|System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, 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||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Mini-games involve cards, marbles, pinball, and of course Quidditch. Let me briefly discuss Quidditch. This is like a flying version of lacrosse, with some obvious variations. I will assume you're familiar with the game from the movie or the book. As far as I'm concerned, the fictional sport has never been done justice on a video game, and that still is the case here.
There's a lot of pandemonium onscreen, with various characters jostling and vying to steal the Quaffle. You'll play as one of the Chasers, but all you have to do is wait until the Snitch is released and catch it in your crosshairs - not very challenging and not very satisfying. The other mini-games involve a card-based game that is similar to Concentration, a regular boring game of marbles, and a variation of a pinball game without flippers or bumpers that is like the passive game of Plinko from the Price is Right.
Only the main characters are rendered in 3D, and they look pretty good, although they all animate identically. The environments are huge with enough variation to make you believe you're in different sections of the school. The only plot developments come in the form of text-based cutscenes. Tunes must have been culled from the motion picture, as they are of good sound quality and composition. Sound effects are also good but repetitive, fortunately they are used sparingly. I didn't find any problems with the control scheme, but there are not a lot of moves in any case. The game is played almost like a point-and-click action-adventure game with the menu dishing out many of your options. There's a tutorial that's perfect for beginners to get the hang of the game, but unfortunately it's easy to get the hang of, and after a few hours, you may want to hang yourself.
Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince is a half-baked game that is almost certain to leave you with a sour taste.
CCC Senior Writer