PS3 Reviews: Sorcery Review

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Sorcery Review

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Graphics:

 

8.2

Gameplay:

 

8.3

Sound:

 

8.1

Control:

 

7.7

Replay Value:

 

7.5

Overall Rating:       8.0

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

SCE

Developer:

The Workshop

Number Of Players:

1-2

Genre:

Action

Sorcery is one of those games where you go, “Hey, this is pretty damn good…it just isn’t knock-me-down great.” There isn’t anything critically wrong with the production and in fact, the combination of a beautiful presentation and inspired motion controls makes it quite appealing. The only downside is that it doesn’t last long enough and despite the excellent mechanical design, it still isn’t quite reliable enough. But for what it’s worth, it’s a great Move option.

I was surprised that the game’s graphics were such a highlight. There’s a tremendous amount of pretty vistas and landscapes, and the design of both the numerous enemies and special effects is impressive. Level design is another plus, although if you look close, you will spot a few visual inconsistencies and blurriness not found in upper echelon titles on the PS3. That being said, considering the intended demographic, I doubt the younger audience will care much about such minor drawbacks. Sorcery really looks good from most angles.

The sound excels in the effects category but I would’ve liked a more vigorous soundtrack (even though the music is quite fitting). At times it just felt a little too mellow but again, this creation isn’t necessarily supposed to damage your surround sound system with booming audio. For what it’s worth, there’s an appreciated mystical aura surrounding the sound, and that sets the correct tone for the adventure. This is a game about a boy wizard that waves a wand; the developers understand that perfectly even if they’re somewhat conservative in their approach.

It’s inevitable that Sorcery will generate Harry Potter flashbacks, but it’s important to note that games in the latter franchise aren’t anything like Sony’s attractive new motion-based quest. And when I say that, I’m referring to the gameplay, as it’s easy to draw parallels between the two universes. Using the Move in this game is mostly a pleasure, as everything is simple: You move with a thumbstick, center the camera with the trigger, and of course, the Move controller is your wand, which handles all spell casting, and this is the game’s backbone.

The story is, in a word, quaint. You are a sorcerer’s apprentice and you have the unfortunate tendency to meddle in things you don’t quite understand, which inevitably leads to tenuous situations. You are accompanied by a cat – at least, he looks like a cat – and as you set out to rid the world of a plethora of evils, you will face multiple combat situations and a few other relatively easy tasks along the way. There are only about five hours of fun to be had but I suppose if you really dig the experience, you might want to go back for another round.

One of the best parts of the game is the aforementioned environment, which is rich and diverse. There are charming little towns surrounded by shadowy forests, castles, and a few other well-placed design pieces that enhance the illusion of being in a cross between a folktale and a ghost story. In general, you’ll spend most of your time aiming at baddies, but there are also a few puzzles and a fair amount of treasure to find, which add some depth and variety to a straightforward adventure. Still, the meat of the production is obvious: Cast spells and earn victory.

The fighting is definitely interesting to observe. And why? Because the developers almost seemed to understand that exact pinpoint precision with the Move is nigh-on impossible to achieve – especially for younger gamers – and given the relatively fast speed of this game, they needed to compromise. Hence, we get a very lenient lock-on system, an easily-erected shield to block incoming attacks, and a series of simply executed dodge maneuvers. The result is a game that flows well, remains accessible throughout, and doesn’t tax the player with frustrating accuracy tests.

The second most important element is the combining of basic spells to create more advanced attacks. In addition to spells that are both ranged and area-specific, you can mix and match and do all sorts of cool stuff. Freezing enemies and then blasting them with arcane bullets is always fun, and then there’s the multitude of entertainment that comes from fiddling with the crowd-pleasing lightning and fire spells. The only drawback is that these experiments don’t always work.

And Move doesn’t always work exactly as you might expect, either. When I alluded to the slight lack of reliability in the introduction, this is what I was talking about. In my estimation, the best part of the game involves generating next-level, bad-ass spells and trashing my foes. But too often the more advanced spell casting doesn’t work, even when I’m fairly convinced I performed the necessary ministrations. Still, I have to admit that the Move is solid overall with this production, as people of all ages should be able to play and complete the game with little trouble.

Oh, and I should mention that mixing your own tonics is a pretty nifty process. The tonics have stat- and ability-boosting effects, and they’re obtained by mixing various powders and liquids until you get the desired concoction. It’s actually a lot of fun and the Move controller works very well in this instance. Strangely enough, it felt very much like I was an enchanter of some kind with a cauldron and everything…odd how it would feel realistic when the entire adventure is rooted in fantasy. But it has to be a thrill for the young’uns.

