What happens when a children's game hits puberty..
posted by Lucasan (ALLSTON, MA) Jul 2, 2009
Member since Jan 2009
gamers (79%) found this review helpful
THe first obvious thing I'll say is that this is a game designed for kids. Yet as such, it wasn't that bad, and it doesn't feel as idiot-proof as other kids games. Perhaps this is due to the darker nature of the story, and the fact that the characters by this time are starting to come into their own. But either way, I didn't feel like I'd been completely robbed of my time after I finished.
However, the game difficulty is defintely geared toward the younger or more casual crowd (girls ;P), as this is a pretty easy game. It is also relatively short, maybe around 7 hours give or take to finish the single player. And as for multiplayer, well, there is a multiplayer, but it's only local (not Xbox Live) and only has one mode, one-on-one dueling. Definitely room for improvement there.
Otherwise, the game plays as a bit of a sandbox game (not quite Fallout 3, but there's definitely some nonlinear aspects to this game) and heavily relies on the use of three minigames: potion making, dueling and quidditch. So you can spend time exploring an area, improving your score in the minigames, or you can stick poignantly to the storyline. In this sense, the game will feel very familiar to anyone who played "Order of the Phoenix," which broke new ground by letting the player explore all of Hogwart's at their leisure. HPB gives you the same access, but it's hard to feel the same awe exploring the same building.
THe graphics are generally well-above average, though still suffer from time to time. The cut-scenes are well done and the developers have made sure you take the time to appreciate them because there's no way to skip them.
Any serious gamer will know what to expect coming into a game like this, and by those standards this is pretty darn good effort, aside from a few issues. However, if you're a Potter fan or looking for a game to rent for the kids, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
posted by cashrules (NORTHBOROUGH, MA) Dec 6, 2010
Member since Apr 2008
gamers (83%) found this review helpful
This game was fun at first, being able to explore the castle, fight duels, makes potions, play quidditch, and all, but thats about it. Theres nothing else to do expect do those things. Even if you follow the storyline, the same thing happens every time. You get assigned to a mission, you call Nearly-Headless Nick to guide you through the castle to your destination, you end up seeing Crab or Goyle or some other bad guy that you have to fight, beat them, and then get to your destination where there is a cut scene and a clip, where the character you just met tells their speal and then sends you off to your next mission, usually a qudditch match or making a potion. The game endlessly repeats itself until the story is over, and then you get to find all the crests, which involve, again, the same thing over and over again. Of the 150 crests hidden in the school, about half of them are mounted on a wall, in which you then have to use wingardium leviosa to throw something at it and hit it down. One quarter involves burning down a tree with incendio to then throw something else at it. The last quarter are hidden behind a gate, so you have the break the crest, levitate it out of the gate (it has to fit) and then repair it. The rest are simply sitting there in some part of the school. There are of course mini-crests which you can collect, when if enough are collected, can give you a full crest if you don't feel like finding them all. Basically, the game is repeat after repeat after repeat. Don't get me wrong though, it was worth the short 6 hour single player, but it wasn't worth buying AT ALL. Rent or don't bother.
gamers (78%) found this review helpful
For a kids game, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince does an excellent job of entertaining the non-kids who are fans of the books as well. I think the game actually falls somewhere in between in some cases. There are aspects that will be difficult for kids to master and there are parts that are way too easy for adults. Broom flight, for example, seemed just about right for an adult, but I couldn't help but wonder how successful a 10 year old would be at it.
Casting spells works great on the right joystick. You just have to remember the pattern for each spell. The offensive spells tend to be easier to remember than the ones used to levitate objects. That's probably best for the times you need to quickly defend yourself in battle or in a duel.
Graphics are fairly good. It depends on each character how they turned out. Harry looks ok. Ron looks weird. Luna Lovegood, however, looks exactly like the actress from the movies.
The only complaint I have about the game so far is how long it can take to get from one end of the castle to another. There are some portraits you can go through for shortcuts, but sometimes you still have to just run all over the world to get where you need to go. Nearly Headless Nick can be called to lead you to a place you aren't sure how to get to, and that's very helpful and much faster than last time. No more following slow moving footsteps on the ground. Nick is nice and quick.
The game level probably is a good fit for a teenager, just about the ages of some of the students in Hogwarts this time around. It's fun and follows the story to a tee. Add in side quests and puzzles between story development, and you get a good idea what to expect if you've read the book.