Review: Harry Potter for Kinect
We are all pretty big Harry Potter fans in our house, when I say we I mean the wife and I, but we’ll no doubt force this upon our children when they are old enough. We have all the books, we’ve seen all the films and played all the games (yes even the awful Kinect ones). Imagine our delight as Harry Potter for Kinect landed on the doormat, I’ll be honest, I was a bit disappointed that the game didn’t magically open itself up but I won’t hold that against it in my review.
Harry Potter for Kinect gives you the chance to help Harry, Ron and Hermione through their years at Hogwarts, a nice feature is that you can scan your face into the game to become your very own trainee wizard. Once you line up your face on the screen correctly a picture is taken and almost instantly you are transformed, unfortunately I ended up with a weird squashed face, but it’s still a nice feature. To get the most enjoyment out of the game you will have needed to read the books or have seen the films as each year focuses on important parts of the story which fans will instantly recognise but will leave you feeling a bit lost if you are not very familiar with the young wizards. Each year is made up of between three and five levels.
There is a nice variety to the levels and the game does a good job of explaining what you’ll need to do to perform certain actions. Early on in the game you will attend potion lessons which involve picking ingredients and mixing them together to match certain colours. You will also learn to cast spells using Kinect’s voice commands or perform certain actions with your arms. Fans of Quidditch can also rejoice as you get to climb aboard your broom and battle your way around the pitch in an attempt to secure the golden snitch. It’s all very simplistic, all you have to do is follow the snitch’s golden trail by leaning left and right and eventually you are given the chance to reach out to grab the snitch, the opposition occasionally end up on your side, but a swift arm left or right will see your wizard knock them off course, you’ll also get a chance to try your hand at Quidditch keeping too. Other tasks include potting mandrakes; swim alongside Grindylows in the lake or take a Journey to the Lestrange Vault.
It’s not all classes and sports lessons though. You’ll get the chance to face up against Harry’s biggest enemies in the form of duels and battles. Remember the troll from the first movie? He’s there and you get to jab a wand up his nose causing snot to cover your screen, something that children will no doubt find hilarious. You’ll get to duel with Malfoy, repel the Death Eaters and of course face Voldermort. You can play the game on casual or advanced difficulty but I didn’t find the game much more difficult on the higher level. A second player can jump in with you at any time to take part in co-op or in the local multiplayer modes. Which are -
At the end of each level you will be graded out of five stars that will earn you achievements if you get all five. There are three categories you are scored against such as accuracy, time or how quick you were at grabbing the golden snitch. Completing levels will unlock bonuses that can be used outside of the main game. There are extra classes for you to take that will teach to mix more potions or learn new spells. There are also more duels for you to unlock as well songs that the sorting hat will perform for you.
This game works very well with Kinect which is a good thing since some of the recent Kinect games have performed very well at all, if you start to tire you can seamlessly swap with a friend and Kinect is very quick to react and calibrate to the new user. It also handles two players playing together very well too, whether you are playing co-operatively or in the local multiplayer. It responds well to voice commands and all of the physical action you perform throughout the game and for the first time in a long time I didn’t feel like I had to compensate for the hardware. Visually I was really impressed with the game, you’ll have no problems recognizing all of your favourite characters, and at times I had to double-check I was actually looking at animation rather than actually film footage. It’s also a bit of shame that the voice actors aren’t the actual cast.
This is a must buy for Harry Potter fans, it’s quite short but there are plenty of reasons to go back to try to secure the highest score for each level, as well as playing through all the unlocked content. The game is presented really well and also works very well with the hardware. Even if you are not a fan of the series you could still play the game and enjoy it as well as picking up some fairly easy achievement points.
Review: Harry Potter for Kinect Results
What we liked:
Great game for Harry Potter fans
Kinect works really well
The game looks great
What we disliked:
Voice actors aren't the real cast
Hard to get into if you haven't seen the films or read the books