‘Harry Potter’ adaptations give players control of HogwartsWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Harry hits the holidays hard on game consoles as Warner Brothers joins development forces with Electronic Arts for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.” The PlayStation 3 version boasts predictably improved control reaction times thanks to the PlayStation Move controller. This new controller, which also includes the PlayStation Move navigation controller, provides a great hands-on sensation as players wave, parry and make special wand maneuvers for attack and protection.
Players can also shoot light beams from the wand as game developers capture all the action using a third person, “over-the-shoulder” camera angle.
Need a break from all those arm workouts? Hide for a while using the expanded stealth elements include the familiar invisibility cloak, Peruvian instant darkness powders, and polyjuice potion. Players can always find cover among the intense action. Take on Death Eaters and Dementors as the series shifts more toward mature players. Vanquished baddies usually meet their end with a smoke puff and light burst, which reduces some of the fright factor for younger players.
The somewhat linear storyline provides great character development as Harry explores colorful 3-D settings while helping other characters and battling evil. A very creative game ideal for players who crave the film series, problem-solving and challenging levels (***1/2, rated T for themes and fantasy violence, also available on Nintendo Wii, PC and Xbox 360 plus a more puzzle-themed E10+ rated version on the Nintendo DS).
On Nov. 23, Warner Brothers conjures up “LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Holiday” edition on the Nintendo DS including a mini figure, guide book and a wand stylus. The mini games, character interactions and 3-D interactive environments engage players with an involving world.
The immense character cache provide the most appeal while exploration, interactive lessons, and easy to join/leave cooperative play modes galvanize this highly recommended game (****, rated E10+).
Players of all ages can pick up “LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4”, released this summer on the PlayStation2, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable and PC with collector’s editions on the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions that include special DVDs and four LEGO magnets. This series features even more characters (approximately 143) and mixes platform play, action, co-op modes and puzzles. The surprisingly sharp graphics appeal, while cute humor and lighter themes enhance this highly replayable game series (****, rated E10+ for cartoon violence and crude humor.