Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Wii) Review

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 24.07.2009

Review for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Wii

More than six months after it was originally scheduled for release, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is finally raking in cash from moviegoers everywhere. Alongside the film release came the inevitable slew of game conversions for every platform you care to mention, including the Wii.

The Wii version of the Half-Blood Prince may not pack the same visual punch as some of its peers, but it does boast an impressively faithful, and comprehensive, realisation of Hogwarts and its surrounding landscape. More and more areas become accessible as the story progresses, and by the end of the game you'll be free to explore the expansive virtual world to your heart's content. While this will only really be of interest to die-hard Potter fanatics - and completionists seeking out content-unlocking crests - it is arguably the game's strongest feature. Everything else is, for the most part, remarkably average.

One exception is the wonderful orchestral soundtrack, composed by James Hannigan, which masterfully embellishes the film series' soundtrack with all-new pieces that would not feel out of place on the big screen. A number of the film's cast have also lent their voices to the game and, although there a few notable omissions (including Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, and Emma Watson as Hermione), the stand-in voice actors ultimately do a good job of filling the gaps. Unfortunately, the game itself does a poor job of making the most of all these elements in its advancement of the plot.

Considering that the film adaptation of the Half-Blood Prince is a rather condensed version of the novel, and the game is an abridged version of the film, there's actually very little plot to speak of. Cut-scenes are sparse and brief which, while not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, feels somewhat disjointed. The gameplay and plot occasionally weave together in a more involving way, though. Ron, for example, is placed under the influence of a love potion during the latter half of the game and must be guided (while the screen is inundated with pink hearts) to the potion labs where you can cook up a cure.

Screenshot for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Wii

The majority of your time, then, is split between wandering Hogwarts, engaging in wizard duels, playing Quidditch, and brewing potions. The former, while occasionally tiresome, is made significantly smoother by the ghostly visage of Nearly Headless Nick, who is always available at the press of a button to guide you wherever you need to go. Even if movement itself is a little clunky (Harry can run, but is scarcely controllable while doing so), at least getting lost is never an issue. While working your way to objectives you'll often be stopped along the way to participate in one of the aforementioned duels.

Spells are cast during duels with flicks of the Wii remote and nunchuk, but the whole experience ultimately comes across as somewhat broken. Winning a duel is a trivial matter of stunning your foe with a strong spell (Levicorpus, for example) and then pummelling them with weaker ones (such as Expelliarmus) before they have a chance to right themselves. Quidditch is limited to flying through hoops (Harry flies wherever you point the Wii Remote) in search of the Snitch. It's a simple system that, while mildly enjoyable at first, quickly loses its appeal and offers little in the way of replay incentives.

The mini-game involving potions is probably the most rewarding; you brew concoctions using the right ingredients in the correct order. Simpler recipes require nothing more than picking up a bottle of goo (with a flick of the Wii remote) and moving it over the bubbling cauldron before tipping it in (with a twist of the wrist). As you progress, however, more actions are required: stir your concoction; flap the Wii remote and nunchuk to heat the cauldron; carefully include individual ingredients, and so on. All of this must be done in the precise order and with careful timing to avoid filling the room with unwanted plumes of black smoke.

Screenshot for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 6 out of 10


The Half-Blood Prince is certainly better than some of the abysmal movie tie-ins of recent years, but it's also far from being a must-buy title. The world of Hogwarts has been faithfully recreated in ready-to-be-explored detail, but its core gameplay simply isn't that exciting. If you're a die-hard Potter fan you'll probably enjoy soaking up the finely tuned atmosphere, but everyone else can safely steer clear.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (5 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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