|System: Wii, PS3, X360|
|Dev: Bright Light|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: November 16, 2010|
|Screen Resolution: 480p||Fantasy Violence|
The story elements are handled competently as well. Cutscenes and dialogue with Harry's friends break up the action sequences, and despite the weird jargon, even those who aren't familiar with the Potter tale will find the basic outline of the story easy to follow. It's not as vivid or detailed as the movie or books, of course, and purists will be annoyed at the loose way the plot follows J.K. Rowling's original, but the developers managed to make the story not feel like an afterthought.
The prerendered graphics in the cutscenes are good for the Wii, but the in-game visuals are sparse, with bare-bones textures, too little detail, and mediocre animations. Also, the level design can be repetitive -- for example, in the aforementioned dragon level, you have to avoid the dragon in one cave after another by hiding behind columns -- and the lack of detail can make it easy to get turned around. Worst of all, the slowdown is absolutely horrific when lots of enemies are on the screen; one time, we actually thought our Wii was malfunctioning.
The sound has its good and bad points. The voice acting is good (especially if you find English accents as amusing as we do), but the repetitive dialogue samples can get irritating, especially when you have a whole group of people yelling out "Stupefy!" at random intervals. However, the sound effects make you feel like you're in the movie, and the music evokes the mood of the franchise.
Developers Bright Light deserves some credit for taking on a daunting project; one can only imagine how hard it is to turn Harry Potter into a third-person shooter. Unfortunately, while they succeeded in putting out a product with the Harry Potter name on it in time for Christmas, they failed to make that product a good buy. The gameplay here is just too awkward, too glitchy, and too bland to make this a good use of money or time.
CCC Freelance Writer