As with the Wii version, Half-Blood Prince on DS achieves the remarkable feat of turning the fantastical world of Hogwarts into one of the dullest places in gaming. It looks the part, with detailed locations and character models, but the endless item-fetching tasks mean you have to hoof it around the premises without ever really engaging with the place. And progress is hampered by clunky controls that see Harry bumping around like a dog wearing one of those post-operation plastic collars.
Optional minigames break up the trudgery, from snap and marbles (sorry, Gobstones) to simplistic spell dueling. Quidditch handles awkwardly – flying a real broomstick may prove easier. Harry-obsessed younger gamers may get some enjoyment out of simply being at Hogwarts but old-hands will soon tire of, ahem, puttering about.
Aug 11, 2009