After the PC version, I concentrated on this one next. Unlike the other games, this one focuses more on the story from the book. It also has an RPG aspect that makes it unique.
Since I’m very picky about research (except when it comes to school work), I read the first Harry Potter book and viewed the first movie again. I have to admit that, compared to the later ones, this one isn’t quite as great but it’s still enjoyable. Still, what is it about these books that make them so popular? Maybe it’s because, as Bobby Bacala (The Sopranos) says, “it gives the other kids, the 98 pound weakling, some hope.” It might also be because, unlike other books targeted to children, Harry Potter is not so condescending. In many books that are aimed towards children, when the main character broke a rule no matter how minor, they were automatically caught and punished for it. This method was a way to manipulate children into being obedient robots. In these books, sometimes Harry is rewarded for breaking rules or he’s punished. Sometimes, he doesn’t get caught at all. However, it might be because books in the UK aren’t as condescending as books in the US. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
As I said, this game is the most loyal to the book with a few differences. For one thing, it’s Hermione who tells Harry about Snape instead of Percy, which makes absolutely no sense considering that Hermione knows as much about the teachers as Harry does while Percy’s been there for five years. Some scenes follow the book exactly and yet seem out of place, such as McGonagall showing up out of nowhere to take twenty points from Slytherin and Draco not even objecting to that whatsoever. Sometimes it gets the characters wrong, such as having Draco give Harry a prize for beating him when Draco is a sore loser. Another thing is that makes this game notable is that it’s the only one to have you attend History of Magic. Don’t worry, all you do is get sent to Diagon Alley to retrieve a card.
The game play is RPG like which separates it from the other ones in the series. You run into magic clouds and get into a battle with various monsters. The more experience points you gain, the more you level up. If you use a spell enough times you can also have it upgraded. Oh, and you can collect wizard cards and card combinations you can use to aid you in battle.
To me, this seems out of place because RPG elements don’t really suit Harry Potter. I prefer learning spells in classes and going through the obstacle courses in other games because it feels more like you’re in a magical school. Did I mention that this is the only game where Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw could win the House Cup rather than automatically losing to Slytherin if you don’t have enough points?
This game is loyal but out of place. I give it 3 out of 10; it’s unique but not in a good way.
After finishing the Playstation version I concentrated on this one.Ironically, this one was actually the first version I ever played.Like the Playstation version, this also gives you the feel of being a student.However, there are differences in this version.
In the Playstation version, Harry Potter is the silent protagonist save for when he’s casting spells (think Link from Zelda or the 10-year-old trainers from Pokemon), but in this version he says very little.The thing is, Harry only reacted in the first book, so it actually makes perfect sense.You also have to collect beans for Fred and George, but instead of collecting a certain type of bean you just collect 25 beans and trade them for Wizard Cards throughout the game.You have to collect all the Wizard Cards in order to see the secret ending and like the book, Dumbledore’s the first card you get.
You also get to attend classes and learn spells.In order to learn the spell, you have to trace a symbol provided by the Professor.As fun as it is, there’s a ticking clock that can make you very nervous and your hand can be unsteady because of it, so it’s hard to pass the final tracing lesson.After that’s over, you get to participate in a challenge where you try to collect all the stars hidden throughout it.You earn points based on how well you traced the spell and how well you completed the challenge associated with it.There is one spell you learn from Hermione called Alohomora and you even get points from her, which brings up one question.How is Hermione able to give points?I have no problem with her teaching a spell, but actually giving points?Couldn’t she have just given you a Wizard Card or something?That would have made a lot more sense.Another problem I have is that you never have a Transfiguration Class.I understand not having History of Magic in the game, but Transfiguration?The only time you even see McGonagall is when she tells you that you’ve made the Quidditch team and then she just disappears.
Like the book, Cerberus is still guarding the stone (yes I know his name is Fluffy, but I’m calling him Cerberus) and you have to put him to sleep by playing the flute.However you never talk to Hagrid about any of this, so you never find out how to put him to sleep.You never even find out the dog’s name.All you know is that there’s a three-headed dog guarding the door and you were never told how to get past it.Unless Harry gained the deduction skills of Sherlock Holmes, there’s no way he would be able to figure out how to get past Cerberus.It also makes Ron’s line about how “Only Hagrid would call this monster Fluffy,” very out of place.
Again, we have Quidditch in this game and it even gets its own separate section, but they didn’t even try with this one.In this version, there is a mention of an opposing Seeker, but you never even see your opponent.The rings produced by the snitch don’t even serve a purpose, except to show you where it is.Like the Playstation version, the only way of losing the game is to get knocked out and this time you don’t have armor protecting you.
