Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Wii (4 out of 5)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince contains enough references to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series to keep fanatics of this popular and inspiring series of books entertained. You’ll take a trip through Dumbledore’s memory to a reality where a young Tom Riddle and his friend discuss Harry’s suspicions of Malfoy. Hermione and Professor McGonagall make an appearance, and Quidditch never looked more engaging and interesting.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry looks amazing as you’re exploring all of its corners, hallways, and out of the way areas of the school and grounds. The school has been incredibly presented in this game, with huge environments that are incredibly detailed and immerses your senses as you explore. The realistic and animated paintings of the Grand Staircase, the stonework of the Owlery, the interactive drapery littering the Gryffindor hallways or the immense grassy plain separating the school and the Quidditch field
The Bad Parts (3 out of 5)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a Wii video game that only has three included activities for you to take part in, which isn’t really very many as far as video games go. You’ll be making potions using the potion book of the Half Blood Prince, playing Quidditch again in the skies above Hogwarts, and taking part in magical duels against pretty weak and ineffective opponents.
It will be hard, alright, probably impossible, to follow the story line and figure out what’s really going on around Hogwarts for players who haven’t seen the movies or read J.K. Rowling’s books. In addition, the developers have taken liberties with the original story to create new scenes and battles that clash with the books.
The Graphical Picture (3 out of 5)
The best part of the graphical presentation of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the nice 480p visual look of Hogwarts. Once we get beyond this, the visual presentation takes a steep dive. To begin with, the included cut scenes are short, sporadic affairs that are poorly acted and look terrible. Second, the character representations of the actors don’t really resemble the movie characters you remember and you probably won’t recognize most at first. The details are okay, but the textures and animations of the characters are really bad. Hermione’s hair hardly moves, Professor McGonagall looks like she’s cast in perpetual shadow, and Albus Dumbledore’s lips don’t move right.
Sounds and Music (3 out of 5)
The soundtrack included with this game is average at best and none of the movie actors provided voices for the characters in this game, so you won’t recognize any of the voices. The soundtrack does include some nice rock tunes and pop tunes that help to keep the energy and pace of the game high as you’re playing Quidditch or dueling against a tough opponent.
The Storyline (3 out of 5)
The storyline of the Wii version of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince barely makes sense, even if you have read the books and seen the movies. It’s totally incoherent and the included elements don’t weave together into a story that you can really understand. They do provide you with a guide to help you make it to your next objective, Headless Nick, when you get confused and lost. Despite the help you’ll still spend far too much time standing around scratching your virtual-head and backtracking to see if you can figure out what you’re supposed to be doing.
Playability (3 out of 5)
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince doesn’t have enough depth or entertaining gameplay to be playable for more than one adventure. The problems understanding the storyline and the next goal as you’re playing this game also make it frustrating and too slow at times to keep the interest level very high. The kids will enjoy playing this game despite the little problems with the production though, but even they won’t go on this adventure more than once or twice.
The motion-controls of the Wii have been implemented very well in this game, so making potions, playing Quidditch, and even taking part in the magical duels will be enjoyable and satisfying for kids. The motions are pretty simple, but they all worked well and made playing the game a lot more fun.