hizang's Sorcery (PlayStation 3) review

Shake your wand like a maraca for Sorcery, no really.

The Playstation Move never really took off as Sony intended it to, Sony saw the Wii and how well it was selling and thought that they could recreate that with the Move. The Move didn't sell poorly, I believe over 9 million people now have Move Controllers. Despite the sales Sony never really did anything with the Move, they did a Wii Sports clone and added Move to some games that benefited from it (Heavy Rain) and some that were just like why not!? (Resident Evil 5) Over the years many games have had move support but there were very few games that were Move Required, Sony seemed to be too scared to take too many risks and it seems third parties did too. But here we are with Sorcery, the game was announced at E3 2010 so its been in development for quite a while. So can Sorcery put some magic into the Move or will it simply mark the nail in the coffin?

You play as a young Sorcerers Apprentice named Finn studying under the guidance of Sorcerer Dash, while Dash goes out for an errand you destroy a potion that the old man had been working on. Your female cat Companion Erline suggest you go and harvest the ingredients required to recreate the potion before Dash returns. Unfortunately while you are down collecting the ingredients a evil witch breaks free and aims to destroy the world. Finn has been eagerly awaiting an adventure all of his life so he and Erline set out to stop her before its too late.

Sorcery gives you the impression that this is going to be a child's game, but soon enough it delves into deeper and darker material which make it appealing for all ages. While playing through I was ultimately surprised at the direction the story goes, making me wonder how a young child would deal with the story. The "cutscenes" play out over nicely done book pages that fit the style of the game, the writing is hit and miss with some lines being quite funny and witty where some leave you cringing.

Finn's adventure takes you all around this fantasy world in a linear fashion, there are a few branch out points that lead to a chest but its a simple case of get the chest and come straight back. It never really feels constrained as you generally have large areas to capacitate the fighting that gets done. Fighting is how you spend the majority of the time in Sorcery, their are a few puzzles but they are very simple and don't last too long. Although the combat at times feels like a puzzle, as different enemies have different strengths and weaknesses to specific spells requiring you to think quickly and cast those spells.

The combat starts off fairly easy with just one spell which is your standard spell, flick the Move in the direction you want it to fire as quickly as you can, your pea shooter if you will. The game takes a while to get going so your stuck with this for a large amount of time, it would be fine in any other game but turns out that shaking the controller like a maraca is quite tiresome.. Later on though you get a some more which have limited use as they use Mana when used, these spells make the combat more enjoyable as it requires a bit of stratagy. It also allows you to approach situations rather differently, which adds a nice bit of variety to the combat. All of the combat spells are fun although I found the Earth spell to be rather useless and I never ever used it.

Do not be fooled though by the bright and colourful visuals and whimsical music, this game gets incredibly difficult as the game progresses. The game defaults to easy and I changed it to normal, there were multiple points in the game where I spent quite a while wondering if I'm going to be able to beat these guys. It's not really the number of enemies that makes it hard its the fact that in some situations you have enemies that are resistant to ice while some are strong against ice but are resistant to fire. Although the game slows down time when you select spells - which you do by performing different motions for each spell - it still can be quite a handful. Seeing as its aimed for younger children I can see why it is set to easy, it is no pushover. There are a handfull of boss encouters throughout the game, most of them if not all of them being rather challenging, the final boss of the whole game takes it to Castlevania: Lament of Innocence levels of difficulty. Each boss fight however is unique and requires you to utilise different skills.

Throughout your quest you will come across ingredients, this is where the alchemy system comes into effect. To make a potion you must first experiment with the ingredients, each combination of ingredient will make a different potion, so its a nice touch for those with a curious nature. The alchemy system is a skill tree of sorts, the potions you make will make permeant effects on Finn with potions like increases health or increase physical resistance. The potion making is sure to appease young fans as its not as simple as clicking on the ingredients and its done. Once you know what your making you will have to grind, pour and sprinkle the ingredients into the cauldron to make your potion. I never got tired of it and I always felt a surge of achievement once I had made one. Along with finding them you can also buy some from a merchant you meet early in the game, simmilar to the character of the same name he appears throughout your adventure happy to buy and sell.

The game looks nice but does not push the limits of what the Playstation can do by any means, but the environments are diverse and varied. I also encountered slight a bit of slowdown, which was weird because its not exactly a taxing game. The score is what you would expect with a few standout ones that sound really good. The voice acting is nicely done with a few recognisable voice actors/actresses and they all fit the mode of the game. Sorcery is a very barebones game, there are no unlockable's at all and once you beat the game thats it, there isn't even a replay chapter option in the menu so once your done you are done.

Sorcery is most likely going to get overlooked, it has a expensive price of entry and works best with the Navigation controller which will also set you back another £30. But if you happen to have all of that you really ought to pick up Sorcery, it is quite frankly the best game for the Playstation Move and looking at the future will probably be the best Playstation Move game in existence.

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