Sorcery Review (PS3)

May 29, 2012

PlayStation 3, Reviews

Sorcery utilizes the Playstation Move peripheral and is published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the Playstation 3. The game is intended to become one of the definitive titles to support the Playstation Move hardware.

STORY: 4/5

Player’s assume the role of Finn, a young sorcerer’s apprentice, who must master the arcane arts in order to protect his homeland after being threatened by the Nightmare Queen, an evil sorceress that was freed from captivity. Finn finds out that his magical cat and close friend, Erline, has ties to the Nightmare Queen, and the two must travel through the dark faerie kingdoms in search of the missing King, and put a stop to the Nightmare Queen’s darkness over the world. Along the way, Finn learns how to use his arcane arts for good and acquires different abilities to help him along on his journey. The story is told through a story-book style, with some elements that reminded me of a Disney film (although a bit more dark in tone at times). The characters are interesting; with humorous as well as conflicting moments dealing with a power struggle between Erline, Finn and the Nightmare Queen. Even though the main character, Finn, could sound and act annoying at times, the story was well told and the characters have a good blend of light-hearted interaction and emotional intensity. The game could easily be translated to an entertaining film, and had enough story twists and interesting dialogue that could rival other “magical” tales of this genre.

GAMEPLAY: 4/5

Players must use the Playstation Move navigation and motion controllers to cast magic spells in order to attack enemies and brew elixirs. The Move is a well-crafted device, and works extremely well for this game. The gestures that the player makes in order to interface with your character are mostly fluid and precise. It is probably one of the best examples of how to create a “hardcore” game that doesn’t necessarily need to fit the “party” game genre that motion controls are known for. The navigation controller is used to make Finn move around while the motion controller acts as your wand. Finn is able to fire various blasts of arcane energy at his enemies by just flicking the Move controller at different parts of the screen. The trajectory of your blast depends on how you wave your controller, which range from low/high attacks, to curved attacks. These curved attacks are useful when enemies are hiding behind walls or columns. Another nice Move feature is the ability to acquire or purchase magic potions, and then research these potions by creating different elixirs that act as your upgrades in the game. Once you find a specific combination, you’re rewarded with a certain character upgrade that you then have to “mix” together by using your Move controllers. During gameplay, you then mix the potion and gesture to drink it in order to activate the upgrade (or health item).

The game does a nice job of making you feel like a wizard by easily lifting objects and blocked areas by simply gesturing a swiping move with the controller. Even though you start off with a basic wand attack, Finn will come into contact with other magical abilities that his wand can produce. Abilities that will aid Finn’s progression in the game with different wand attacks, such as: freeze, fire, wind, earth, and lightning. Boss battles were equally interesting, as it wasn’t always a simple mechanic of hitting the enemy until they were defeated. Many bosses needed specific strategies to defeat them, and often required different types of wand attacks. Even though the game manages to produce a certain variety of enemies, I felt that many of them were reused too many times, and fighting the same types of enemies proved tedious.

As great as this game was for the Move controller, there were instances when the motion controls proved annoying. One such moment is when you try to change your wand ability. The player is supposed to swipe their controller in a specific motion for each ability, yet this never seemed to register. It would have been easier to just make this a button configuration for quick access. Also, the game isn’t lengthy, and you’ll find that you can beat it in a short amount of time. Still, I see that as a good thing for this particular game, since waving the Move controller can get tiring after a short while of play. Even though this game is one of the Move’s finest for the peripheral, it is not intended to be played for long amounts of time. If spaced out appropriately, you’ll enjoy the game more and it will last longer for a single playthrough. Still, the game may be short, but it’s fun, which gives it a high replay value.

GRAPHICS: 3/5

Graphics are a mixed bag with this game. There are moments when the game looks very good, with interesting locals and set pieces, yet other moments when the character models almost seem like PS2 quality. The story book sections are simple and the lighting and textures in the game help to convey the look and mood of certain levels, but it’s all pretty average.

SOUND: 3/5

While Sorcery has a great score that matches this type of genre, it can be pretty inconsistent. There would be areas without any music that could have benefitted from having a continual track playing throughout the scene. Yet when the musical score was present, it offered varied melodies that enhanced the feeling of the environments and story line. Sound effects were well done, and each magic blast and item collection effect sounded powerful yet mystical.

Overall Score: 14/20 = 7.0 out of 10

Sorcery has been in the works for a long time, and while it’s not perfect, it is probably one of the best games for the Playstation Move. It offers a single-player experience that many motion control games lack. Sorcery is a lot of fun in short bursts, and feels every bit as magical as intended for the player.

PROS:

+ Interesting Story

+ Fantastic use of the Move controller

CONs:

– Tedious for long periods of play

– Average graphics

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