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As a big fan of Harry Potter when I got my DSI I chose the HP game thinking it would be really good. Previously i've played the other games for the ps2 which i should have got this one for. Compared to the other games this was a let down. I found it a bit dull and making the potions the candle would burn out half way through making them if the ingredients needed to be mashed. I got stuck a few times and looked up a few cheats which really helped. The game ended quite suddenly and thought it would be better. WHen playing quidditch I thought they didn't really expalin how to play it properly or how to catch the snitch very well after a few goes i finally got the hang of it but tried to avoid playing it but once a game was started it had to be passed to be able to go any further.
Out of the HP games i've played this was my least favourite and i'm hoping the next one will be better. A friend of mine has the game for the Wii and it isn't much better. The graphics are good but don't recommend it unless you are a massive HP fan and like to have all the games in your collection
Having played on an older Harry potter game designed for the GBA and finding it a bit dull I thought that the new game designed for the Nintendo DS would be more interesting to play and also more challenging. Having recieved my Dooyoo cheque I decided to treat myself to the new Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince. The game is easily available and is currently on sale at Amazon for £24.99.
The first thing that I noticed once I had the game running was that there were only two save-game slots. This always causes trouble in my family as the children and I share games so it always makes life easier if we can have three games on the go at once. Obviously this is just a personal preference.
I like the Harry Potter books and have enjoyed the films. I have also played all of the previous games in one form or another, the main difference with this one is that it appears to bear no relation to the story at all. Normally there are cut-scenes and dialogue to follow the story line and although the games do not follow the stories to the letter at least they follow the general thread. The setting is Hogwarts and the Characters are dressed in the same clothes but there the similarity seems to end!
Harry is set tasks as he walks around Hogwarts, you mainly discover these by talking to other students and then you just wonder around aimlessly until you end up where you want to be! It is very hard to navigate around the castle as there is a map but it only shows the area you are in and not how to get to another area. Harrys walking around is easy to control with the cross-pad which I only discovered after following the instructions and trying to make him walk using the stylus which was a nightmare.
As Harry proceeds through the game you are taught several spells using the stylus but I found them pretty unresponsive and just had to keep trying to get them to work. Most of the time these spells yield gobstones and chess pieces that you then have to swap with students (if you can remember where!).
When Harry recieves a task it enters his Remembrall which is available to view on the top screen on the DS e.g Find a Viktor Krum Figurine, once you have worked out how to do this extra parts get added, if any part of the information appears in blue then you need to move the remembrall to the lower screen (by tapping Harry) and clicking on the blue word (a name or place), the game will then show you arrows to help you find what you are looking for. I think this just highlights how disjointed the game is as sometimes you are given help to find things and sometimes you just walk around (very slowly I might add!) for ages talking to everyone and casting spells on plant pots! The most annoying part of the arrows is that half the time the map points one way and the arrow by Harrys feet point the opposite way !?!
At several points during the game you are required to make potions using ingredients that you have to find. The potion making screen requires you to use the stylus with various actions e.g stir, rub,shake and pour. These parts were quite good fun but once again I found the game unresponsive and sometimes you couldn't convince it that you were doing the correct action (must admit to shouting at it occasionally- no help but made me feel better!). I tried it in one of my childrens consoles just incase mine was not working properly but it played in the same way on theirs. This was a shame as it was a new idea and would have made an entertaining part of the game.
Harry has to duel Slytherins as they block doorways etc, this was easily achieved by tapping the screen randomly and I didn't find any of the duels a challenge but I didn't finish the game so they may have become far more difficult at the end.
The game introduces mini-games as you progress that can also be accessed from the opening screen. You do have to beat the mini-games and achieve a certain level before you can continue.
The hardest by far is the Quidditch. The characters are so small and it is very difficult to see what is happening and even more difficult to control, the instructions as you start the game fail to mention what you have to do to win, there is no mention of what to do when the golden snitch appears so it takes several goes just to work out what you are controlling. I dreaded the matches and I also had to play them for my daughter as she just could not get past them. It wasn't a fun challenge for me but I am not an avid action gamer I prefer games that you have to work out so perhaps others would find that part quite easy.
Exploding Snap is another mini-game which seemed very easy and I quite enjoyed until I reached part of the game where you have to beat a certain player. On all the previous games I had to score about 400 which was ok but all of a sudden it was 750!! I could not get anywhere near this number and since I can't continue any further without winning the game is now back in the box. I tried it on and off for about four days until I was completely bored so gave up! I have tried to find a hint or walkthrough to get past it as I am obviously just not the right sort of player or have not grasped the rules (if anyone can give me a clue please PM!)
The other two mini-games are traditional Gobstones and Wizard Skittles which were both easy to play and passed a few minutes.
The graphics of the game are OK but the characters are not very clear. I didn't feel there was a lot to explore as all of the backgrounds were plain except for the obligatory plant pot or suit of armour. I always play games without putting the music on sp can't comment on it. The effect noise for the spells just tended to make it sound like I was shooting people so I turned that off in the end too!
As I have said I have not finished this game although I have reached a scetion called "preparing for the end" so I don't imagine there is that much game play left. There has been a little bit of the story about Slughorn and the Half-blood prince involved but really this game could be anything. lt is probably more suited to people who can manage action gaming although I wouldn't have thought the tedium of walking up and down corridors would have appealed. My children have not been impressed either so I am not sure of the target market.
I think I have probably been playing it for about 10 hours (about 2 of them on the dreaded snap!) and unfortunately I am not bothered if it never comes out of the box again--maybe I should think about e-bay!
The Harry Potter franchise has done very well for itself. Unfortunately, it appears that no one at EA Games had ever read Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince before writing the game.
The plot is buried so far beneath the repetitive "go here and find that" tasks (most of which require you to waste time speaking to anyone you pass, just to get hints of where you are supposed to be going) that it would have been more aptly named "Harry Potter And The Half Written Cash Cow".
The graphics are laughable; Hermione Granger appears to be a zombie. The interface is terrible; when you try to walk it casts a spell and when you want it to cast a spell, you end up walking.
The only reason to buy this game is if you are a complete die hard Potter fan. Without the name, this is simply another poorly planned and shoddily executed game, so much so that it's already been relegated to the bottom of the pile as far as my kids are concerned.
Age restriction on the game is 12+ and like other DS games of this nature it's priced around the £25 mark.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort's defences and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, the well-connected and unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information.