Magical Wonderbook: Book of Spells at Eurogamer

Upon entering the Eurogamer Expo 2012 yesterday the feeling of what games should be a priority went out the window when we saw what was on offer, while a few of my friends made a bee-line for the Black Ops queue. My overwhelming need to play it myself was suppressed by the amount of other titles on offer that didn’t require waiting around for any amount of time. With the intention of going back to the queue at a later stage a colleague and myself felt safe in the knowledge that we had plenty of time, and our friends will supply us with enough incentive to get involved.

There were still plenty of other games in mind so we headed over to take a look at the new Wii U console, in which a title like ZombiU would have been the obvious first port of call, but considering we had a few friends with us, one of the promotions team thought we could all get involved in the New Super Mario Bros. U. We had four players playing on screen at one time, and another player controlling the environment with the GamePad, giving us the opportunity to experience a great party game that has the same old familiar look that you would expect from a Mario title.

A girl controlling the GamePad was using this controller to help and hinder certain players adding to the chaos, and this was a much better title than we expected, playing with so many people at one time gave us cause to berate each other, giving cause to feel this was a surprisingly good game that could end up a console seller, although it was essentially a Mario title. From there a couple of my driving fanatic friends found a 3D Driving Simulator and after watching it for a few minutes through the 3D glasses the immersion was enough to make me sit down and try out Assassins Creed: Liberation on the PS Vita.

The game looked pretty impressive on Sony’s handheld, but there was not much that would stop me from thinking about how much better Assassin’s Creed 3 on the PS3 looked on the way through and this probably had gave me reason to cut my experience short, rather than a simple loss of interest. Taking a relaxing ten minutes out Wonderbook: Book of Spells was the ideal candidate, and this laid-back look into the world of Harry Potter’s spell casting seemed like a great game to keep the hyperactive child in me entertained. Using the PlayStation Move control I sat in a yoga styled position in front of an open book and performed harmonious spells helped along with an informative one-to-one explanation.

Picked up by the Eye camera the open book in front of me relayed some magical components of a mirror image. Once shown how to follow some relaxing patterns with the controller the chance to zap some oncoming wizards added to the gameplay, and not long after I was levitating jars of eyeballs, although on my first attempt the jar was dropped, and the eyes fell out all over the floor. After approaching the Wonderbook with a fair amount of skepticism, I found this was a captivating game for the younger generation, as well as fans of Potter.

The fact that I could continue to levitate the individual eye balls back into the jar made this all the more endearing, and hopefully installing a subconscious way of children tidying up their mess. Overall, this was a surprisingly good game making good use of the controller as a wand. The intention to play FIFA 13 was one of my concerns but after enjoying the demo of late, the fact that the game was on sale the following day gave me reason to believe that Assassin’s Creed 3 was more of a priority. Certain sections were being played and a conscious decision to go with the naval scene was a decent choice, as this aspect of the game has only recently come to light.

Starting off, the Azure blue of the ocean and the shimmering reflection were enough to get me involved hook, line and sinker (no pun intended). After being reminded by my colleague that it is not like driving a car, my sea legs were steadied and the ship battles begun. Taking out the main frame of the opposition’s ship was not enough with just cannon fire, I was informed about the various weapons you can use to take full advantage, and chain fire is ideal to attack the sails of other ships. This was easier said than done, as the sea was rather choppy at one point prompting my attacks to be more precise and timely according to the position of the waves.

My experience of this aspect of the game was fulfilled with the knowledge that Ubisoft have added more strings to the bow with this iteration, and Assassin’s Creed 3 looks set to be a big hit, building on previous titles.