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

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 5
EA Games Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • EA Games Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • EA Games Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • EA Games Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Pros

  • Huge Howarts environment, duelling is pretty fun, (some) original cast voiceovers and music

Cons

  • Hit and miss controls, lack of variation in gameplay, shoddy cut scenes, lack of replay value

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, the Half-Blood Prince falls victim to the common pitfalls of so many movie-to-game tie-ins before it.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 5 stores)

See all prices

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.

"Stupefy Stupid!"

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.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the Good Gear Guide comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?