Sony's New Move Adventure Is An Epic Test Of Your Patience - Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest - PlayStation 3 - www.GameInformer.com
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Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest

Sony's New Move Adventure Is An Epic Test Of Your Patience

Sony's foray into HD motion gaming has been stunted by a drought of quality Move titles – or any Move titles, for that matter. When it debuted, Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest looked like one of the more promising Move games, an action/adventure title in the vein of – dare I say it – The Legend of Zelda. It won't take long for optimistic gamers to have their hopes dashed.

Deadmund's Quest tells a fairy tale-style story of kid prince Edmund, who (along with everyone else in his kingdom) gets turned into a skeleton and must put together a broken amulet to reverse the curse. The music and voice acting goes a long way in selling the story (although Deadmund himself has an annoying, Anakin-esque whine), but the moving comic cutscenes are unforgivably shoddy – I've seen storyboards with more detail, and I can't imagine even the youngest children being engaged by such a cheap presentation.

The cutscenes aren't the only disappointment Deadmund's Quest provides. If you're expecting Zelda-style antics, you should know that the skeletal prince's journey is entirely on rails. You'll unlock a few new weapons and items as the quest progresses, but gameplay apes a light gun shooter, not an exploration-rich adventure. Luckily, the motion controls are solid. Deadmund's Quest was created by Zindagi, the developer of the Move launch title Sports Champions, which is obvious since Deadmund's main weapons have all been repurposed from that game. Sword fighting, archery, and throwing stars (i.e. disc golf) all reappear, and are as accurate and responsive as ever.

The on-rails format didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Having the game control your movement keeps the action focused and minimizes the frustration caused by trying to navigate an environment with motion controls. The real enjoyment-killer is the repetition. Zindagi sucks every drop of value out of the environments by extending your time in them far too long, battling countless waves of enemies for every inch of ground you progress. If you do something once, you can expect to do it 10 more times. At one point in the game, an enemy appeared at the top of a staircase holding a dynamite barrel above his head. After lighting him up with a well-shot arrow, another barrel-toting skeleton appeared. Then another. Then another. I shot five such enemies in succession before ascending the flight of stairs. Later on, I came upon another staircase and repeated the entire process again.

Whenever Deadmund's Quest strays from its core gameplay mechanics, it fails. These departures include lame quick time events that only register your movements half the time, avoiding objects while sliding down ropes, and the pièce de résistance: balancing on beams. Throw in some cheap, drawn-out boss battles and you'll be aching to get back to your sword and bow. The puzzles are crap, too – unless your definition of a puzzle is "shoot the green target staring you in the face." Outside of the campaign, there's also an extensive battle mode that features multiplayer, but it's still not as fun as the laid-back competition offered by Sports Champions.

Deadmund's Quest is a decent attempt at an action/adventure game built specifically for the Move, and doesn't just shoehorn in functionality as a bullet point. That said, it's still not great, and I'm not sure who the target audience is. The gameplay is too hard and complex for the casual crowd, yet the larger adventure is too simple and repetitive for seasoned gamers. Like much of its on-rails action, Deadmund's Quest is a plodding step forward for the Move, but it still has a lot of ground to cover.

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