Sorcery is due more credit than it got, especially when you begin to explore the creative possibilities of spellcasting.

User Rating: 8 | Sorcery PS3
I had such a difficult time getting past the first paragraph in Tom Mc Shea's review that I have to wonder how much time he spent with it, or what game he was even playing. It certainly wasn't Sorcery - where it has received mixed reviews culminating in a 70% average on metacritic - because the score he granted was well below the average. I have to wonder if he understood how to switch spells and use them to his advantage, or how to simply cast in ways that are not "waggling".

I mean sure, you *can* play that way and have a horrible time at it in the same way you can try to beat Tony Hawk by just jumping - and I think that is the crux of the review. Tom was unwilling to meet the game halfway and play along. This game is meant to be played *as if you are a sorcerer*, and not Samba De Amigo on steroids.

The combat in the game ramps up in difficulty very well, in accordance to your spells. In addition, you have several opportunities to use the environment to your advantage by using fire scattered through out the combat space to cast fire bolts and quickly cut down your enemies. If you use your head and learn to rely on the tools in your toolbox, most encounters are trivial. By the time you learn the Wind spell through the second-half of the Endless Stair, you already have complete control of the battle. The Whirlwind is arguably the most powerful spell in the game - gathering up both enemies and projectiles and sending them over the nearest cliff is a no-brainer (BTW, did you know that you could change the speed and direction of the Whirlwind by casting blasts of air at it?).

It is perhaps one of the game's flaws that it expects players will experiment with each spell to discover how to use them, and instead should take the now common approach of holding players' hands and giving them the secrets of the universe. Instead Sorcery generously provides opportunities to explore more than just it's lush environments, but the magic and creative possibilities available to anyone willing to spend a couple minutes and really "play" with it. This goes against the grain of modern games and hearkens back to a time when players really needed to discover the secrets and special abilities that reward the astute, the adventurous, and the hardcore.

In addition to all of this, Alchemy is an essential part of the combat experience, as it lends to the flexible and creative approaches players can take. Enhancing spells with additional effects or damage, increasing magic and health reserves, building up elemental immunities and resistances, these all amount to very different strategies and outcomes toward the second half of the game. They are also very useful to adventurous players who seek a challenge and attempt the more difficult settings of the game - enemies that begin to regenerate health over time really force players to strategize about who to attack first, and how to wisely utilize the spells and abilities on hand.

While its not perfect gem, it is a gem - and it brings something very new and innovative to the PlayStation Move. Sorcery validates motion controls as a viable platform for gaming and really ties the user to the experience in ways that a simple controller will never achieve, but to do this, players need to actually step into the role in a way that most are not accustomed to.

Ultimately I feel bad for Tom Mc Shea, as I am sure he loves playing a good game - but he is a man who has many deadlines and as a result must approach most games on terms that are not his own. Sorcery is one of those rare games that really asks gamers to *play with it* more than simply "play it".