Sorcery may or may not live up to expectations, depending on how lofty those expectations were. For my part, I’m happy with the result, although not ecstatic. On the one hand, this game really shows how the Move can be extremely entertaining, even if it doesn’t necessarily showcase its technological capability. There’s also the lovely presentation and style, which I adore, and the variety, accessibility, and pacing that really turned out great. On the other hand, it’s too short, the advanced spells don’t always work, and adults may find it a tad underwhelming.

But if you have Move, there’s no doubt that you at least have to try Sorcery.

The Good: Charming, varied visual presentation. Great audio/graphical effects. Accessible, responsive Move control. Combining spells and mixing tonics is always fun. General gameplay mechanics function well.

The Bad: A little on the short side. Can feel repetitive. Advanced spell casting is hit or miss. Adults might not be too intrigued.

The Ugly: “No ugly. Just intermittent frustration.”

5/22/2012 Ben Dutka

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Comments (19 posts)

Temjin001
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 9:52:37 PM
Reply

cool.
and here I was hoping for a Revenge of Shinobi review. Oh, well, too late. I bought it =)
and it rocks the house old school!

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 9:56:40 PM
Reply

Too short? Really. Well that's a bit disappointing. But I still want to give it a try. I've been waiting for a while for this game.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Shams
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 10:54:51 PM
Reply

I'm a sucker for the folklore presentation of it all. Thanks for the review, Ben. This one is for my library.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ZenChichiri
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 11:06:10 PM
Reply

I'm gonna pick this up as well. Looks too interesting to pass up. A reason to blow the dust off my Move anyways.

Also, when I play, I'm going to continuously be saying: "What sorcery is this?!"

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Dancemachine55
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 11:16:31 PM
Reply

Sounds like a fun rental to me! Will definitely give this a go!

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JackDillinger89
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 11:30:41 PM
Reply

Somewhere buried in my apartment lies my move controller collecting dustmites and sadly this game isnt enough to make me cough up 39.99 and the time taken to find my move controller. I bought move by impulse unfortunately.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

CrusaderForever
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 1:52:00 AM
Reply

I bought it and can't wait to play it. It's at 80% right now. Off to bed, will give it a try tomorrow.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

kraygen
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 1:55:58 AM
Reply

Thanks to promotional credits from Amazon, I pre-ordered this with release date delivery for less than $6.

I completely agree with Ben's review, it's not the most accurate move game, but it does work really well and is a ton of fun to play.

I haven't beaten it yet, but as short as I've heard it is, I'll probably play it a few times because it's fun and then I can let my nieces and nephews enjoy it when they visit.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

AshT
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 2:30:37 AM
Reply

I'll think my Move controller is gonna eat some more dust lying besides the PS3

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___________
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 5:19:23 AM
Reply

soooooooooooooooooooooo disappointed with this!
after the E3 demo it looked so creepy so cool!
now it looks like a crappy harry pothead rip off!
$ony sure knows how to turn awesome ideas into a pile of crap!
first playstation move heroes, than ape escape, then medievil dedmunds quest and now this.
one day $ony will learn their not nintendo, and trying to steal their fanbase is NEVER going to happen!
but sadly the day that happens is the day its too late!

Agree with this comment 4 up, 9 down Disagree with this comment

CrusaderForever
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 7:44:18 AM

Shocker! control-v

Agree with this comment 1 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 9:13:59 AM

wow, what a insightful constructive reply!
thank you!

Agree with this comment 2 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 9:54:11 AM

Thoughtful and constructive is wasted on you.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

sawao_yamanaka
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 1:56:03 PM

Blaming Sony all the time! Everything was concept when they 1st showed off Move at E3. Read the damn blog posts on the Sony website. The developer had no story whatsoever just an idea of what they wanted. The E3 demo was to show how well the move handled. Geez you really are a moronic individual!

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

raptassassin
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 6:02:21 AM
Reply

Im glad i didn't buy move yet. I knew there wasn't gonna be much games for it. Some wake me up move gets a triple A title then i might jump into the move craze. There NO games that wanna make me get move or for that matter kencet.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lord carlos
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 8:59:47 AM
Reply

So this game is better than starhawk???
The god of respawns & afterburns will not be happy

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 12:29:22 PM
Reply

I'll have to get this, if for no other reason that it being a good Move title. To be honest a score of 8 here tends to mean that a game is really quite good, and worth a purchase. So I will...

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

GGCAN
Friday, May 25, 2012 @ 5:14:32 PM
Reply

Think your 8 rating is exactly what I'd give Sorcery.

I bought the game on launch day after work and played it till midnight.

Had a lot of fun, but my arm and wrist were sore the next day....ha ha.

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Robochic
Friday, May 25, 2012 @ 5:22:35 PM
Reply

cool thanks Ben for the review, i should get this for my son he finds the move fun but no games to play.

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