Like the Playstation version, the game is relatively easy except for the Wizard Cards.The difference is every part of this game plays some role in the overall storyline and you even find out why Fred and George are collecting beans.I give this game a 6 out of 10.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or, as it’s known in every other country, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, is the book that started the cash cow known as the Harry Potter series. When the movie first came out, games were made to tie in with it for obvious reasons. Despite these games all having the same title, each version differs in a very unique way. It is because of this that I’ve decided to separate each version by section.
Lately I have been in a Harry Potter mood so I decided to replay all my old games again starting with this one. While the game does follow the main story line, it also gives you a feel of actually being a student at Hogwarts. Not only do you learn new spells, you also have to make sure you arrive to class on time or lose points for Gryffindor. Unfortunately the game is not as awesome as you would think it is, but it is still a fun game.
According to Amazon.com this is “less of a game than a tour through Potter’s magical world.” I have to say that I agree with that sentiment. Not only does it let you explore the castle, you also get to attend lessons and learn magic. One part that I really liked was the obstacle course before each class. If you failed to pass it in a certain amount of time, you lose points for tardiness. It made me feel like a student when there’s a chance of being late, though if you have to go through an obstacle course to get to every class at Hogwarts, I can’t imagine many students showing up on time, some of them might have even missed the class completely. The only class you don’t have to run through an obstacle course to get to is Potions, which kind of makes Fred and George’s warning about not showing up late kind of pointless. It’s also ironic, because in the PC version, that’s the only class you show up late to.
Speaking of Potions, the game does a decent job with Professor Snape. While he is still the same snarky bastard we all know and love, or loathe depending on what kind of fan you are, I felt that the game tried too hard to pin the attempted theft of the Sorcerer’s Stone on him. When he sends you to collect fireflies, a mysterious hooded man activates a trap to send you far down into the dungeon. When you come back, Snape is surprised to see you and says that he wasn’t expecting you back so soon. While I can overlook that, there is one scene I cannot get my head around. After Harry gets his invisibility cloak, he decides to snoop around the third floor corridor only to run into Snape talking to Filch. Filch tells him that there’s someone snooping around and Snape reveals that “(he’s) had (his) eye on (the Sorcerer’s Stone) for some time.” So, basically, your way of making us suspect Snape was by making him practically confess that he’s out to steal the stone and then having us fight Quirrel in the end? That’s like making a Chamber of Secrets game where you have Draco Malfoy announce that he’s the heir of Slytherin only to go down to the Chamber of Secrets to find Ginny possessed by Tom Riddle. I get that you’re trying to mislead us, but if you’re going to have Snape say something like that without giving a rational explanation as to why he would say it, you might as well have changed the plot to have Snape steal the Sorcerer’s Stone instead of Quirrell. For those very few of you who have probably not so much as seen the movie, I’m sorry for the spoiler, but if you haven’t at least seen the movie, then it’s your own fault for not catching up with the times.
As I said earlier, the game is essentially a glorified tour and that includes Diagon Alley, the very level I have grown to despise. Hagrid’s dragon gets sick, so you have to go to Diagon Alley to get some ingredients for the medicine. Of course, you have to get money from Gringotts first, leading to six mini-games in general and you have to do really well if you want to get three hidden wizard cards. Did I mention that you have to collect paperwork on a very slippery floor and then go through a roller-coaster ride just to get money that’s floating in thin air? That’s right; any idiot who manages to collect the paperwork can get their money just by rolling the mine cart around and who knows, they might accidentally collect some of your money too. If that’s how Gringotts is, no wonder no one tries to rob you, and yes I am very well aware of what happens in book seven, but we’re not talking about the books. Oh, and after you get all that money, you now have three mini-games you have to play to collect the ingredients, one of them being that you have to chase a pissed-off peacock around Ollivander’s storage room hoping to pluck one lousy feather, and don’t even think about using your wand. In all honesty this level wouldn’t be so frustrating if it weren’t for the very fact that none of this played a role in the story. It just seemed like a desperate excuse to put Diagon Alley in the game and the only thing you really get out of it is that peacocks hate having their feathers pulled out, something I already knew. Well, that and wizard cards, but you could have easily stuffed those cards anywhere around Hogwarts. What’s really frightening is all the work Harry now has to make up because of this. Take it from me, it’s better to have to do a little work every day than have to do this huge pile of work in one whole day, and I really need to take my own advice on that one.
