It is Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts and as usual everyone is worried about when He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named will strike again and Draco Malfoy is up to no good. This year Harry becomes the Gryffindor Quidditch captain which holds big responsibilities in the choosing of the team. Also in this year Harry focuses on his potions more than ever with assistance of his new teacher Mr. Slughorn.
In Harry Potter HBP you are in control of Harry Potter throughout most of the game, but at a certain section of the game you take control of Ron after he has eaten chocolate from Romelda which contained a love potion and you are escorted by Harry to Mr. Slughorn's office. You also take control of Ginny Weasley later on in the game during the Quidditch finals as Harry has to serve detention.
Harry Potter HBP has the same control mechanism as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix using the right analogue stick to cast spells such as Wingardium Leviosa and Incendio. Also when duelling you use the right analogue stick to cast the attacks such as Stupefy, Expelliarmus and Petrificus Totalus. As Harry progresses through the game he learns new spells for duelling and for collecting the 150 crests hidden throughout the various locations in the game. Another way you discover crests is by getting mini-crests out of stuff like buses, trees, lights and many more things that have a colourful circle around it.
The game allows you to do what ever you feel like doing, such as going to find crests, playing the mini-games or actually following the story. The new Harry Potter game has more of an open world this time round. You can travel from the front gate of Hogwarts all the way down to the Boathouse. There are more than 30 places to visit in the world that is Hogwarts.
The mini-games in Harry Potter HBP are Duelling Club, Potions Club and Flying Club. Duelling Club consists of four Duelling Clubs from each house (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff). You go through the ranks of Junior, Senior 1, Senior 2 and Champion to become the ultimate winner of the club. Potion Club allows you to create 21 different potions. Potion creating is one of the newer add-ons from the other Harry Potter games. The potions making allows you to pick up all different sorts of ingredients boil the cauldron and stir it up. Flying club allows you to play the games of Quidditch versus Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. It also allows you to play the warm-ups for the matches and the try-outs for the team. There is also a bonus Quidditch match to unlock.
A criticism of the game is that it is extremely easy to finish. The time it took to finish the game was around 6-7 hours. Once you have completed the story mode, you have access to an endless day. The endless day allows you to wander around Hogwarts all day collecting crests and competing in clubs. Harry Potter HBP is a game that would is quite easy to pick and play and is definitely aimed at the casual and younger gamer.
Although it would be a great new addition to the Harry Potter series, EA still have not created an online feature to Harry Potter. EA could quiet possibly have online games for duelling, Quidditch and even a versus mode for the make a potion mini-game. EA have perhaps made the Harry Potter series an offline only game because, as mentioned above, it is probably aimed more at children or casual players rather than the hardcore gamers who demand online components to their game.
Harry Potter has always had graphics that are a bit chunky, but in the latest addition to the series EA have definitely fine tuned that. The characters of Harry Potter HBP are very well done with most of them looking like the main characters from the movie. A lot of the locations throughout the game have a very familiar feel to them, making it really seem as though you are playing the movie. This time around EA focused more on the characters rather than the scenery as shown in the Grand Staircase. Most of the paintings on the wall are repetitive and also when playing Quidditch the background is a fairly standard background of the castle and a bunch of trees nearby. Whilst you will notice some minor glitches with the graphics (books occasionally fly in front of Harry's face while running a long, the Hagrid character) the graphics are very good and as mentioned earlier, really add to the feeling of playing in the movie.
The soundtrack behind Harry Potter HBP is simply traditional Harry Potter music that you hear in the movies. Although Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe didn't provide their voices in the game, the fill-in's Adam Sopp and Rachel Sternberg do such a good job that I couldn't even tell that it wasn't the original actors.
Although the Harry Potter series still needs a bit more work to become a really good movie tie-in game, it isn't very far off. Harry Potter HBP was a very short game and the cut-scenes and story jump around far too much. One time you’re in Hogwarts and then two seconds later you’re at the Weasley's House. It's probably not helped by the fact that the movie has yet to be released, meaning if you haven't read the book you may find certain moments in the game that don't quite tie together. Having said that, Harry Potter HBP shapes up to be a good Action/Family game for nearly everyone to enjoy.
1. Great mini-games.
2. Graphics for the character models are much better than last Harry Potter game
1. Way to short
2. Story hard to follow
AAG Score: 7/10
Reviewed and Written By Jordan Smallhorne