Byte Size – The Wizards Enhanced Edition, PSVR Review

Harry Potter is a shit Wizard, make no mistake.

In my youth, when books were still a big thing I had firm favourites in the Wizarding space. Terry Brook’s Allanon (not the TV version), the ubiquitous Gandalf, even pasty Raistlin from the Dragonlance books and any number of David Gemmel magic users, not forgetting the more recent Denser from the exceptional James Barclay’s Raven Chronicles. My point is that these guys were qualified as Wizards because they actually did proper magic and I loved it, and I wanted to do it too.

Now I can, slipping on a PSVR and booting up The Wizards I can feel more like a badass spell thrower than a schoolboy with a penchant for chocolate frogs.

On the downside the game has a dated look and feel, but its heart is in the right place. The level design while funnelled can be quite grand and the sense of walking around your cosy home base is quite comforting. Textures are an immediate throwback to Oblivion, but hey, there are people still playing that game.

After a straightforward, albeit lacking in instruction training session the game throws you up against a few Orcs, Goblins and Trolls, no surprises there although the Dragon is quite a thing. Its also fair to say their AI is pretty basic, clambering over ledges in succession or shambling through a doorway until you have despatched enough of them.Every one making a beeline for you, apart from the ‘snipers’ sitting up on high ledges throwing down at you. The game shines as you get to grips with the tools in your hands though.

In an effort to make you feel like a real spellcaster The Wizards uses the move controls well, create a shield with a hand move that Doctor Strange would be proud of, wave a horizontal figure of in front of you to create an icy bow and arrows, or pull back then punch forward to get a few seconds of chain lightning blasting the mobs, it would make a Sith Lord smile. With the exception of the Fireball spell they make sense and switching the moves to create each one as needed feels so natural. The issue with the Fireball, was only because it took me a while to get a grip of the targeting system. Spent a few times wondering why my shots were off until I realised they were aiming for the reticle that was following my head. So, going forward; look at it, lob a fireball at it.

Getting around is handled well, its mostly teleporting and that in itself is pretty Wizard-like, that said without pacing you quickly run out of teleport juice and have to give it a few seconds. Which can be frustrating when an Orc is smashing down on you. Otherwise use move buttons to turn 45 degrees and the central button to move forward, smoothly, with minimal nausea.

Overall it is a fun game, while being a throwback to the nineties in look and level feel it offers plenty of suspended disbelief as you creep around looking for the next encounter and spend a few minutes fervently creating and using spells. Then the once the campaign is wrapped up, fighting out in Horde style Arena give you points and bragging rights.

Meloria is a game world I will go back to and certainly puts the power in your hands.

 

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