The Wizards

Fight your way through Meliora as an up and coming Wizard traveling through different worlds and battling hoards of fantastical creatures.  With a wide assortment of magic spells, challenging game play and an intriguing point scoring system you can devote hours into the game while fulfilling one of you childhood dreams of becoming an all powerful wizard. 

Genre: First Person Adventure Game
Controller: Move Controllers
Price: $24.99
Game Length: 5 hours
PlayPSVR Score: 7.5

Before I even knew about The Mage's Tale I had heard about The Wizards and I think after playing both we have a unique discussion on our hands.  The Wizards starts as many wizard based games do.  You are an amateur and inexperienced wizard recruited to help defeat the evil and restore peace to Meliora.  To do so you will learn new spells and fight enemies in mystical lands.  

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The graphics in The Wizards are very good.  They look crisp, detailed and are very polished.  With the assistance of smooth turning and movement the game provides a good amount of immersion for the player.  The controls are somewhat straightforward, but very notable.  Using the move controllers you make different movements to cast different spells.  For example, you shift both hands forward for lightning, you flick your wrist outward for a fireball and you cross your outstretched arms for an ice bow.  I absolutely love this idea and it makes combat so much more engaging and fun.  However, the move controllers and tracking simply are not good enough to do these movement accurately for precision game play.  When I am fighting bosses I am attempting to make accurate and precise moves to avoid projectiles while getting the max number of hits in.  This just can't be done because the tracking isn't there.  Unfortunately, the move controllers have destroyed yet another outstanding idea. 

The plot is pretty basic, yet still well done.  Nothing is going to rock you or be a big surprise or be notable at all really.  Honestly, The Mage's Tale and The Wizard's are so close in plot (technically they are different, but with both having you play as a amateur wizard, saving someone, etc.) that it was somewhat disappointing.  Definitely play this game for the combat, not the plot. The narrator is rather sassy with attempts to be comical.  The game play and plot mesh together well, it just isn't something special. 

The enemy assortment is pretty good, not great, but better than The Mage's Tale.  I also dont understand why this game is a travel, get to a wide open area and then fight hoards of enemies.  I really don't like this because it breaks up the game, is very predictable and just isn't smooth.  Why can't you have enemies spread out through the entire level rather than 4 predetermined areas where you fight enemies.  I don't know, but I was disappointed by that fact. 

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When the move controllers work correctly the combat is really fun and easily my favorite aspect of the game.  Switching from lightning to ice bow in an instant seamlessly is impressive and a blast.  If you were a real wizard this is exactly how I imagine it would be.  Once you see enemies the action is fast paced and at certain points you really need to multi task to kill certain enemies while dodging projectiles while continuing to move. They even spice up combat by having certain tiles catch on fire underneath you so it adds another dynamic quality to the game.  Granted, later on in the game it may get a little repetitious, but overall I was impressed and think it was a great time. 

The game isn't entirely plot based like most games.  Each world is broken up into 5 regions and for these regions you gain a certain score.  This goes on a leader board and is based off gems that you have found, enemies you have killed and different cards that you have played beforehand.  To provide more detail here, during the levels you find chests that have cards in them that alter the level in some way.  Some cards weaken enemies, some give enemies more health, some slow enemies down, etc. The cards that make your life more difficult increase your number of points gained whereas the cards that make the game easier lessen your points.  This helps adjust the difficulty to your skill level and increases replay-ability to see how high you can score.  

This scoring system baffled me at first, but it was actually a pretty solid idea.  With The Mage's Tale, once beaten there is no reason to go back and play it.  But now, since The Wizard's isn't strictly plot based you have more reason to go back and play a level or two.  It also breaks the game up into bite sized chunks rather than have one long game.  If you wanted to play a certain part of the game it would be hard to do so unless it were broken up into stages.  

The price of the game I think is another selling point. You will get at least 5 hours out of this bad boy and that is assuming you don't replay too many of the levels.  If so, then you will get even more bang for your buck.  So at $25 I think it is a very fair investment and one you wouldn't be disappointed in at day's end. 

Finally, I have to mention my gripes.  I already mentioned the fact that casting certain spells is very difficult in a high stress and timely manner because the tracking isn't good enough.  I don't know who to blame for this so I will just say it sucks and move one.  Second, the game I found to be repetitive and just not that fun.  It was somewhat dull.  The combat was good, not great.  The plot was average.  The graphics were good but nothing we haven't seen before.  I think The Wizard's is the definition of a "good" game.  If you were expecting something greater or like a top 10 PSVR game I am afraid I have bad news to deliver.  But if you want a solid game at a decent price this could be it. 

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No Wizard's review would be complete without discussing it's potential vs. The Mage's Tale.  Honestly, I found both games to be extremely similar.  I gave them both the same score because they are equally in the same category of game.  The Wizard's combat is better, has better graphics and definitely more replay value.  But The Mage's Tale is longer, provides much better puzzles and game play diversity and is a bit more fun to play I think.  The Wizard's is more polished and you can tell the devs thought outside the box more.  If you tied me down and made me play one I would probably choose The Wizards, but only because I could play 2 levels and stop.  

The Wizard's is a fast paced spell casting good time but lacks any real explosive factor that would ascend it above the "good" category.  With a good length, intriguing battle system and smooth controls it will certainly scratch that wizardly itch you may have, but also leave you wondering if more could have been done to make a lasting impression.  

PlayPSVR Score: 7.5