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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Movie tie-ins are generally looked down upon from the gaming media, however, the 'Harry Potter' series for the console has always been a good deal of fun.

In the 'Half Blood Prince' this continues. The story is followed loosely, picking up only on major key plot points throughout the game through the use of short, in-game-engine cut scenes. This is a highly...
Published on 9 July 2009 by Richard Birkett

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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Harry's worst outing yet...
Harry Potter's world is HUGE. let me just start you off with this idea. Not quite as big nor having the depth of such literacy masterpieces as The Lord Of The Rings, but a very well rounded and thouroughly enjoyable work of art in it's own right.

This video game is none of the things above. The amount of source material the makers of this game have availiable...
Published on 14 July 2009 by Jon


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, 9 July 2009
By 
Richard Birkett (Lincoln, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Movie tie-ins are generally looked down upon from the gaming media, however, the 'Harry Potter' series for the console has always been a good deal of fun.

In the 'Half Blood Prince' this continues. The story is followed loosely, picking up only on major key plot points throughout the game through the use of short, in-game-engine cut scenes. This is a highly positive point, giving those who do not know the story a basic understanding, while also meaning the film is not spoiled by the hints towards its direction. In short- well dealt with, highlighting key characters, relationships and injecting key story into the mix (even if the voice work/syncing is often dreadful and the graphics, not up to par!)

One of the key gameplay features used in HBP is the over-hauled duelling system, which works well (both in attack and defence) although the quantity of duels as the game progresses is a little over-whelming and ultimately, monotonous. Positively, spells are worked well into the game through different stick movements depending on the spell you wish to cast. The problem I have with the spell casting is the way in which the game, on occasion, fails to recognise stick movement, resulting in sluggish gameplay.

Quests are, in short, simple and straight-forward. Nearly Headless Nick is even on hand whenever you wish, leading you to your next objective! Harry Potter games have always been about exploring the castle yourself, puzzle mechanics, and talking to others en-route. However, this is my major gripe with the game- there are no puzzles of any sort (seen in Goblet of Fire, especially) and no interaction between students. Positively, the game allows full access to the castle (once the Aurors allow) with Hogwarts 'crests' acting as collectibles through the game (some are incredibly difficult to get access too), so free-roaming is successfully encouraged.

A main aspect of the book is obviously Harry's success at Potions (with help from the Half Blood Prince), as such, potion-making is included in abundance. The potions mini-game is well thought out: instructions rise from the text book as the player makes out which/how the ingredient ought to be added, all the while against the clock.

Concluding, Harry Potter HBP is well conceived. The game has no real challenge, the graphics are sub-standard and the gameplay acts as nothing more than a way to get through the story, quickly. On the whole, however, it is easy to look past the faults because the game is a lot of fun- especially for fans of the series, acting as an antidote to the anticipation of the film.

I'd go for the rent for this one, the game can be completed in around 5-7 hours, depending on how much you focus on collectibles while the campaign has no redeeming qualities for playback after completion apart from some achievements.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun but short, 13 July 2009
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Harry potter and the half blood prince is a marking point in the series when things begin to get darker and serious. Harry potter HBP the game is a great game and plays very well.
Pros.
Poitions and dueling are brilliant- potions may sound dull but its strangely addictive and although it is repetitive it remains fun every time you play it. The potions are from the books as well. Dueling is fast packed and full of action- all spells are controlled by the right stick like in the last games.
Clubs. In clubs you are able to perfect three of harrys 'hobbies'- dueling, potions and quedditch.
Exploring hogwarts is extremely fun, theres loads to explore, and collecting quests to unlock multiplayer dueling characters and making you spells/health better. However it isn't as much as a breakthrough as the last games hogwarts was.
Nearly headless nick is a good guide aroung hogwarts if you are lost or need directions.
The controls are good and are mainly the same as the last game.
The graphics have gotten better but aren't completely next-gen.
The voice acting is good- rupert grint- ron weasley, evanna lynch- luna loovgood, tom felton- draco malfoy and bonnie wright- ginnie weasley all voice in the game and the guy voicing harry sounds alot like racliff.
The achievements are easy to get.

