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Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone - Review

Magical, But Not Enchanting

By: PEIJay


Review Breakdown
   Battle System 3
   Interface 5
   Music/Sound 2
   Originality 4
   Plot 4
   Localization 3
   Replay Value 1
   Visuals 6
   Difficulty Very Easy
   Time to Complete

5-10 hours

 
Overall
4
Criteria

Title Screen

   Imagine living at your Aunt and Uncleís for 10+ years of your life. Imagine not knowing who your parents are or why things happen without being explained. Step back and wonder what your reaction would be if you were accepted into the most prestigious wizard and witchcraft school. This is the life of Harry Potter. Four books, a superb movie, a card game and merchandise left, right and center. From that, EA games, Electronic arts, WB interactive entertainment and Amaze Entertainment come together to bring you Harry Potter for GBC, PSX, GBA and PC. The one I completed was for the Game Boy Color.

   Much like that of Chrono Trigger, the battle system takes place in a sub-level. You can see your enemies walking around (or in this case, floating around,) allowing you to chose who you want to fight, and who to avoid. Many enemies may be bad in one sense, but random attacks can be worse if youíre trying to go through it. One thing bad about the game, is the fact the enemies is that they are almost the same color as the floor. As youíre turning the corner to go up the stairs, an enemy pops up and youíre in a battle. Another, is specific enemies has one spell which does damage. Nothing gets to you more, than having 400 HP, three baddies who all do 30+ damage to you, and you have to search through your 12+ spells to find the one that will hurt them. Some would say this is good, and allows for a challenge. I find it a common annoyance and it finds me restarting the game over and over to determine the spell that works, so I donít die and end up three steps back.

   The interface is interesting, to say the least. There are cards to collect, combinations to collect (and use in battle), spells to find, and techniques to learn. You get to enjoy such different things like broom flying, potion mixing, levitation, and more. One thing though, is that it seems the game is trying to be pushed through. It gets to the point of the section. Stops, and restarts at the next. I enjoyed it, but not to the extent of praising it like fans do for Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy Tactics, or any other fan favorite.


The statues are falling! The statues are falling!
The statues are falling! The statues are falling! 

   The sound effects and music of Harry Potter were somewhat disappointing. Itís the type of music, you would hear at the arcade for a fighting game just starting from the beginning. In some senses, it is unique, but is too hard to listen to when youíre frustrated. I never have the music on the GameBoy anyways =)

   This is one of the yearís most original games. Iím not familiar with Goonies, Addams Family, or any other movie/book-based games, but this one follows the game fairly well. Where as you are being lead down the path, you ďfall behindĒ giving you amphle chance to level up and explore for new cards.

   The plot almost follows the book, down to the last letter. From the start, where you get your first wand, to when you meet Voldemort in the Forbidden Corridore. Though, like most things, a few details were left out, and I wonít spoil it for you. It had more than not for the plot. It didnít stray from the storyline, or try to make up some new stuff to toss in. (Except for the Cards that is.)

   The game has been translated quite well from the book. The names and looks are all taken, and havnít been tried to change (with the exception of the sub-title being ďand the Sorcererís StoneĒ rather than ďand the Philosephers StoneĒ But itís more of a US/Canada difference, rather than a translating difference.


Where in the world is Harry Potter?
Where in the world is Harry Potter? 

   I donít know if Iíd really replay it. Iíd give it a try to see how it plays through on a game+ mode and start at a higher level..but thatís about it. It was worth playing through once. The game itself was ok once, but thatís about it.

   The scenery of Hogwart School, and the surrounding areas is unique, and great. Where it lacks in the battle system, time and music, it slightly makes up for in scenery. Plenty of details were inputted, and the final result is remarkable. It isnít 3D, but it isnít Atariís ďPongĒ either.

   When it comes to difficulty, in two words, the game was too easy. If you had a problem in one section, you simply backup a bit, and level up. Each time you hit a new level, you fully heal and gain all your MP back. It makes the game a bit too easy in that sense.


What's that Lassie? Timmy fell down the well again?
What's that Lassie? Timmy fell down the well again? 

   The game takes anywhere between five and ten hours to complete, depending on how much you level up. This adds to the game being not one of the best. The only saving face, is that it IS Harry Potter and has Dumbledore, Hagrid and the rest of the gang. Overall, it was a pretty bad game, but worth a shot. Itís more of a ď5 day game rentalĒ thing rather than paying the money to buy it. The PC version would carry better shots, and possibly pictures for your wallpaper, which would be about the only reason Iíd get it. GBA and PSX, as I said..rentals.





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