Review by ringlord71

"Harry and the Stone"

Well, as a big reader and fan of Harry Potter, some would probably be quite interested in how EA would make it. Would they use the PS1 gameplay, would they use the same elements of gameplay from Chamber of Secrets or would this game have a whole new style of gameplay? It had the same style from CoS but some things were really rushed.

Graphics - 5/10
The graphics in the game was ok, it wasn't excellent and it wasn't the best either. The characters looked a bit cartoonish, sort of like the one from the PS1. It looked to be a game for little kids at first glance of the characters though at the beginning of the game, when Hagrid emerged from the sky on his motorbike, EA finally got rid of that story book mode which didn't really fit in with the game. Some of the enemy creatures were well drawn and designed, though some of them looked exactly the same in CoS. Hogwarts in SS is the same as CoS but not exactly because some areas have disappeared while others have appeared but all in all, Hogwarts looks to be exactly the same way it was described in the book but in the Grand Staircase, some of the paintings on the walls are the same but then this game can't have everything. Everynow and then there would be an area where the lighting effects would be annoying like in some of the lesson dungeons (especially the first one) it would be nearly impossible to move around without falling off and the 'Lumos' spell (which SHOULD illuminate the darkness) doesn't really do anything except make a glow which nearly blinds you.

Sounds - 5/10
The sounds suit the game and some of the background music was the same from the PS1 but lack of the actual Harry Potter music is the reason why the sound rating is down. The music made the game feel like one of those magical games (even though this game is about magic) and it's one of those games you would find in the fantasy/adventure section. Other sounds like voices were terrible especially when you hear the 'Pumpkin Pasty, Cauldron Cake, A Wizard Card! every time you pick them up or whenever you pick up a bean and you hear the 'Urgh, yuck bogey flavour' line for the thousandth time it starts to get annoying. But the footsteps, running, grunting and such gave this a great rating considering that there were other children there and you could hear there footsteps. Doors opening and closing along with creaking and every now and then you would hear talking seemed to sound like the PS1 and it amde me think whether these sounds were newly made or just copied from the PS1.

Gameplay - 5/10
The gameplay isn't really that exciting. I mean you take control over Harry and the controls are really easy to learn but after a while it gets boring doing the same things over and over again. Some of the boss fights are cool but after fighting the ghosts for the hundredth time is boring. It would've been a bit more interesting if there was more than on strategy to defeat some of the bosses like Quirrel, but after playing the game and finishing it three times, the only way to kill Quirrel is to run from the ghosts dogs, Lumos until one dies, then Flipendo Quirrel and then keep going until he dies. It was really disapointing when there was the chess fight because after the PS1, I was expecting Harry, Ron and Hermione all fighting on the chess board but it was the same as PS1: Ron injured, Harry plays alone with three other chess pieces and has to take out all the white ones on his own. Also, what's up with Harry having to follow Ron and Hermione everywhere. Everytime the day starts and there's a lesson Harry always has to follow either of his two friends and it gets annoying like other things in the game.

Replay Value
I played this game three times trying to get 100% but it's like impossible and yet everytime I play it, cutscenes are unskippable, the controls are the same, Quidditch isn't as interesting and exciting as it was on the PS1 and the music and sound effects are the same and it quickly gets boring.

Rent or Buy?
If you have a 2 weeks then rent it and at the end of the week re-rent it but you should be able to finish it in a week. But if you're a Big HP fan and you want this game as a collection or for the gameplay then buy it but it does get boring easily.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 07/17/07

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