Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC | Wii | DS
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince box art
System: PC, PS3, X360, PS2, Wii PSP DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA Bright Light 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Electronic Arts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 30, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

In order to get to all of these mini-game challenges, you will have to run all over Hogwarts. The school is a big place, and between the secret painting passageways and moving staircases, getting around Hogwarts can be pretty tough. Luckily, the game has included a guide in the form of Nearly Headless Nick, who will help you reach any point of interest in the school. Although this feature is completely optional, I found out the hard way that trying to get around without him was folly indeed.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince screenshot

In addition to these mini-games, you will also have to wander around Hogwarts looking for collectible emblems. There are a total of 125 emblems scattered across the expansive halls of Hogwarts, and while some of these emblems are just lying in pathways waiting for you to pick them up, many are hidden in secret rooms and corridors. Some emblems even require a bit of puzzle-solving to attain them. For instance, I came across some emblems that were hidden behind jail-like bars, and in order to get them out, I had to bang them against a wall to break them, move all the pieces out with a spell, and then use another spell to put them back together. Granted, this isn’t high-level puzzle-solving, but the effort was made to keep the gameplay varied, and I can certainly appreciate that.

In addition to the single-player experience, there is also an unlockable duel mode which will allow you to engage in wizard fights with a friend. Though this mode isn’t that memorable, it allows you to fight as different wizards (which is something you couldn’t do in the game) and is good for some laughs with friends.

Visuals-wise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince looks very good. Hogwarts comes to life in vivid detail, with everything from the dark halls of Floor 7 to the grassy fields of the Quidditch Ditch; there are plenty of beautiful views to be had in this game. The character models also look very good, and their look is on par with the ever changing features of the movie’s actors. The only real complaint I have is that the characters’ features are oddly stoic, and their eyes and mouths tend to move very slowly. These aspects gave the characters a very wooden look to them, which was a little distracting during plot scenes.

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However, the sound is pitch perfect. Although the voice actors in the game aren’t the same ones from the movie, they do sound very close, and they do an excellent job of voicing the game’s numerous plot and dialogue scenes. As for the music in the game, it sounds almost identical to the movie’s orchestral score. The themes and melodies fit the action perfectly, and I couldn’t have been happier with the game’s score.

Overall, I can very confidently say that Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a fun movie tie-in game, and it certainly lives up to what is expected of it. Although it isn’t terribly long or deep, it will give fans of the series some solid gameplay, and it certainly isn’t too challenging for younger fans who might want to play it. The game also has some solid replay value from its multiplayer modes, so if you’re itching to get back into Hogwarts for year 6, then Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a great vehicle to do so.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.1
Graphics
Environments look fantastic, and character models are very detailed. However, facial animations do come across as a little stiff, especially in close-up shots.
3.5
Control
Controls work well for the most part, but a little bit more depth for the dueling aspect of the game might have been nice.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Character voices sound very close to the real thing with few exceptions. The score is also very good, and features the same themes from the movie.
3.1
Play Value
Like most movie tie-ins, this game is very short. However, the collection quests add some replay value for the devoted fan, and the multiplayer modes can be entertaining as well.
3.6
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Compete as Gryffindor for the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup: Take on Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin in the most exciting wizarding sport.
  • Perfect your Quidditch skills: Can you dodge a Bludger or catch the Snitch?
  • Take part in thrilling wizard duels. Battle against Death Eaters in Hogwarts, Inferi in the Horcrux cave and much more.
  • Join the Gryffindor Duelling Club. Perfect your duelling skills before you take on the other houses. Will you become the Duelling Club champion?
  • Create magical potions with Professor Slughorn - using the Half-Blood Prince's Potions book.
  • Explore Hogwarts at night: Take on night-time missions while the castle sleeps.
  • Stuck? Call on Nearly Headless Nick for clues and tips to help you complete your challenges.
  • Relive the action of the movie...from the Hogwarts Express to the dramatic revelation of the Half-Blood Prince.
  • See more of the wizarding world: Explore new magical places like The Burrow, and the Horcrux cave.
  • Uncover the truth: Travel with Dumbledore to piece together Voldermort's past, and sneak around Hogwarts to discover Malfoy's secrets.


  • Screenshots / Images
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