interesting. I would love to see this extend to other games. I think it's quite a feasible concept and can be much more than just a one-game gimmick.
Wonderbook: Book of Spells Review
Wonderbook: Miranda Goshawk's Book of Spells is a great augmented reality adventure that deftly imagines the experience of spell-casting at Hogwarts.
Beyond the spells, there are assorted other elements to keep you entertained. Occasionally, you come across jottings by the mischievous, unnamed ex-owner of the book, which generally invoke amusing little curses (even Miranda Goshawk inserts one, which makes your bogeys turn into bats and fly out of your nose). Some spells come with a colorful pop-up, diorama-style cardboard theatre, in which the stories of the wizards and witches who invented them are acted out. Pulling tabs using the Move lets you change certain words of the story, and often to humorous effect.
You're rewarded for successful spellcasting with collectibles and house points. Five to 15 house points are on offer for each chapter test. And after each chapter test, you're given a rhyming conundrum, each of which concerns the attributes required to be a great wizard. Disappointingly, you're never given the opportunity to solve these, and they're a tad easy too.
The joy of Book of Spells is in the way it sucks you into a very convincing evocation of Hogwarts. The hand of J.K. Rowling herself is easily detectable: the spells (many of which are central to the Harry Potter books) are fleshed out and given backstories laced with plenty of Rowling's trademark humour. Exercises take place in recognisable parts of Hogwarts, like the herbology lab and the library. You encounter the likes of gnomes, sphinxes, and baby dragons, and you might have to help them out by casting spells to drive away predators, or thwart their mischief making by moving Golden Galleons before they can be stolen.
Throughout the game, you see yourself in a small window, complete with book and wand. This image moves around screen depending on the in-game environment, but because it always displays a mirror-image, casting spells in the correct direction always seems intuitive, and sports an impressive amount of fine control. This is augmented reality that works--the other reality in which it places you is believable and, crucially, adheres to real-world physics.
There are some issues, though: it's a shame that only one person can play at a time, although you could envisage a bunch of kids assembling around and taking turns with the Move wand. The story fizzles out at the end too, and there isn't much replay value. But what is on offer here is a thoroughly entertaining experience for children, one that offers up unique spellcasting gameplay that's a lot of fun. Seeing a simple-looking book transform from a blue-and-white peripheral into a living thing is a truly enchanting experience, and captures so much of the character and wonder of Harry Potter. There's not a whole lot here for adults, but--within the context of children's entertainment where it resides--Wonderbook: Book of Spells is a triumph.
If my daughter was older and into Harry Potter, I'd probably get this for her. Since she's only 3yr and have no clue who or what Harry Potter is, I'll pass. I still haven't played Sorcery yet with the MOVE. It's unfortunate that Sony pretty much gave up on the MOVE. There hasn't been any NEW games for it for awhile. Nothing interesting for the hardcore gamers, that's for sure.
I have just rented this game today and my wife and daughter are playing it as i write this! I have to admit i am not into the whole ps move thing but i have to say i am impressed with the wonderbook! Its not for the hard core gamer but its something new for kids and parents and lots of fun. If you can rent this do so even if its just to try once,
Nice to see a review score based on the target audience and expectations of the actual product (now if GS could just do the same with portable titles :P). I've purchased this for the kids, and am interested to see what other books come out for it in the future. I wonder if Sony have considered the possibility of developing interactive learning for adults based on this technology?
I am shocked! This game actually scored good after I tore it apart month by month ever since E3! ...Goes to show, never judge a book by it's cover... Get it?... Wonderbook??... Ah, screw it
Wow, that video with the chick "growing the pumpkin" was so bad. She couldn't look less enthused about what she was doing if she were being paid too! Even still, she can't help but attempt to take a virtual bite out of the imaginary pumpkin, showing just how fun the game can be if you let it.
It looked like she was just acting bored and ashamed of it, because the rest of the staff were crackin' on it.
I think that a real book and a card (like EyePet) would be better. So kids (or fans) could read stories about the spells and the Harry Potter universe.
Gamespot's reviews are terrible anymore. Fable the Journey gets an 8 and now this? Shaking my head.....
@Jonwh18 OMG Journey is the greatest game EVER D:, its all about the perfection of whats the game is trying to give you or what the producers are trying to sell you, to buy it or not depends on each gamers taste !!
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I always thought this augmented reality stuff was cool and the Move is a great way to experience it without the innacuracies inherent with just a Playstation Eye or Kinect. Not exactly something for adults, but I could see kids loving this if it works as well as Steve claims it does. My undestanding is that this tech could be used for other books as well and I hope that it is. Definitely a cool thing for kids and something that can't be done on Wii or as well on Kinect.
1st comment, looks like I get to be the a-hole......
I wonder how many people are going to try and argue that this is a great game, even though they spent the last 5 years bashing Nintendo and the Wii because you had to "flail your arms around just to play a game".
Anyways, I'm surprised it got such a good score, most previews weren't very positive.
@FallenOneX To be fair most games that venture down this path, tend to be a flop and fail miserably at what the devs were aiming to achieve (if there ever was a goal outside of profit). This, on the other hand, when looked at objectively, seems to have succeeded fairly well. Now of course, I'm not gonna buy or play this game, I hate this stuff. But hey - pew pewm!
@Devils-DIVISION True, but do you remember how pissed of most gaming sites were when Sony made this a big part of their E3 presentation? So far, GS's score of "8" proves that "Foot-in-Mouth" disease might be real!