Medieval Games (Wii)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Graphics: 5.50
Sound: 6.00
Gameplay: 3.00
Replays: 3.00
Gamelength: 2.00

“Medieval Games” is one of very few video board games, but it falls short in just about every way.

In a world filled with video games, family based board games are becoming less and less of a tradition, in favor of video game versions of the same concepts. Even classics such as Monopoly, Scrabble and Sorry! are being played primarily on personal computers and gaming consoles. In light of that, several video board games with completely new designs have been released over the years, all with the intent of putting their own spin on the board game idea. In this case, the entire game seems to work against the player, making for one of the most unenjoyable video board game experiences to date. It’s that time for some board game madness with a fantasy theme, so get out your chain mail, don your helmet and prepare for a journey into “Medieval Games” for the Nintendo Wii.

Generic characters and a basic fantasy theme are the only things to be seen here. Sure, the art is decent, but from a technical standpoint, the game is just clunky. It surely isn’t very stable and while it’s not exactly unattractive, it’s not very high up on the list of graphically impressive games, either.

Sound quality is lacking, although generally favorable. Plenty of charming sound effects pop up all over the place, although there’s not much to it, what with the otherwise very basic soundtrack. One thing’s for sure, though. For a fantasy game, the music doesn’t come off as very “medieval.”

This game had a lot of promise. A video board game with a medieval fantasy theme and tons of brand new minigames. It sounds like a great recipe for some multiplayer fun, but that’s as far as it goes. This game is nothing more than one big broken promise.

Much like every other video board game, each player takes a turn, moves around and tries to collect something. In this case, the winner is the person with the most coins, which are earned primarily by playing and winning minigames.

Each minigame is fairly easy to understand, although there are times when the rules don’t seem quite as clear as they should be. The major problem with the minigames, though, is that they’re simply never any fun.

No matter if it’s jousting, sword fighting or battling dragons, it’s never an enjoyable experience. To top it off, the controls are very unresponsive at times. Oh, and did I mention that any AI players will dominate the game, no matter how hard you try to win? It’s a very poor game design that begs the question, who is this game really made for?

My answer: No one. That’s not to say that this is the absolute worst game ever made, but really, why would anyone play this when “Mario Party” and even old games like “Sonic Shuffle” exist?

As if those things weren’t bad enough, the game has some of the worst loading times known to date for the Nintendo Wii. Literally a third of the time spent playing the game involves watching loading screens. It’s really that bad. At least it’s not as bad as “Spectral Souls” for the PSP, but that’s not saying much.

So, no matter who you are, avoid this game. It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent with 4 game-obsessed children. Please, just save your money for something better and stick to “Mario Party.”

Overall Rating: 2.50

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