Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Nintendo DS) Review

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 02.08.2009

Review for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Nintendo DS

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 Nintendo DS.

You can find Cubed3's review of the Wii version of the Half-Blood Prince here. The game received a slightly above average score, but certainly wasn't without its flaws. The DS instalment, unfortunately, suffers from an even greater selection of problems. The game's basic setup is much the same as its home console counterpart: you're placed in control of the boy who lived in and must wander the corridors of Hogwarts in search of mini-games, but it's all quite dull. Exploration itself is fluid enough, offering both button and touch screen-based control schemes for both movement and interaction with objects and other characters.

The problems lie in the incentives for exploration, or rather the lack thereof. A horrendously large portion of your time is spent completing inane fetch-and-deliver quests. Right from the offset until the game's eventual climax you find yourself tasked with hunting down potion ingredients, other character's lost items, etc., and trading them away for petty rewards. Collecting items can be as simple as waving your wand (or rather, your stylus) at cabinets and the like, or it can involve the successful completion of one of a small selection of mini-games such as Quidditch, Exploding Snap and Gobstones.

Screenshot for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Nintendo DS

Quidditch allows you to test both your Beater and Keeper skills using the touch screen. The former is accomplished by racing up and down the pitch, ramming into other players to collect the Quaffle, and taking shots at the opponent's goal with a quick tap of the stylus. It's a somewhat clumsy endeavour that feels more like bumper cars-on-brooms than a competitive sport, and it only really serves as a distraction until the Snitch is released. When this happens it's a simple of matter of keeping it within your sights at all times until a catch is possible. Alas, awkward response glitches mar the experience quite a bit.

Gobstones is just marbles: you flick your primary Gobstone/marble by dragging away from it with the stylus. How far you drag determines the strength of your shot, and the angle determines its trajectory. The goal of Traditional Gobstones is simply to knock as many Gobstones out of the ring as possible, while additional modes introduce a few obstacles such as bumpers and holes. Both Gobstones and Exploding Snap (which is no more than an overly animated memorize-the-cards-while-they're-flipped-over game) remain engaging only for the first round or two before losing their appeal almost entirely.

Screenshot for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 4 out of 10


The DS version of the Half-Blood Prince is well-presented - with a detailed Hogwarts to explore, and decent cel-shaded visuals - but the actual gameplay is an unpleasant mix of inane fetch quests and mini-games of limited appeal. Even if you're a die-hard Potter fan who falls into the lower age category the game is clearly intended for, there's very little here to hold your interest for long.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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