The PlayStation Move controller system has been applied across PS3 titles with mixed results at best. Nobody doubts the potential of the technology - it can produce accurate movements and produce some compelling playing experiences, but these things must be backed up by some compelling gameplay and high-end production values. On the flipside, some games using Move have it there as an afterthought, making you wonder why they bothered to integrate into their glossy game in the first place.
There's no doubt that Medieval Moves falls into the former category. It has some of the best use of the Move technology yet seen on the PS3 and is fun in small parts, but its questionable production values and so-so general gameplay prevent it from being a must-have title that entirely justifies the Move controller system.
Having only the slightest echoes to the PlayStation original, Medieval Moves sees players take on the role of Edmund, a young prince. When a sorcerer turns Edmund and his entire town into skeletons, it's up to the plucky prince to save them all. Aided by the ghost of a past king, Edmund must fight his way through hordes of fellow undead up to the castle's highest spires, where he must do battle with the threat that hovers over the land.
Medieval Moves is best described as taking an on-rails approach to action adventure in its gameplay. You control Edmund and have a variety of weapons at your disposal - a sword, bow and arrow, grappling hook and more. All of these are controlled with the Move controller setup in a similar fashion to what can be found in Sports Champions. You swing the Move controller as you would a sword to slash at your enemies, and you must reach behind yourself to grab an arrow to fit into your bow onscreen, before letting loose and piercing through your opponents. There are other tricks too, such as raising your controller to your mouth, to renew your health with bottles of milk that can be picked up along the way. It's little things like these that can really show some ingenuity on the part of the developers and the kind of variety that the Move controller setup can attain. It's especially evident since Medieval Moves can only be played with PlayStation Move - there is no standard PS3 controller setup possible.
Despite the very clever use of the Move system, many other elements of Medieval Moves leave a lot to be desired. The general gameplay is pretty simplistic and will only challenge the most novice of gamers out there. It's not that it's badly designed or faulty in any particular way, but it simply feels as if the game is going through the motions, so to speak, of action-adventure games. There is the usual assortment of collectible items but they don't really seem to add up to anything that drastically alters a person's gameplay experience.
The visuals of Medieval Moves are also very disappointing. The gameplay segments are pretty average in that bright and colourful kid appeal way (though the enemy animations do have some charm), but the cutscenes can be woeful. There is no fluid movement in the animation, and the drawings present look like scrappy concept art that lack any kind of real refinement or flair. It's almost like the cutscenes are one department in which they really did not care to put any kind of effort into, and they may cheapen the game for some players.
Audio aspects of Medieval Moves don't exactly impress either, but they're also not as deficient. In-game music and effects are pretty typical and unremarkable (but again, the enemy effects do arouse some amusement), yet the voice acting sometimes sees some skerricks of enthusiasm from the participants that lift the overall presentation of the game slightly, but not enough to really save its disappointing aspects.
An experienced player would be hard pressed to finish the game in more than one weekend - and that's being generous. One could easily knock off the main game in one reasonably long playing session. As stated earlier, there are collectibles to be had, but they're by no means essential and don't unlock anything earth-shattering that drastically alters gameplay. Younger players may struggle just a bit with the game, but it's unlikely that they will feel frustrated for long, as it's easy enough to work out what to do, and the on-rails approach can lend itself to ease of play.
Medieval Moves demonstrates just what kind of clever and accurate ways the PlayStation Move controller system can be applied to games. However, it's severely lacking in compelling gameplay, wrapped in a presentation that could have used a lot more effort. It may have been okay as a cheap download game via the PSN, but as a full retail title, you'd be better off rattling your bones somewhere else.