We can easily see why the PlayStation Move isn’t quite as popular as the Kinect. Though there are a fair amount of games that take advantage of it, the limited camera range can make it a burden for some players, and the thought of holding a weird glowy wand, rather than just jumping around, can be kind of a pain. Still, Sony continues to crank out some decent software for it, and this time around we have Sorcery, a fun magical adventure that would’ve been even more entertaining had the controls not been so limited. And yes, we mean by the Move.
The game puts you in control of Finn, a young magician who tries to learn magic while keeping out of harm’s way, even while his master’s cat, Erline, taunts him over it. However, one day, a nemesis manages to kill said master, and with his dying words, he wants Finn to protect Erline at all costs, as it’s much more than it seems. Throughout the rest of the game, you’ll battle enemies using magical spells of different elements, keeping them at bay while trying to solve the mystery revolving around that darn cat.
For a Move game, Sorcery shows a lot more structure than previous efforts like Medieval Moves and, obviously, those lame dance games. The story is actually quite involving, with a few twists and turns you might not see coming and plenty of heartwarming moments as Finn eventually evolves into a master magician. Likewise, the way you can level up your character is pretty cool, upgrading your spells so that they’re far more effective. (You’ll need to do this too, especially against tougher boss enemies.)
Sadly, all this magic is somewhat dwindled by the repetitive Move controls. While they are responsive, you don’t really get to do much outside of thrusting the controller to throw spells and occasionally doing a secondary action – like pouring contents into a bottle. And that’s really about it. The lack of a general DualShock control option really hurts here, because the game would’ve been enjoyed by a far greater audience with it, I think.
As for the game itself, it’s fun, though there isn’t really much variety in the enemies you face (four or five at best) and, again, most of the spells you cast just end up being the same old thing. And yet when you do get the occasional boss battle, where you have to use strategy to stay alive, it’s startlingly good. Too bad there aren’t more of these.
For a game that’s about two years past its initial announcement at E3, Sorcery has aged pretty well. The graphics are very good, with plenty of magical environments to run through and some great looking bosses. Your hero, however, has looked better, as his facial animation is lacking in a few places.
The audio fares much better. A great score plays throughout your adventure, so you really feel motivated to continue onward, and the sound effects really make you feel more like Harry Potter, even though you don’t need those dorky glasses – or a damn scar – to get the job done.
If Sorcery had included a regular control scheme, I think the score would’ve definitely bumped up to an 8, for sure. As it stands, however, it’s a decent Move effort, but some folks are likely to lose interest the moment their arms start getting sore. Too bad – this could’ve been a really magical summer hit.