Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is set during Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts and things are not going well in the fight against Voldemort
- Huge Howarts environment, duelling is pretty fun, (some) original cast voiceovers and music
- Hit and miss controls, lack of variation in gameplay, shoddy cut scenes, lack of replay value
Unfortunately, the Half-Blood Prince falls victim to the common pitfalls of so many movie-to-game tie-ins before it.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
I'll admit it: I'm a Harry Potter fan. I've spent hours in line for midnight releases for both the books and the movies, surrounded by fellow nerds (excuse me -- "fans") with their glasses, wands and drawn-on lightning bolts shimmering across their foreheads. I've even got a mini-poster of the first film as well, which came with a complimentary golden snitch when I bought the DVD at Tower Records. All things considered, I like to think I'm a well-versed fan of the series. In fact, I blame Harry Potter for my long-standing insomnia, as every book kept me reading from ten at night until the crack of dawn. So, in that sense, I may even have reason to resent Harry Potter -- but I don't. However, what has given me a sense of resentment is the lack of a truly engaging Harry Potter game, and unfortunately, The Half-Blood Prince for the Nintendo Wii didn't do much to change that opinion.
The Boy Who Lived
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is set during Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts. Things are not going well in the fight against Voldemort: Muggles are beginning to notice magical accidents, important mystical people are disappearing and Severus Snape has made an unbreakable vow to Narcissa Malfoy to protect her son Draco. At Hogwarts, Harry learns how to Apparate, gets a new Potions master in the form of Horace Slughorn (but at the expense of having Snape as his Defense Against the Dark Art teacher) and begins to have all new romantic feelings towards Ron's sister, Ginny. Along the way, Harry receives help in Potions class from a mysterious penman named the Half-Blood Prince, uncovers some history behind Lord Voldemort, Dumbledore and Snape, and prepares for his biggest battle yet against the dark forces of magic.
Needless to say, a lot of stuff happens in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but you'll be hard-pressed to discover any of that information in the actual game. The bulk of Half-Blood Prince merely skirts over most of the important events in the novel and film in favour of forcing you to play repetitious mini games over and over again. While the game explains some of the basic plot (with some mediocre to downright terrible cut scenes), I doubt anyone who hasn't read the books or viewed the upcoming film would have any clue as to what was happening or why. Which is an unfortunate (albeit typical) outcome of its movie tie-in roots.
Now, before I talk about the gameplay, I'll have to say that I haven't played any of the previous Harry Potter games, so I'm simply going off of what this new installation has to offer. The bulk of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's gameplay is spent in four different categories: Quidditch, brewing potions, wizard dueling, and running your wizard butt to-and-fro across the castle. Now, while I didn't mind the last category, as you'll find the design of Hogwarts is absolutely gorgeous, the first three categories left something to be desired.
The game utilises the Wii Remote for all your Quidditch, Potions and duelling needs and while it's fairly well incorporated, it can be pretty touch and go with certain tasks. In Quidditch, you'll find that Harry is already set on a directed flight path through the stadium, leaving you to simply point the Wii mote left, right, up and down to make him fly through some star shapes which propel him to catch the snitch. While the animation and sound design is pretty good, the gameplay is dull, repetitive and not particularly hard, which left me feeling pretty bummed, as Quidditch seems like such a fertile ground for some intense sports gameplay.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSolution Architect - Financial applicationsVIC
- CCSecurity Policy AnalystsNSW
- CCSenior System AdministratorVIC
- TPMobile DeveloperWA
- CCProject Manager - Datawarehouse BIVIC
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystACT
- CCTest AnalystWA
- CCCyber Security Strategy AnalystNSW
- FTTelecommunications Services Manager - Voice/Data/UCQLD
- TPAgile Business AnalystQLD
- TPUI/UX ConsultantWA
- CCSecurity Policy AnalystsVIC
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- CCTest Planner - Infrastructure/Data CentreACT
- FTPrincipal Architect - Infrastructure | Major BankVIC
- FTSolution Architect l MS Exchange, O365NSW
- TPBI Commercial AnalystVIC
- TPWebMethods Architect/DeveloperVIC
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer (Mid level) - Defence Projects - SydneyACT
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)Other
- CCSenior Networks Specialist - DNS PlatformVIC
- TPAnalyst Programmer (Adabas)SA
- TPIT Project CoordinatorVIC