Apart from LEGO Harry Potter, which truly warms the cockles of my childish heart, there's been a surprising dearth of wizard-themed action on consoles recently. Motion control should already have ushered in a new era for this sub-genre. You'd think somebody would have spotted the potential for wand-waving with a Wiimote by now - although Billy the Wizard might have driven any inspired developers to suicide.
Enter Sorcery, one of Sony's first titles for Move. It's a magical action-adventure with wands. As the first actual Move game I've tried, besides the fascinating demos where you get to be a robot with Wolverine claws, it's convincing.
Rather than dramatically redesigning everything for the sake of motion control, developer The Workshop has gently incorporated it into a familiar-feeling template. Sorcery doesn't represent the first unsteady step into a new genre - just a new twist on an old one.
Holding the main controller with the squidgy glowing orb in my right hand and the analogue stick sub-controller in the other, I'm given control of a skinny kid in a cape. This sorcerer's apprentice is in a cartoonish, crumbly old Fantasia castle comprised of huge chunks of stone and sturdy oaken doors. There's more than a touch of Hogwarts about Sorcery's architecture and flighty orchestral music.
You perform a basic spell by casting out in front of you with your wand arm - and you have to do it properly, rather than giving it a bit of the old Wii remote waggle. The game features sticky targeting, so spells seek the nearest destructible object or enemy, but it doesn't aim for you. Instead you must finish the gesture pointing in the direction of the monster, vase or window you want to hit. Velocity matters, too, and more forceful casts result in stronger spells.
Our enemies for the demo are stony little gremlins that bumble around emitting comical little cackles. The default spell stops them in their tracks momentarily, but the fun is in experimenting with the the non-standard magic.
You can select a new spell by holding the central button and moving the cursor around a hexagonal menu. There's a quick-select, too, which switches between the last two spells you've used. Unfortunately the buttons on the Move controller are so insensibly tiny it's not much use.
I go for the Frost Shard spell, hoping that the sorcerer's apprentice is concealing a crowbar somewhere on his person for a BioShock-style freeze'n'smash. Switching between freeze and the standard spell shatters the little goblins on the spot. Then there's a fire spell, which I can either cast out in front of me to send a fireball rolling on its merry way or cast in a line in front of me to create a wall of flames.
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