Anyone whose familiar with the world of Harry Potter knows about Quidditch, and it’s not only included in this game, there’s also a whole section devoted to playing it. The problem is, since you’re playing as Harry Potter, the only position available to you is Seeker and it seems like a real pain. While there is an opponent Seeker, all he does is fly through the rings never catching the snitch; if that’s how opponent Seekers not in Gryffindor play, no wonder Gryffindor usually wins. Seriously, the only way you can lose is if you get knocked out and even that is close to impossible when you trade beans with Fred and George for Quidditch armor.
Despite how easy the game is, it’s still pretty fun. The only challenge is collecting all the wizard cards and you can easily consult a walkthrough for that. Still, there were some very frustrating parts that did not belong and you never find out what Fred and George want with all the beans you gave them. I give this game a 5 out of 10, fun but not particularly memorable.
When a young elf named Iya is captured by the Snow Queen, it’s up to her friend Ean to come to the rescue.Can they stop the Snow Queen from turning the world into ice?
Despite what it sounds like, rescuing Iya is only the beginning of the game.Plus, it’s Iya discovering her magic that allows them to escape in the first place.The rest of the story is about restoring Iya to normal and defeating the Snow Queen.Another thing is that the two elves live in a place cut off from the rest of the world called the Vale.Unlike in other stories, where the main character dreams of leaving their small town to explore the rest of the world, Ean and Iya are perfectly happy in the Vale.If it weren’t for the Snow Queen, they would have stayed there.Emma and Rye are the ones that want to leave their home and dream of something greater.Yes, there are other characters besides Ean and Iya and, like the last game, you can marry various characters.Ean has to buy things for Iya or have spells cast on the both of them.Emma has to win or lose a tournament while making a bet with Rye.Ava can either marry Gavin or teach Nicholas humility depending on which one you’d rather have in your party.If you want both, go to Amaranth Games and check out the goodies they have for this one.Oh, and you can also choose between three endings, even though one of them doesn’t actually have an ending.
Unlike the last game where they had a tendency to force pairings, this one actually manages to give them chemistry with the exception of one.Ean and Iya have been friends for years and there are hints throughout the story that they care for each other a great deal.Emma and Rye are both commoners who want more from life than what they have.They also have a competitive streak that causes them to insult each other and place a bet when Emma signs up for a tournament regarding servitude.To me, this pairing is the most believable because of their natures.My only problem is that Rye says that Emma’s not like other girls who are boring and sappy.I get that there probably weren’t many deep women in Rye’s farming village, but he also travels with Iya and Ava.Ava is a no nonsense pirate who shouldn’t be messed with and while Iya is more girly than the other two, she knows where her priorities lie.One example is that when Iya and Ean are fleeing from the Snow Queen, though Iya loves her Snow Princess gown, she knows that it’s hard to travel in and that there’s no room for it in her pack so she throws it away.This is a breath of fresh air from Cassandra Claire’s Draco Trilogy where even when the women were in a life-threatening situation, the minute they got a new dress that was their number one priority.As I said earlier, Ava has two paths she can take.Truth is, I didn’t find her relationship with Gavin believable.During the game, he makes advances that she is constantly rejecting and then he makes an offer out of nowhere that makes her like him.She refuses, but I wonder if he knew she was going to turn him down.I also love Nicholas’s storyline where he is rude and conceited yet he sees the consequences of his actions with the help of Ava.Like Lars, he sees the error of his ways and learns humility.Unlike Lars, we are not meant to take the writer’s word for it and actually witness his transformation.His relationship with Ava is far more believable than her marriage to Gavin but I don’t think Nicholas is a better match for her.Ava and Nicholas’s relationship seems more like an older sibling teaching her younger brother how to behave than that of boyfriend and girlfriend.
The game play is like the last one where you travel the world fighting monsters and leveling up your characters.You can also partake in events that give certain characters attraction points and buy a farm that can be your party’s headquarters.If you want an easy play through, you can find several goodie caves throughout the game.You can also sign Iya up for one of four guilds and get a new outfit based on which one of them you choose.
This game is addictive and has more of a storyline.I give it 8 out of 10; a superior sequel to the last game.
A young girl named Rhen is captured from her home and sent into slavery in a far away land.Fortunately for her, she has the power to draw magic from swords and is sent to the academy to learn how to use it.Now she has to stop an evil sorcerer from destroying the world.
I know, this sounds like the plot of Ahriman’s Prophecy with the words changed.That game is actually a prequel to this one.While this game does more than the previous one does with the side characters, they all remain the same until the end of the game.The only exception is Lars who somehow stops acting like a royal brat and gains humility with no explanation of how this drastic change occurred in the first place.I guess you could say that Dameon also changes but even that literally has to be forced by magic.
