GameCube Harry Potter title is one that will surely leave the fans
divided. One the one hand, those who prefer a good game but
Harry Potter will probably love this game. However, those who
prefer the book might be disappointed (or even very disappointed)
that the title strays so far from the book it was meant to be based
on, Harry Potter and the
Chamber. And, for that matter, those strange and select few
who actually enjoyed the movie might also be disappointed; this
game's differences from both the book and movie (not to say those
two were alike) are numerous. Just to name a few instances,
there is absolutely no mention of Dobby the house elf and the
deceitful and cocky Lockhart from the books is little more
than a typical teacher in this one.
As Harry Potter starts his second year, fans of both Harry Potter
and the GameCube are given the journey that Nintendo players could
only have on the GameBoy Advance, controlling Harry through yet
another Hogwart's adventure.
Whether you are a fan of any particular book, don't wait around
complaining until that version of the game is released because the
chance to man a 3D Potter experience is a piece of Heaven.
While the adventure does lack in some aspects, you have to take what
you can get, right?
The of the most extraordinary advances that Nintendo-playing,
HP-loving fans might notice first (aside from the game being 3D) is
that there is a little more work involved on the easy GBA tasks and
less worked involved one some of the harder GBA tasks.
Speaking mainly from my experience with The Sorcerer's Stone GBA
title (as I am yet to own the GBA CoS game), the
differences to me stood out at once. What was once a series of
button-mashing test of memory has no been transformed into an all
battle just to get a new spell. And, on the other hand,
sneaking through the corridors just to go from room used to be a
hassle as you sneaked past prefects and teachers, now the hallways
and most rooms are clear of any obstacle aside from an occasional
Another great aspect is the ability to collect and trade almost one
hundred Famous Witches and Wizards cards. The cards, which can
be found scattered through various quests, only at certain times,
simply scattered through the hallways, and by completing certain
quests, add to the replay value of this title. At the time of
writing, I had completed the game, however I was
missing several cards from my collection, so even I may have to take
a second look at some of the game.
Unfortunately, aside from trying to collect all of the Famous
Witches and Wizards cards, the game may be over fairly quickly for
most. The challenges for spells can be a tad challenging at
times, however, once you learn the weakness or discover a secret you
whip through the challenge in mere minutes. Quidditch matches,
though I am sad to say, were also easily beaten
and there was little challenge to them (aside from the opposing team
slamming into you). I beat my copy of Chamber of Secrets well
before my rental had to be returned.
The game has some quite awe-inspiring graphics to look forward to
though and simply watching them may take away some of the hours to.
Some rooms, like the school library, are enough to perhaps bring a
tear to the eye of a true
Harry Potter fan. However, in other instances the player and
fan may feel ripped off, especially when they take notice of the
paintings; not one of them moves, even in movies, and they are
repeated showing about twenty of each picture! The exterior of
Hogwart's is also nothing to marvel at, in most instances. In
fact, you may simply be appalled by the lack of detail
on the school building as you fly by on your Nimbus 2000 (a neat
free-fly feature that you quickly earn after Quidditch practice).
Bad graphics are just the tip of the iceberg, however, as you also
notice the cinemas are less than impressive, the characters' limited
quickly get annoying and make confusing contradictions (such as the
Slytherin's talking harshly about Drake Malfoy), bad voice acting,
and the fact that the game's ending is so sudden and lacks a save
feature after you beat the game - either that or I missed it.
Zelda fans may be rather happy with Chamber of Secrets though, in
fact, anybody who played Zelda should be happy with Harry Potter and
the Chamber of Secrets. Many of the play elements seem
directly borrowed from the game, including the ability to assign
items from your inventory to your buttons. I guess they just
figure that if "it's not broke, don't fix it," and I for
one am glad they didn't. However, one element Harry is armed
with, his sort of automatic aiming, is almost a double-edged sword.
The auto-aim does work to your advantage at times, targeting objects
you can hit with your wand. Often times this will reveal boxes
or vases you might not have noticed before, however, in times of
battle the bean-hoarding Harry often chooses to
target these objects instead of the enemy right in front of him.
Overall Score: 7.0
to fly your broom (almost) everywhere on school grounds.
and trading the Famous Witches and Wizards Cards.
tried-and-true control scheme, a hail to the Zelda 64
animations and somewhat redesigned effect of spells.
- Some what
long load times break up the action.
almost-boring Hogwart's exterior.
- Very short
personalities get old quick and leave awkward contradictions.
Quidditch matches and spell quests are real push-overs.
I guess there
are just two determining factors in whether or not you will like
this game. First, are you a Harry Potter fan (I am, though it
stayed my hand from the truth)? And second, are you a diehard
book nut, I mean do you care how much it strays from the story (I am
a book nut, but the game still dazzled me)?
In short, the game for me was better than the movie, but not as good
as the book. It was a short adventure, but the replay value is
still quite high. The graphics were dazzling one minute, but
stale and stagnant the next, so I
say take what you can get. The game, in both controls and its
journey, were reminiscent of the greatest 64 games, the Zelda 64
series. That must to count for something. This is a
just-above-average game, even for the Harry Potter fan.