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Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part One Wii Review

He who must not be played? Not that bad...

For years young Potterites have contented themselves with age-appropriate movie tie-ins. Now, however, they're deemed old enough to have a third-person shooter Potter.

The shooter stylings certainly fit the game and story well, although it's abundantly clear that this is EA Bright Light's first foray into third-person action. This is flagged up by just how unnecessary many of the game's features are. You'll be shown how you can take cover behind the scenery but an action such as this c wrecks the pace of the game. Besides, Harry can soak up enemy fire like a trooper, so you're never inclined to cower from your foes.

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There's also a total surfeit of spells and abilities: you'll get a spell that turns dark wizards to your side and the gravity-gun-esque Wingardium Leviosa, but you'll barely use them because your usual damage attacks are quicker and just as much fun.

This 'Gears Of Wand' approach works well at a basic level then, but can feel a little flabby and rough around the edges. It shouldn't go unmentioned, either, that the Wii doesn't feel like the game's natural home: Harry's turning circle when you point your remote at the edge of the screen is just too slow, while there's significant slow-down in areas packed with enemies.

Bad For Your Stealth

This is made most clear in stealth sections in and around the Ministry of Magic that have you controlling Harry from a first-person perspective through the familiar gauze of the invisibility cloak. Getting discovered and running off to a quiet corner so you can hide again sounds fine on paper, but in the game it's a nightmare. It's easy to get found and when this happens the levels erupt into total insanity, graphical slow-down and loopy enemy AI that pretty much refuses to calm down.

This is a fun game, but there are more rough edges than a dodecahedron that's been chewed by the family pet. Levels are routinely recycled, the difficulty sometimes spikes sky-high, it's often tough to work out just who's a friend and who's a foe in the action, and the decision to splice non-storyline missions into the game proper robs momentum from affairs.

Hogwarts And All

It cannot be denied that for many Potter fans there'll be a certain thrill to exploring Grimmauld Place and hearing the angry cries of Sirius' ancestors, or in discovering Umbridge's pink and fluffy office in the Ministry of Magic. Despite its flaws, deep Harry Potter-ness can be found here, and that's certainly a welcome touch.

As movie tie-ins go this is a decent effort - but you'd need to have downed your body weight in butter-beer to claim that it didn't need a little more care, attention and (perhaps) experience in its creation.

This is an edited version of a review that will appear in the Christmas issue of Official Nintendo Magazine. For more in-depth analysis, screenshots and boxouts, buy the magazine when it goes on sale on Thursday 25 November.


16 comments so far...
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  1. MrChewtoy Friday 19th Nov 2010 at 16:21

    In making the games more like the books, they killed the "magic."

    The films should be more accurate, but the games were best when they had mini games galore!

  2. Tyrex117 Friday 19th Nov 2010 at 16:45

    These games always have bad stealth parts... I've kinda got used to it and just expect it now.

  3. Cormsie Friday 19th Nov 2010 at 17:04

    Dissapointed :L

  4. jimbob555 Friday 19th Nov 2010 at 17:10

    From the reviews i've seen of it on Xbox and ps3, it's not even suited to them as well.

  5. C00LI098 Friday 19th Nov 2010 at 18:11

    I completely agree with all of your points. The game really isn't as "fun" as it should be. I got the game today, and am at the part when you've to follow Dean Thomas. The Ministry level was a nightmare! The "Half-Blood Prince" game tie-in was very fun, and I liked the process of casting spells. Now it's just select a spell, and keep pressing B. :|

  6. Cruelcumber Friday 19th Nov 2010 at 18:57

    2 words
    I wasn't expecting it to get higher than 75% anyway.
    I'm not buying that game!

  7. LEGEND MARIOID Friday 19th Nov 2010 at 20:31

    Why mess up a shooter for the Wii EA? Its an ideal system for such a genre considering the wiimote "point and shoot" mechanic. EA have been vey lazy with this license - AGAIN

  8. imbusydoctorwho Friday 19th Nov 2010 at 22:13

    Next HP rip off GTA :lol:

    They have one last chance make it a good one EA :wink:

  9. Shigeru Saturday 20th Nov 2010 at 09:46

    I wanted this to be great. Oh well, there's still Part 2.

  10. MrGooseyMoose Saturday 20th Nov 2010 at 11:49

    That's a shame...fingers crossed for part 2; hopefully there's still time for the series to go out with a bang.

  11. LaytonMario3 Saturday 20th Nov 2010 at 13:56

    Gah- the Harry Potter games are getting worse:

    Ootp: 82%
    Hbp: 75%
    DH part 1: 60%.

    Will part 2 get a mid 40 score? :(

  12. minirocker Saturday 20th Nov 2010 at 16:30

    the only really good harry potter game was chamber of secrets. that was awesome. order of the phoenix was pretty good too. the rest are s**te.

  13. Munchlax OWNS Sunday 21st Nov 2010 at 17:53

    Chamber of Secrets on GBC.
    Can't be beat.

  14. xzeldax Sunday 21st Nov 2010 at 21:31

    Chamber of Secrets/Prisoner of Azkaban were the best :)

  15. samus_killer Monday 22nd Nov 2010 at 18:09

    Has anyone seen the nintendo critic's review on YouTube? He pretty much states the same points as onm, only he goes into greater detail on the bad and barely lists any good aspects from it, which is quite funny and very much like AVGN.

  16. LuX Wednesday 24th Nov 2010 at 11:45

    Chamber of secrets was good, but I have too say I liked OoTP and HBP, they were fun and wasted some time if needed be (plus I got them way after launch for a cheap second hand price :S )

    Although with multi-platform games I have to say I do buy them for the 360, firstly because usually (not always) they are just better and the Wii version can be a sort of 'downgraded version', but secondly I like my 360 achievments :P (POOOOOINTS!!! O_O).

    Speaking of achievments, who thinks Nintendo should implement a profile and achievment system like 360 and PS3? They could be 'coins' like from Mario. So you would have a '10 coin reward' or a '100 coin award' it would work the same way just a bit of Nintendo class thrown in ;) Plus the profile system could be cross platform from 3DS to 'Wii 2'.

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