The pairings are another issue I have due to the fact that every one of them seems forced, some of them quite literally.Rhen’s relationship with Dameon seem to have come from nowhere.They immediately take a liking to each other and he changes his mind about some of his beliefs just from a few words from her, something his own mother couldn’t accomplish.You might expect me to talk about how I prefer Lars and Rhen as a pairing, like many other fans do but I’m sort of on the fence about that one.Rhen was a slave to Lars’ mother and spent years under his abuse.In the beginning, he didn’t seem to care if he accidentally killed her.I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could ever hook up with a guy that I associate the worst years of my life with.On the other hand, if done correctly, it would have been an interesting story arc to see them struggle with feelings for each other while remembering their history together.Elini and Pirate John is another pairing I have an issue with because the former pours love potion all over the latter.I always felt that love potion was a form of rape because you’re forcing someone else to have feelings for you instead of respecting their decisions.What I liked about Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that such magic was not portrayed in a favorable light.Te’ijal and Galahad are also forced but how they end up married is believable and in character, so I will applaud the writers for that.
Speaking of Galahad, he was the character that I found most irritating.He didn’t believe in magic despite all the evidence around him that it exists in this universe.He also tags along with Rhen in the belief that a young woman needs a man to protect her despite all evidence that Rhen can protect herself just fine.Though I did like that when Galahad makes the offer, Rhen is understandably insulted by this but agrees to take him along because his skills would benefit the group as a whole.
Rhen herself is not a believable protagonist.She has no clue what country she’s in and has to be told where to go.At the end, you can choose what path she takes and every single one of them seems forced.If the intention was to give her very little personality so the audience can pretend to be her during the game, it would have been better to use her as a silent protagonist like Link from Legend of Zelda.
The game play is different from the last one in that when you touch a monster, you enter a battle screen.
You can also change party members as you see fit.Unfortunately, there’s no escape option so you need to save often.Sometimes you come across save crystals which I don’t really see the point of having seeing as how you can save the game by going to the main menu.You can go wherever you want on the world map and enter various cities and wilderness areas.If you do a thorough search, you can find two goodies, one that can warp you to different locations and another that can give you huge amounts of gold.You can also find various treasure chests and loot the corpses for more items and gold.During the game, you’ll also have a choice between four guilds for Lars to join.
This game is simplistic yet addictive.I give it 7 out of 10; it makes up for its lack of characterization by its fun game play.
Link has always been known as the boy without a fairy by his fellow Kokiri. The minute he finally has one he also has a quest. He needs to gather three items and use them to open the sacred realm, getting the Triforce before the king of the Gerudos, Ganondorf, beats him to it.
What 90s Zelda fan doesn’t remember this game? It was the first to hit 3D consoles, the first where you got to ride a horse and, for those of you familiar with the fan fiction world, the inspiration for the dreaded My Inner Life. The first Zelda game I played was A Link to the Past, but this was the first game I owned. The plot follows that of a typical Zelda game, find three items and then see a huge plot twist. Now you have to collect more items. Some plot elements are similar to Peter Pan, such as the fairy and a fact regarding the Kokiri you discover later on. Navi is the first of her type and boy does it show, but more on that later. Link, like the rest of the games, is an avatar for the world of Hyrule. He says nothing and goes where he’s told. Zelda drives the plot, risking her life to help Link and doing everything she can to save Hyrule. The lengths she goes to are very daring.
I absolutely love the game play. You can set any items you find to l, r, or z, taking place of the four c buttons of the N64, save the sword and the shield. L targeting has helped me on more than one occasion. The only problem is the fairy that makes it possible is very annoying. Navi has a tendency to give information when you really don’t need it and sometimes you have no choice but to hear it. Her targeting usually makes up for it until the second to final battle where she can’t do anything.
As for other features this game has, you can play songs on your ocarina, use your brain to go through dungeons and defeat bosses, and search the world for heart pieces.
Collect four of them to get a free container. Some heart pieces require mini-games, the shooting being my least favorite but that’s because I can’t get my hands steady enough to complete it.
As a child, I loved this game and I still love it as an adult. I give it 8 out of 10, the beginning of a new era of Zelda games.
While Loren’s on a quest to find her mother, vampires have captured several of her people. To top it off, her sidekick has to help everyone on his or her own personal journey. Thankfully, three other people and a hellhound have joined them in their quest.
This is an expansion to the original game. On each character’s side quest, you find out more about what made them what they are. You also have an option to spare sacrificing anyone at the end of the game. You can now recruit Sauzer, Mesphit and Chambara on your quest. Only the final two are romance options for either gender.
The game play is the same as the last one with options to go on personal quests. When you’re finished with each one, you can get a special item that only a certain character can use. You also have more achievements to win along with more options to take in different locations. You can avoid some fights if you want to.
