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Old 11-22-2010, 12:28 AM
EmmaRiddle EmmaRiddle is offline
Default Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I Wii video game

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Wii video game

I am no gamer. The last game I played was probably Harry Potter Lego Years 1 – 4. With smatterings of Mario Kart possibly since then. So with this review I’m coming very much from the angle of a Harry Potter fan, albeit one that has very little patience or staying power when it comes to anything that goes beyond racing.

Let me begin by saying that I loved the previous games. Yes, they were straightforward, story-driven with lots of cut scenes and mundane challenges where you collected items and/or people. But for someone like me, they were what I wanted; the ability to manoeuvre a character through the magical world of Harry Potter, with a dose of mild peril along the way. So while I do understand the more action-packed route that’s been taken with this one, since the book does indeed call for this kind of approach, it really doesn’t appeal to me.

The game allows you to choose whether to compete at an easy, medium or hard level. I chose easy. The game mostly centres on the action set pieces from the movie so the first task is to fend off Death Eaters as Hagrid tries to fly you, as Harry, to the Burrow. This serves as an exercise in getting you used to the Wii remote; which buttons do what and how to aim at your target. This, like a lot of the combat elements, is easier said than done when trying to battle with the remote, getting Harry to look in the direction you want him to in ample time to make the attack. (It’s not unusual, at least in my experience, to get stuck facing a wall/the ceiling/other obstructions etc…)

Shortly after you find yourself at the wedding of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour, where you are instructed to find Arthur Weasley, who bestows upon the trio the items left to them by Dumbledore in his Will. The game does well to extend the action sequences wherever possible; you have to navigate your way through attackers to get back to the wedding tent where Death Eaters are duelling guests. This pretty much informs the structure of the game which basically has you fighting a series of villains (Death Eaters, Snatchers, Dementors, Dragons) in various different locations, not always in tune with the narrative of the film or indeed the book. So while the setting changes, the tasks themselves do not.

There are stealth elements in the form of obtaining Polyjuice Potion in order for the trio to disguise themselves to get inside the Ministry but again I found this tricky due to navigation difficulties with the Wii remote. Despite how unrealistically empty the streets of London are, it is still very easy to bump into someone and therefore be ‘discovered’. With Death Eaters and Snatchers constantly on your trail, the missions get progressively harder and, if you’re anything like me, you might tire of it after a while.

Harry is equipped with an arsenal of spells, including Petrificus Totalus, Stupefy, the Confundus charm and Impedimenta, to name a few and you can also pick up items along the way, such as Doxyjuice, Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder and Exploding Potion, plus many more, most of which are dropped by enemies upon defeat and can be picked up. However the items which boost health must be consumed immediately.

There are also side missions to complete, away from the central storyline, which involve rescuing muggles, evading dragons and tackling Dementors (one was hiding in a wardrobe…) These are a nice break from the primary plot but use the same skills so they don’t really feel all that different.

Not having finished the game, I can’t really judge it overall. I can see what the developers were trying to do with it, and fully understand why. And indeed, for someone who is actually into gaming, this will definitely provide challenges where the previous games did not. But for me, the joy of playing Harry Potter was always about engaging with the characters and the world in a hands-on way, rather than going around shooting people. Perhaps that is the mark of the Harry Potter video game brand maturing to the point where I, at least, feel they are too grown up for my taste.

The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One video game, out now, can be ordered via the following links.

Nintendo Wii
Nintendo DS
Xbox 360

Nintendo Wii
Nintendo DS
Xbox 360
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Very good review. I agree with it completely. This one is my least favorite Harry Potter game. But I think that Dementor in the wardrobe you mentioned was a Boggart.
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm a bit mixed on this game. It's definitely fun, and even has a few things that the movie should have had (I think they based this game off of the book more than the film), but there are some things that irk me.

1. The audio is weird, at least for me. During cut scenes, I can't hear what some characters are saying and have to really turn up my t.v. volume. For example, during a cut scene Hermione and Ron will be talking to Harry about whatever they need to do next. Hermione will sound fine but when Ron speaks, I can only see his mouth moving and have to listen quite hard and turn up the volume to make out what he says. After the cut scene, let's say I immediately get thrown into a fight against Death Eaters. After previously turning up the volume to hear faintly-speaking Ron, my ears are blasted when spells are being thrown about in a fight. Thus, I must pause, adjust my t.v.'s volume, and then continue playing. Anyone else have this problem?

2. The camera gets stuck sometimes and it really irks me. I think everyone has been having this issue with the Wii version of the game.

3. They don't teach you much. For example, when you search Grimmauld place and run into a room filled with doxies, I kept dying because I was never properly taught how to toss doxycide at them. I had to look it up in the handbook and practice it a few times before I got it right.

The same goes for casting spells. The spell wheel isn't bad and doesn't irk me as much as the camera and audio, but it's not my favorite aspect of the game. However, being able to quickly cast protego and expecto patronum is quite nice. Even confundo is lovely to use so your enemies can start turning against each other.

4. Some missions seem quite tedious for me. When Hermione and Ron leave Grimmauld place and say that they're trying to find the best way into the Ministry, you're given 3 of the most random things to complete while they're away: making your way safely out of a dragon's lair, protecting a camp of muggleborns from death eaters and making sure they're not captured, and saving kidnapped muggleborns from death eaters. There's no context or cut scene that explains why you're there.

The same thing goes for what I'm doing now, after having escaped the Ministry and being in the forest. You have to follow Dean and Griphook (although they don't know you're following them) and along the way you go through different scenes and environments that you must pass to continue on. I've been through about 4 of those scenes and I'm getting tired of having to try to "follow" Dean and that goblin. I feel that all of these scenes, along with those missions, are just fillers for something else that they could have included in the game.


Is this my least favorite HP game? This is the first that I have on my Wii, as I have SS on my old Game Boy and COS, POA, OOTP, and HBP for PC, so... I guess it's alright. Since I'm not terribly far into it, I can't rate it completely. But as for now, it's on par with the okay POA game.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm going to get this game after I get the others. I hear this one isn't the best, so I plan to wait...
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