Review by monoman

"Welcome to your first year at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry!"

There was nothing about the starry sky that night to suggest that strange and mysterious things would soon be happening. As unsuspecting Muggles slept, a huge motorbike with a giant astride it tumbled down from the darkness. The giant, named Hagrid, left a blanket-wrapped bundle on the doorstep of Number 4 Privet Drive. Nestled in the bundle was a baby... Harry Potter... The Boy
Who Lived. For the next eleven years, Harry lived with his dreadful
step-parents, the Dursleys. Until that fateful day when he received the letter inviting him to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hagrid took Harry to Diagon Alley, to purchase a most unusual list of school supplies. Soon after, Harry caught the Hogwarts Express from platform nine and three quarters, and left the Muggle world far behind. Harry sat beneath the Sorting Hat hoping that he would not be chosen for Slytherin House over
Gryffindor. 'Not Slytherin, eh?' said the Hat in his ear. 'You could be great, it's all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on your way to greatness. No? Well, if you're sure, better be...''GRYFFINDOR!'

This is the beginning of the game where you'll meet your magical fantasy's coming true: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Joanna Rowling has become famous with her fantastic books about ''the boy who lived''. She also has become one of the richest persons in England. The books have developed themselves to the most popular books in the world. (Lord of the Rings is of course also one of the most popular)The main reason why I started to play Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is because I loved the books. I read them all and I had always wished that I could be a Harry Potter ''Look-a-like'' myself, that I could cast all those magical spells and be part in such a fantastic story. So you see, I was very pleased to hear that EA had developed a game based on the novels of Harry Potter. The first time I played Harry Potter was on the PC. I had been given a CD with Harry Potter on it. What I saw was that the PC Game followed the book exactly and that was very nice. But when you once had finished the game, it started to get boring, but thankfully there was a kind of sidequest where you could get all the cards of famous wizards and witches. That was fun! About a year later I had bought a Playstation. And because there were much more interesting consoles than the Playstation, it wasn't expensive. The time I had bought it there was a sort of an offer: you could get the Playstation and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for just………(I'm not giving you the exact price) I thought that was a great opportunity to test the Playstation version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone………

The game begins with a story in a book told by someone. (that's the story at the beginning of the review) It tells you about Harry and his history. Once the story (which you can't skip) is over you're at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The game is mainly about taking lessons in your magical education, but sometimes a friend of yours asks you for a favor to do. (for example the time Hagrid asks you to collect Fire Seeds for his dragon egg)

Gameplay


The most important part of the game: the Gameplay. And that's the real strong point in this game. It is fantastic. To start of with the controls. The controls are really simple and easy to use. You use the cross-button to cast your spells. The square-button to talk to someone and to open doors. The circle-button you don't really need. (except when you are learning a spell) The triangle-button to view your surroundings. Then you have the R2-button to aim your spells. It's really simple. Then the in-game gameplay. Just to name some of the positive points: the way you must learn spells. You have to follow the teachers' wand and then push the button it points to. It gets harder each time. A negative point: when you have learned the spells you don't have to do a kind of course to practice your skills. (as in the PC version) Another positive point: it doesn't exactly follow the story. It comes up with great other challenges than in the book, but still the most important things are being held. I'm really positive about the gameplay, and this is the main reason why you should get the game.

Score: Controls: 9/10
In-game gameplay: 9/10


Visuals


Ok, let's talk about the way the game looks like. Well, to be honest, the game doesn't look major. I think that the problem mainly is in the way surroundings look like. Everything is flat. For example the time you have detention and you have to go in the Forbidden Forest, well it's of course clear to you all that there are trees in that forest. So to get to the point: the trees are flat and so are the bushes. That's a major pity, cause the characters in the game are pretty well done, except that you will notice that Harry looks a lot like Harry but Ron for an example doesn't really look like Ron and Malfoy does not look like Malfoy.(he's kind of fat boy) But still after all these negative points about the graphical ability of this game, the game's visuals aren't hideous. No, they're just not that great.

Score: 7/10


Sound


Then the sound. It's alright, but not very spectacular. A positive point to say about the sound is the sound when you cast a spell, that's great. When you cast Flipendo, not charged, you just hear a flat noise but when you cast a charged Flipendo, you will hear Harry say: ''Flipendo''. That's cool. Especially when you cast that same Flipendo when you have set the main language at Danish. That's really funny. The dialogues that you're having are alright, but the voices just don't match the voice of Ron or Hermione or etc. But to say there are spectacular sound-effects…well no.

Score: 7,5/10





Lastability and Replay Value


And as a final rating: the Lastability and the Replay Value. Oh oh, here's a great disappointment for all you Harry Potter fans. The Lastability. The game is way too short. Even when you're playing it for the first time it is simply finished in less than 4,5 hours. And then, when you're playing it for the third time you have finished it in less than 2,5 hours. That's a shame. But to be honest: the 2,5 hours seem to go very slow. So you're still having enough fun, don't get me wrong. But that's a pity. Then the Replay Value. Yes, this is a game that many Harry Potter Fans will play again for more than 10 times, but the regular, non Harry Potter fan, will quit after he/she has finished it for the third time. So, it's positive for the fans, a bummer for the regulars.

Score: Lastability: 6/10
Replay Value: 8/10


Final Score


I am coming close to the end of my review (some people will say: ''Thank God'') Before that I will give you the positive and the negative points of the game.

Positive Points:

- the Gameplay
- the Story
- the Controls

Negative Points:

- the Graphics
- the Lastability
- it's not very challenging
- the sound isn't spectacular either

As a final score I'll give it an 8/10, because the gameplay is brilliant, but the graphics aren't superb. It's really cool for the fans and a bit lees cool for the regulars.

To buy or not to buy?: -to all the fans: BUY!!!!!!!!
-to the rest: I think you prefer renting……


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/18/03, Updated 03/18/03


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