This is nothing more than an extension of the original game. I give it 8 out of 10; taking a fourth option took out some of the emotion for me.
An evil wizard has cast a sleeping spell on Princess Zelda. In order to awaken her, Link must travel to six palaces and return the rods to get the Triforce of Courage. Unfortunately, minions of Ganon have set out to kill Link in order to revive their master.
All right, a few issues with the plot. For one thing, the decree that Hyrule royal family name every daughter Zelda sounds very confusing. What’s going to happen when the family has two daughters? Do they just name them Zelda 1 and Zelda 2? Another thing, I don’t get why Link’s blood is required to revive Ganon. He seems to revive in every other game just fine without it. The only explanation I can come up with is that Ganon’s minions have been secretly killing Link whenever he settles down with a family. I get that the whole purpose of this plot point was to give Link enemies to fight but it makes no sense. They would be constantly stalking him day in and day out never giving him a moment’s peace. He wouldn’t be able to do anything without armed guards around him every day of his life. In addition, what is Link doing in Zelda’s chamber?
I get that the game needed a place for him to start but there is no reason for him to be there. At best, he’s admiring her beauty while she sleeps. At worst, well, I really don’t want to think about it.
As for the game play, they pretty much took away everything that made it great. Instead of solving puzzles, you have to fight your way through everything and if you’re anything like me, you will die quite often. If you back out, you can’t gain levels. You can also talk to people in town to gain magic, but you have to complete a quest first. If you’re low on health, you can visit a woman in a red dress who will take you to her house and heal your wounds.
In other words, while many women have a crush on Link in Ocarina of Time, this is the game where he got the most action and I’m not talking about fighting monsters. I don’t know if the makers were too naive to figure out what that was implying or this was their desperate attempt at fan service. Don’t get me wrong, I can understand if hot animated characters arouse you but if a pack of pixels turns you on, please remove yourself from the gene pool.
I once had a very painful cramp in my foot. Just when I thought it was gone, the pain came back double. That is exactly how this game rolls. I give it 0 out of 10; if you’re playing all the Zelda games, just skip this one.
When Queen Karen of the Amazons disappears, Loren sets off on a journey to find her. On the way, she discovers her destiny and is in the middle of a huge conflict that only she can bring to an end.
You might think you’d play Loren in this game, but you don’t. The character you play is her sidekick. When the game begins, you have a choice of playing as Saren (a human male slave) or Elenor (a female elf servant). When being presented to Loren, you can choose your character’s background.
You also have a choice of romance partners for each character. Both Saren and Elenor can romance Loren and the reserved Nomad Amukiki. Saren can also romance the half-elf fire mage Draco and the enchanting druid Myrth. Elenor can romance the bad boy elf Rei and the miserable Queen Karen. There are some graphic scenes in the game, but you can choose whether to view or skip them. You can also choose to have your characters wear more or less of their outfits.
This game might seem like just another dating sim, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The battle system in Loren is unique. Instead of a 2D battle, as I’ve come to expect from most independent RPGs, you have this.
Not only do you gain experience points through battle, you also gain them through completing quests. If you gain enough points, you can level up your characters. You do so by giving each character a number of attribute points for their strength, will and skill. You can also pick a new talent for them to learn. How many points you get while leveling up depends entirely on what time of game play you choose. You also have choices throughout the game that affect your relationship with the characters. During the game, you can retreat to camp to recover your health. It’s also a chance for you to build up your relationship with certain characters. There’s also achievements you can collect throughout the story.
The story and characters have their own charm. The game is not only about the war that’s brewing in the world of the game, it’s also about prejudice. Not only is there prejudice between the humans and the elves, there’s also prejudice within their own groups and a prejudice Amazons hold for men and the rest of the world. It’s because of this that the demons find it so easily to manipulate everyone. There’s also prejudice between the characters that fades over time as each of them get to know one another. Princess Loren is the one selected by a mythical sword to lead everyone to the demons, a role she is reluctant to take due to her belief that the Amazons should remain neutral. Her relationship with Saren or Elenor is also quite special as she starts to view her slave as an actual person and starts to become friends or more with them. Her romance with Saren is the most character developing story arc out of all of Saren’s romances because she actually has to take a good look at her culture and how they enslave men much like women were little more than slaves in Earth’s history. My favorite romance path of Elenor’s would have to be Rei because she truly gets to explore her Elvin heritage. I can’t say more about the game without giving it away, but at the end one of the characters sacrifices themselves and I choked up a bit during it.
This game has an amazing story, intriguing characters and is nonstop fun. I give it 9 out of 10, can’t wait for the expansion and it promises a sequel.