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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Microids
DEVELOPER:
Microids
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
June 15, 2004
ESRB RATING:
Teen
 Written by Alex Fitzgerald  on September 08, 2003

First Impressions: Memorick? What were his parents smoking when they named him?


The great Canadian rap group Swollen Members once praised that their raps were "perfected, not invented," when given heat from music critics for doing nothing different with the rap genre. And while music critics may scoff at these words, I think that they apply to many works of art that grace our culture today. Take Linkin Park for example, though the group offers nothing really nothing new to the rap metal genre, their lyrics are deeply emotional yet can still appeal to anyone, and when they are matched with their DJ's masterfully hypnotic electric noises and their guitarist's grinding guitars they sound absolutely magnificent.

Now, a new game called Memorick: The Apprentice Knight can also identify with the "perfected, not invented" moniker. The game, which is being developer by French Canadian developer Microids, has more stereotypes jammed into it than a South Park episode. Young male main character? Check. King Arthur timeframe? Check. Platforming action adventure? Double check.

Still, just because Memorick isn't planning to offer anything new to an all ready overpopulated genre that doesn't mean it shouldn't garner at least some of your attention. Take the game's plotline for instance; you play as Memorick, a disciple of Merlin living in a remote section of the land of Avalon. Memorick isn't really happy with being taught by Merlin though, as he would rather be out training to be a knight, likely because in medieval times wizards were considered geeks and knights therefore got all the chicks.

Beyond Memorick's troubles though there lies a much larger plot. King Arthur's sister, Morganna, and her son Mordred have apparently decided that they are sick of King Arthur and his weird looking round tables. So, they do what every nation seems to do these days when slightly annoyed with another nation's leaders, they decide to drop in and start killing innocents left and right. Caught in the clutches of this war, Memorick must stand up and waving his sword like a teacher waves a ruler, do his part to help bring peace back to Avalon.

Though this intricate plot would sound very reminiscent of a tactical RPG like Defender of The Crown the game actually lends itself more toward Jak and Daxter style platforming gameplay than it does anything else. Playing as Memorick you will collect various items, perform butt stomps and super jumps, and lay waste to the game's enemies with simple face-the-character-and-hit-the-button controls.

You will do more than just swinging your sword around in Memorick though as the game will also have you completing many tasks as well in the game's 8 environments. When you complete these tasks, that have you retrieving things and freeing people, you will be allowed to continue through the game but only if you spend a certain amount of your collectible orbs to do so. This mechanic, while sounding a bit cheap, will encourage exploration which always a good thing in any platformer.

And make no mistake, you will want to browse Memorick's worlds. Though the graphics at this stage have a couple hitches (such as a constantly changing framerate) there are a lot of positive aspects about it. The graphics are very colorful and bright, the environment effects are nice, and the textures are clean. The animations for the game's characters are also decent looking, all though a bit choppy in areas. Hopefully, these framerate and animation issues will be fixed before the game's release.

The audio is also well done, all though nothing special. The sound effects are fitting for the actions on screen, and sound realistic enough. The game's musical score is predictably medieval sounding, with orchestra compositions mixed with loud trumpets and subtle flutes that fit the game but are not exactly awe inspiring.

Final Thoughts
At this point Memorick: The Apprentice Knight is scheduled to come out around Christmas time, and given the game's current state that release date seems like a fair deadline for Memorick's developers to fix its few flaws, mainly in the graphics and controls area. If these small flaws can be addressed we will have something to look forward to in the action platformer department.


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