After the PC version, I concentrated on this one next. Unlike the other games, this one focuses more on the story from the book. It also has an RPG aspect that makes it unique.
Since I’m very picky about research (except when it comes to school work), I read the first Harry Potter book and viewed the first movie again. I have to admit that, compared to the later ones, this one isn’t quite as great but it’s still enjoyable. Still, what is it about these books that make them so popular? Maybe it’s because, as Bobby Bacala (The Sopranos) says, “it gives the other kids, the 98 pound weakling, some hope.” It might also be because, unlike other books targeted to children, Harry Potter is not so condescending. In many books that are aimed towards children, when the main character broke a rule no matter how minor, they were automatically caught and punished for it. This method was a way to manipulate children into being obedient robots. In these books, sometimes Harry is rewarded for breaking rules or he’s punished. Sometimes, he doesn’t get caught at all. However, it might be because books in the UK aren’t as condescending as books in the US. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
As I said, this game is the most loyal to the book with a few differences. For one thing, it’s Hermione who tells Harry about Snape instead of Percy, which makes absolutely no sense considering that Hermione knows as much about the teachers as Harry does while Percy’s been there for five years. Some scenes follow the book exactly and yet seem out of place, such as McGonagall showing up out of nowhere to take twenty points from Slytherin and Draco not even objecting to that whatsoever. Sometimes it gets the characters wrong, such as having Draco give Harry a prize for beating him when Draco is a sore loser. Another thing is that makes this game notable is that it’s the only one to have you attend History of Magic. Don’t worry, all you do is get sent to Diagon Alley to retrieve a card.
The game play is RPG like which separates it from the other ones in the series. You run into magic clouds and get into a battle with various monsters. The more experience points you gain, the more you level up. If you use a spell enough times you can also have it upgraded. Oh, and you can collect wizard cards and card combinations you can use to aid you in battle.
To me, this seems out of place because RPG elements don’t really suit Harry Potter. I prefer learning spells in classes and going through the obstacle courses in other games because it feels more like you’re in a magical school. Did I mention that this is the only game where Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw could win the House Cup rather than automatically losing to Slytherin if you don’t have enough points?
This game is loyal but out of place. I give it 3 out of 10; it’s unique but not in a good way.