard to identify the story’s purpose beyond “it’s a sequel, deal with it.” The professor will direct you to the next level, and Winston is a glorified save point and instructional NPC. Palethorn and his henchmen are fine, but they lack presence in the MediEvil 2, even if you frequently run across them. She has just a single sentence in the entire game and only appears for some minor objectification and gives Dan some incentive in the narrative.
It’s a great example of a female character given the barest of personality, so she may serve the narrative without seeming like a genuine character. With how short the MediEvil 2 is (sporting just 9 decent levels compared to the original’s ~17) and how sloppy the narrative is presented without any purpose, it’s evident that this was a rush job.
MediEvil 2 is so hurried that the terrible ending is won by completing full completion, which has to be the most apparent error I have ever seen! I believe giving Dan a love interest and altering the setup were excellent ideas, but they required a full game’s worth of material to flesh out these notions.
As-is, the entire MediEvil 2 game is full of half-baked potential never brought to fulfillment. Given the impulsive nature of the game, the gameplay being essentially the same is not unexpected. The fighting and platforming of the original were not particularly excellent to begin with, but now it has gone below tolerable. Since it’s a 2000 release, camera control may be done via the stick, which sounds lovely on its face. Sadly, since the game is caught between giving the player complete camera control and helping people without a Dualshock controller, it ends up being a significant nuisance.
I tried my hand at a jump for some optional gold once and was met with downright whiplash as the camera flung itself 80 degrees to the left in an attempt to help me mid-jump, which redirected my input and dropped me dead in the water. Dan’s strict strafing is not much assistance at all, so your best option is to go ham and pray like previously simply.
And occasionally, the auto-aim does not want to cooperate. Not helping things is the illogical change to healing fountains, which makes it so they do not be restored when you repeat a level, severely penalizing those who cannot locate the Chalice of Souls and win a new weapon the first time around. The lower health vials still respawn, so you are not completely screwed, but I highly suggest anybody playing use the cheat option to refill health to complete at the start of every level.
That also helps you acquire the DanHand ability early, which is unjustly kept away from you for half the game for no reason when all it hides away is some gold not worth repeating a whole level for. The DanHand ability is one of few new ideas the MediEvil 2 has (since so many concepts are recycled from the first game), and I quite like it, even though it’s not fully realized by going up to the zombie hands that only served as set dressing in the first game. This then allows you to go through small holes and solve puzzles by swapping between the head and the body as needed.