Cons
Quidditch is terrible- all you have to do is fly through stars to gain time! There is not much more to it, the only thing you can do is control your broom, however the camera moves in the direction of the snitch and so does harry so you don't even have to do anything if you wanted to. The broom is slow and it gets very boring.
The game doesn't hit the darkness of the book and film- it all seems merry at hogwarts. And the scenes of the film in the game- which there are few off- are rushed and poorly incorporated.
The graphics are good but not the best- for example most of the times dumbledor speaks his mouth doesn't move. However the settings and close ups of faces are well presented.
Not as a big of a break through as OOTP.
To short! I completed the story in three-four hours and i didn't rush it! :-(
Bellatrix lestarnges' voice actor- what the hell!!!

Harry potter HBP is a great game but it is very short. I found hogwarts fun- and am still needing to find thirty more crests around the grounds. The gameplay is fun and the clubs are great apart from quidditch which was supposed to be the best. All in all buy the game if your a huge HP fan/freak- like me! if you just want a different game i would still buy it but maybe wait for it to come down to thirty pounds first. I enjoyed it!

Graphics: 70%- not next gen but authentic potter!
Gameplay: 84%- exciting and enjoyable, its also simple controls for younger gamers.
Lifespan: 68%- the story is so short but collecting creats will take hours.
Multiplayer: 65%- dueling is the only thing- its fun but is not compatible over XBL.
Overall: 72%- fun, but wont last long. Buy it if you liked the last game and if your a big fan.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Harry's worst outing yet..., 14 July 2009
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Harry Potter's world is HUGE. let me just start you off with this idea. Not quite as big nor having the depth of such literacy masterpieces as The Lord Of The Rings, but a very well rounded and thouroughly enjoyable work of art in it's own right.

This video game is none of the things above. The amount of source material the makers of this game have availiable to use is immense and yet they churn out this manufactured rubbish every year. It just has not been the same since HP:POA.

Please don't be fooled by the shiny trailer or the list of features above beacuse they are all lies. But I shall get to that.

The castle is huge, much bigger than last year's version and very well done. You can explore more or less every room and there is a wealth of detail, although it stops there. The game is very fast paced, whisking you off to each objective very quickly and the story is skimmed over in about 3 hours. The story is very thin and is dashed with a few cutscenes which look horrendous and the graphics are not much of an improvement from some PS2 titles.

Side quests involve either mixing hundreds of mundane potions or dueling random people for no real reason. This potion mixing process is fun for the first 10 or so until you realise how you have been cheated into matching colours and shapes and not much more. Dueling is fun and actually retains it's appeal throughout as you learn more interesting and fun spells. You can collect shields as you go through the game, many hidden throughout Hogwarts and some awarded for carrying out mind dumbingly repetative chores... urgh, I mean quests!

The whole game seems to skip and jump merrily through the story, missing key plot points and making stuff up as it goes. There is very little atmosphere which is the downfall and it does not feel at any point like Hogwarts may be invaded by Deatheaters at any moment. In fact when the main story is finished, a rather important character who dies, is referenced many times by wandering NPC's as if they were still alive and kicking. Truly a terrible effort.

Lets look at the official product features:

* Compete as Gryffindor for the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup: Take on Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin in the most exciting wizarding sport
- Well this is a lie, it's not exciting! The whole section is on rails and the broom flies itself and even steers for you too. All you need to do is aim slightly for stars you must fly through to gain speed. Even the catching of the snitch is automatic! There is never a cup awarded either, it's all very much just thrown in for the hell of it.

* Perfect your Quidditch skills: Can you dodge a Bludger or catch the Snitch?
- What?! There are no bludgers to dodge and the snitch is caught for you automatically!

* Take part in thrilling wizard duels. Battle against Death Eaters in Hogwarts, Inferi in the Horcrux cave and much more
- Yeah well it's mostly true, except for the "and more" part. Duels seem random and pointless.

* Join the Gryffindor Duelling Club. Perfect your duelling skills before you take on the other houses. Will you become the Duelling Club champion?
- Again it all seems rather wishy washy and just chucked in without really being properly joined to the game. Fun to play though.

