Game Guys review - Harry Potter for Kinect

12:41 PM, Dec 18, 2012   |    comments
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  • 'Harry Potter for Kinect' for Xbox 360.
  • 'Harry Potter for Kinect' for Xbox 360.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a student at Hogwarts?  Well, if you have, then Harry Potter for Kinect might be a great way for you to take in the experience.  Not only do you get to see first-hand what it's like at the iconic wizard's school, but you get to do it in the shoes of The Boy Who Lived.

Harry Potter for Kinect, a (surprise surprise) Kinect-only title for Xbox 360, takes players through an abbreviated version of the movies.  This starts with Potter's first year and his experiences with beginning with choosing Harry's wand at Ollivander's through to the end and his triumph over Lord Voldemort.  For those who are big fans of the series, this game should be a satisfactory experience, but no more than that.

Being a Kinect-only game, Harry Potter for Kinect makes the player the controller.  Utilizing both gesture and voice recognition, the player casts spells, pours potions, and takes part in key battles.  This has the potential of being an extremely immersive way to experience the trials Harry Potter and his friends had to endure.  Sadly, poor execution of these Kinect-specific controls spoil much of the fun that could be had.  Anything that required a steady hand (ie: potion making) or any sort of accuracy is a crap shoot as to whether or not you'll actually find success.

As far as presentation goes, the game has its high and low points.  The spirit in which the 'Harry Potter' universe was re-created is quite strong, but not everything is as good as one would hope.  While some of the characters look quite good, others -- including Potter himself -- look quite bland (almost to the point of being generic).  The voice actors hired to replicate Harry, Hermione, and the others don't do a wholly bad job, but it's easy to tell that the voices of Daniel Ratliff et al. were not used.

Through the power of the Xbox 360's Kinect add-on, Harry Potter for Kinect could easily have been the most hands-on way for a Potter-head to experience Hogwarts and major events from the movies/books.  Sadly, though slightly below average graphics, underwhelming voice acting, and overall bad controls, this game will find its appeal only amongst the most die-hard of 'Harry Potter' fans.

Final Game Guys grade: C+

(WBIE provided a copy of this game for review.)


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