Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Quest for All Things Wonderbook

A couple of weeks ago, I finally found the time to check out Wonderbook: Book of Spells on the PlayStation 3 for the first time and it was indeed a wonderful experience. Since the E3 reveal of the PlayStation Move controller, unless you have played the EyePet games, Sony has been neglecting the potential of having the players see the Move controller transforming into something else in their very own hand - it is one of the most mesmerizing thing about the Move controller and it is something that you have to actually experience for yourself to be able to appreciate it fully - instead of just having the controller movement mimicked by an on-screen avatar. Book of Spells certainly takes advantage of the PS Eye camera and the Move controller to the fullest, adding plenty of magical, fantastic things on screen while adding another clever layer of virtual reality trickery with the introduction of the Wonderbook itself: the large 12-pages long blue book that becomes alive, pop-up style and beyond, inside your gaming display. I had originally planned on saving my session to use it for this article but I had completely forgotten to do that thus that footage has been lost forever. The good news here is that I didn't complete the whole game so the opportunity to archive future play sessions is still there. The best moment I had during that session was when the Move controller that was transformed into a magic wand in my hand was spouting water and the book got soaking wet in the process. I really had a blast interacting with the game and I am really surprised that there are only three other Wonderbook titles out there for the PS3 while there is still none available for the PlayStation 4. The usage of the Wonderbook should have been something that is immediately accessible using the PS4's The Playroom application. I am currently on a dangerous mission to acquire all of the Wonderbook games and I just got Wonderbook: Book of Potions yesterday:

Potion brewing session incoming!

When I believe in something, I like showing it my full support and I am a believer of the Wonderbook brand. It's easy to see a game like this as something that would only occupy children's attention but it's a different approach to interactivity that should be appreciated by many. The troubling thing here is of course not everyone can stomach the Harry Potter franchise and the other two titles, Walking with Dinosaurs and Diggs Nightcrawler are deceivingly aimed towards children as well. Hopefully, more variety of Wonderbook games will be developed in the future that can convince everyone to give these games a shot. Can you just imagine a horror Wonderbook game? I would get that title in an instant.

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