Up is another re-review. This one I’m kind of glad I did, as when it first came out, I only played the Kinect portion of it and that’s what I based the rating off of, so with this one, it’s a much updated and more detailed review. Anyhow, if you never heard of this one for some odd reason, here’s the summary:

The time for learning is over. The time to meet your destiny has arrived. The  Harry Potter saga builds to its thrilling conclusion in this game based on Harry  Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. The stakes have never been higher for  Harry, and Deathly Hallows takes the franchise in a new direction centered on  furious wand-based combat. You’re on the run right from the start in a desperate  quest to destroy Voldemort’s Horcruxes. Battle Dementors, Death Eaters, and  other powerful enemies with only your wand to help you. Use potions, your  Invisibility Cloak, and more while you stare down your destiny as the only one  who can defeat Voldemort.

Overview

Overall, it’s really not that bad of a game, but it does get repetitive and boring after a while. It has some good and bad features which I’ll go into detail as usual. The positive thing about it is that if you a hard-core Harry Potter fan who has to own everything Harry Potter related, you can pick this one up for next to nothing to add it to your collection.

The Menu

The menu is pretty simple, it’s broken up into a few categories which include New Game, Continue Game, Challenges, Kinect and Options. In the main menu, you use a controller to navigate. When you go to the Kinect option, it uses the typical hover and lock method. I’ll break each down as usual.

New Game/Continue Game

This is the story mode of the game. I’ve played the majority of the movie games and I have to say, the animation in this one is really good. It’s the first game I noticed hair looks like hair. The characters represent their real selves very well and the graphics are really good. I mention animation as there is so much detail such as Harry’s hood bobbing up and down when he’s running around. The voices are themselves and the story follows the movie but seems to change a few things and add a lot more, I guess more or less for the gaming aspect. Now for the features of the story mode. As you make progress, you will notice Harry levels up. I thought this was a cool add-on until I maxed him out at level 25. Once you get to level 25, there is no point fighting anyone unless you absolutely have to and you can just run through the game. The whole game seems to have these starting good ideas that ended abruptly and weren’t fully thought out.

The next thing I noticed is that you unlock spells as you make progress. There’s a total of 10 spells, I’ll call them attack spells, that you can use, but once you unlock the explosion spell, the rest become fairly useless. You also have 2 defensive spells, the protection one and the one for the Dementors, again, you will barely use the protection one and you have to use the Dementor one to kill them. You also have 4 potions to use, which you’ll use probably at least once, because it’s neat, but then they become useless. The last “feature” you have is the invisibility cloak, which helps when you just want to run through a level, but the camera is way too close and you don’t have any peripheral vision. Speaking of the camera, the whole game is 3rd person for the most part, except when you switch to the cloak, you go in 1st person mode. All in all, the camera is just too close. There is a part when the camera automatically zooms out when a Dementor is near for you to see, this is the perfect zoom level and I’m confused why they didn’t keep it like that, unless they wanted you to see all of the detail.

This is actually a pretty lengthy game for a movie title. Some of the missions are ridiculously long, but some are short. There’s a few missions that are very annoying and have backtracking going in a circle like 3 times before you complete it. By the time you get to the end, you are thankful there’s nothing more. I believe Part 2 continues on, but I can only handle so much. If you get bored for some reason, there are 52 collectibles throughout the game that give you more for the fanatics. This was another thing I found quite stupid to be blunt, after you complete the game, you cannot go back and choose missions to replay in case you wanted to collect everything. What else is stupid, is when you start a new game, nothing transfers over, so everything you’ve collected, you have to collect again. If you are an achievement hog, good luck with the difficulty level achievements. I beat it on Hard and it forces you to play the game on the Easy and Medium in order to get those achievements as well. These were a lot of things I didn’t understand.

One other note, there is a cover system implemented in the game and it does actually work decent for the most part. With the more destructive spells, cover can be blown apart and you can also use the levitation spell to maneuver it around so it is neat for the most part. You can also step out of cover to get better aim or blind fire, both work pretty good for the most part. That’s basically all there is to the story mode. I did happen to make a video of the first mission, as you can see its somewhat altered to fit the game I’m assuming, but I also feel this one was a test as they were probably going to use Kinect for the whole game and scrapped the idea, which is why Kinect was just a thought afterwards. Anyhow, check it out below:

Challenges

If the story doesn’t give you enough Potter, then you can have fun with the challenges. There are 2 areas of challenges, one for Xbox Live and the other for Local. Basically, the only the difference is one posts to Xbox Live Leaderboards and the other is local only. There are 5 challenges for each difficulty level, giving you an overall of 15 different challenges. Some are just sneaking around, killing everyone, etc. It’s nothing too amazing. I did make a video of the first one on Easy, this is how the main story mode of the game plays as well. Check it out below:

Kinect

Here’s the afterthought add-on for Kinect. It’s very basic, all on-rails, meaning it moves for you and you just do gestures. You can basically just sit anywhere and flick your wrist and you are good to go. It only takes about 20-30 minutes to get through all 12 missions. Spell counts are cut down drastically, and overall it’s quite boring. I suppose 2 player is a little more interesting, but that’s about it. I made a video as you can see for yourself, which you can view below:

Options

There’s not much to the options either. They consist of the controller setup which allows adjusting the invert axis/aiming, sensitivity and turning aim assist on or off. You can also adjust the Brightness and Audio. Audio covers music and sound effects volume, enabling the subtitles and change your speaker type. Lastly, there is an unlock menu which requires a password (I have no idea what it does) and the credits.

Conclusion

Overall, it’s an ok game. As I mentioned earlier though, this game is only for the hard-core Potter fans that must have every single Potter thing related and like I said, its cheap right now so it’s a good buy. As for everyone else, you aren’t missing much if you have seen the movies. Now if you are looking for an actual full Kinect Potter experience, then I recommend checking out the other Harry Potter Kinect game, which is much better than this one in my opinion.


This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
Scoring policy: What do these game review scores actually mean?