* Create magical potions with Professor Slughorn - using the Half-Blood Prince's Potions book
- There are loads of potions, fun to mix the first 10 times or so but then they get boring and repetative. Also you never get to actually use any of the potions, so why bother?

* Explore Hogwarts at night: Take on night-time missions while the castle sleeps
- I don't even remember doing this, I think it's part of the story. There is no option to actively choose to stay up at night, again it's all done for you.

* Stuck? Call on Nearly Headless Nick for clues and tips to help you complete your challenges
-This feature is actually very handy. Being in such a huge castle is very daunting and a quick call of Nick and he will lead you straight to your next objective!

* Relive the action of the movie....from the Hogwarts Express to the dramatic revelation of the Half-Blood Prince
- "Relive" is the wrong word. Both of these sections mentioned are merely cutscenes. So don't go thinking you can happily explore the hogwarts express. You can't. It's the castle or nothing. Even Hogsmede is a mere 30 seconds cutscene.

* See more of the wizarding world: Explore new magical places like The Burrow, and the Horcrux cave
- AGAIN the wrong words. "Explore" is not the right word! You cannot wander around the burrow, you are merely plonked there, given a few cutscenes, play a pointless flying game and then leave! The Horcrux cave is also just a single room with only one simple task, to cast one spell endlessly at the inferi until they stop approaching. That is NOT exploration. You can't even move around these areas!

* Uncover the truth: Travel with Dumbledore to piece together Voldemort's past, and sneak around Hogwarts to discover Malfoy's secrets
- Again these are not possible, it's all in the hands of the game and it's frequent and pointless cutscenes.

So in short the whole game is a rushed and hashed up pointless mess of nothingness! There is very little story, even less player control, and little if NO atmosphere and depth. If you are a Harry Potter fan you probably will play this and find some enjoyment. But if you are looking for the difinitive Harry Potter gaming experience, look no further than HP: Chamber of Secrets for the PS1. The mere fact that I am recomending such an old game shows how much these games have not improved over the years!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PSone)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good game, 2 July 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Now naturally since I'm a hardcore HP fan i think it necessary to love the harry potter games, but this one is very good without having to include my prejudged thoughts on the game before i played it. although the potion making mini game could give you more time in making the potions i very much enjoyed making potions from the books, although it did get a tad repetitive at times. this game is mainly for the people that have read the books as there isnt much story told in the game which im quite happy about as ive read the book twice. i love the 5th and 6th HP games as theyre quite short and they dont require you to do anything difficult lol.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Captured my 7 year old, 8 Feb 2014
By 
TG (Brighton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
My son enjoyed this as he likes Harry Potter dueling and loved the potion-making, though he found it hard to get going with this to begin with until we googled for help. He did play it through to the end, which took a reasonable amount of time one holiday. I would have given it 3 stars though. I thought it was repetitive and a bit dull, but maybe I've been spoilt by Lego xbox games, which I love!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas present, 27 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I bought this game for my grandson for Christmas and he was so excited to receive it. He played it most of Christmas day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good game, 15 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
This is a good game, although is difficult in some areas for a 7 year old, but is a challenge for him.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as OOTP but still a good game, 3 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Said it all in the title really. OOTP was a better game because of all the mini games and the sense of exploration while going round the castle. With this game there's not so much of that and after you have done mini chores like making a potion for a friend to gain a Hogwarts Crest, the rest of the potions in Potions Club are just there for what appears like no reason at all. I was disappointed because the graphics are great and they could have made so much more of this game but it fell a bit flat for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good, 7 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
the product was good, you should get one if you need or like that kind of thing it was good
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2.0 out of 5 stars HP is just getting worse, 22 May 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
I recently bought this game after refusing to play them since they changed the style from number four. I dint like being forced to do things and having to do things in order. Nothing has changed, you can explore the castle a bit more but its nothing too much better. Chamber of secrets is defiantly the best one of the lot. The whole series from then on has just seemed like a quickly rushed job to get money. Not worth buying unless you want to spend hours collecting the crests. You'l be finished with the missions after a few hours.
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