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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince game review

Could the new Harry Potter game use more magic? There’s some good news and some bad news, depending on which version you play.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Electronic Arts for PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, DS, PSP, PC
Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older
harrypotter-cover
Xbox 360 and PS3
Graphics: 8.0
Sound: 8.0
Gameplay: 7.0
Replay Value: 6.0
Overall Score: 7.0

Pros: Great graphics, dueling club, casting spells

Cons: No online play, characters’ lips move weirdly, not enough that’s truly new

Wii
Graphics: 6.0
Sound: 6.0
Gameplay: 6.0
Replay Value: 6.0
Overall Score: 6.0

PSP
Graphics: 6.0
Sound: 6.0
Gameplay: 5.0
Replay Value: 5.0
Overall Score: 5.5

DS
Graphics: 5.0
Sound: 5.0
Gameplay: 5.0
Replay Value: 5.0
Overall Score: 5.0

FIRST, THE BAD NEWS

I’m afraid I have to tell you to stay away from the handheld versions. Both the PSP and DS games are pretty similar. In some ways, they just don’t look finished and corners have been cut. In an adventure game that isn’t too full of true adventure, the gamemakers add a lot that isn’t in the book, and it’s boring stuff.

There’s so much going-here-and-going-there to accomplish tasks, you often don’t want to play. Plus, the mini-games based on Gobstones, the marble game, and Exploding Snap, the card game, just don’t inspire a sense of wonder. There’s very little that’s magical here.

The Wii version is almost as much of a disappointment. Like the last game, you’ll make potions, play Quidditch and explore Hogwarts. What makes this game lesser than the other console versions is that the movements you want to make with the Wii remote aren’t always the ones that end up happening on the screen. It’s been years since the Wii was released; shouldn’t you be able to pull off really precise moves by now?

harrypotter2NOW, THE GOOD NEWS

The slightly more thrilling versions of the game are the ones made for Xbox 360 and PS3. The first thing you see is a bunch of quick scenes from the game, which gets you energized. After meeting Hermione and Ron and riding really fast through some hoops and navigating via the left stick, you’re transported far outside Hogwarts.

In a beautiful but somewhat creepy night full of shadows and moonlight, the quirky Luna Lovegood leads you up the road to the school. During the trip, you learn that there are 150 Crests to collect during the game. Also, shimmering and glowing objects such as street lamps contain Mini Crests. Collect enough, and you’ll eventually unlock extra bonuses and shortcuts.

harrypotter3Once inside, you meet Nearly Headless Nick, who’s your helper in case you get stuck during missions or become lost. Early on, you learn how to lift and throw an object with Wingardium Leviosa. You need to do this to collect a Crest that’s high up on an old brick wall. Sometimes Crests are really difficult to get. Exploding cauldrons and dungbombs help when Wingardium Leviosa isn’t enough.

MORE BAD NEWS

You follow Nearly Headless Nick to the Potion room to do some timed mixing of the weird liquids and powders that make spells. While the designers try to make this cool by adding sound effects and vibrant potion colors, mixing things together is just not that interesting.

harrypotter5I also discovered that moving down circular staircases got me dizzy, especially when I ran quickly. If you’re prone to getting motion sickness in a game, try to move slowly and take a break every 15 minutes or so. There’s no need to finish the game in a hurry. In fact, moving more slowly lets you check out the detailed environments that fill the Half-Blood Prince and set the mysterious mood.

While the characters’ faces look pretty close to the real-life actors, their lips don’t look right when they say certain words, especially when the words begin with b, f, m, n and p. I know this sounds like I’m nitpicking, but check it out yourself. It’s pretty distracting.

It also would have been great to have Quidditch and dueling in online modes. But it looks like EA still believes (like many developers) that kids don’t want to play with their pals online.

BUT MORE GOOD NEWS

Yet there are some compelling things. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you unlock shortcuts in the game. And it’s fun to interact with characters. You can even talk to lion statues (if they feature Crests) and get small missions from them called Good Deeds.

harrypotter4One of the most enjoyable things to do is dueling. Once you take on Ron, you’re admitted into the Gryffindor Dueling Club. In these battles, which get harder and harder, you can use Levicorpus to levitate your foe and Petrificus Totalus to freeze your opponent. Basically, the dueling is practice that helps when you eventually take on the crafty Death Eaters.

Overall, diehard fans of the Harry Potter series won’t care about the glitches and lack of new gameplay. But do yourself a favor and rent before you buy, especially when it comes to the handheld versions. You’ll want to make sure you really like it before you make a financial investment in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

25 Comments on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince game review

  1. SuperCriticJ // August 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm // Reply

    Its probably the same as the one before that in which its very challenging to complete tasks for new and adolesent gamers

  2. I have the Harry Potter and the half- blood prince video game on PC and It’s one of the best (computer) games ever!!!!!!!!!! It’s very interactive and addicting!! The only problem is that it is quite easy to win the game but it’s not all that bad, but even if you beat the game you can still go around Hogwarts and do lots of cool stuff!!!!!

    THIS GAME IS THE BOMB!!!!!!!!! You have to consider Buying it either for PC, XBOX 360 or the PS3!!!!!!!

  3. im still wondering if i should get this game the only real reason is that there is quidditch, dueling club, and the storyline
    but i definitely want to get Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows game thats where all the action and spell fighting with death eaters and voldemort come in

  4. i love it .

  5. i nead to play .

  6. yahoooooooooo // August 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm // Reply

    cant wait to get it

  7. i have the game and beat it 4 times

  8. hope its fun!!!!!!!!

  9. yahoooooooooo // August 19, 2009 at 5:27 am // Reply

    hp6 game looks like a cool game

  10. I want the game

  11. i want to play the game

  12. I have seen the moive and i’m reading the book i wana play game i own the first, secend , third and the forth game and movie

  13. I am playing harry6..
    But i was strucked at preparing portion at party(PARTY CRUNCH)..
    Can any body help?
    Any one completed harry6?

  14. HARRY POTTER IS THE BEST FANTASY SERIES IN THE WORLD!

  15. hermoinelover // August 9, 2009 at 4:53 am // Reply

    pls where did u buy part 6 from

  16. sony informer // August 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm // Reply

    this is a waste of money for wii but the ps3 has amazing graphics it really gets you into the game.

  17. I’m playing HP2 on Gamecube and I can’t get past the part when your jumping from ledge to ledge in the Avifors Challenge! Anyone got any tips?

  18. Sparkyzigzag1 // August 7, 2009 at 5:40 pm // Reply

    i played the 2nd and 3rd games on the nintendo Gameboy and i`m getting a DS from my sister on her birthday, + i decided 2 get the game when it comes out, so i can play it on my DS.

    Ciao for now,
    Sirach

  19. michael jordan // August 7, 2009 at 10:20 am // Reply

    I NEED TO PLAY THAT GAME!

  20. cool i like it

  21. im really intrested in this game because it is cool my friend has this game

  22. Can I please play it:)

  23. it a little nice to me and excitng

  24. I have this game it’s great

  25. i have the computer game and it is good but i cant get past the clock tower shortcut to play quidditch.

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