Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (GBC)

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This was one of the last games to be released for the Gameboy Colour. It was lucky it was, because at least the GBC went out on a good game. This was the follow-up to the previous year’s release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and built on what the last did fairly well.

Story

8/10

This game follows the plot of the book extremely well, even more so than the first game did. This is something which I do appreciate, as so many book and film tie-in games tend to butcher the plot in the process. This game also added bits to the story, particularly with some of the quests, as well as adding bits in for the side quests.

There have been a few minor changes to the storyline, to better fit the gameplay, but none of these are glaring, and it all runs smoothly.

There is a bit of criticism, however. As with the previous game, once you reach the end game, there is a sudden pile up of the plot, and points get resolved in quick succession, which irritated me a bit.

Sound

8/10

The music in this game has improved on that from the previous. The sounds isn’t as tinny was it was in the previous game, and the sound effects are much improved. There is also a lot more variety in the music, which made a nice change from the first game, where the music got a bit repetitive after a while.

Overall, sound was much better than it was previously.

Graphics

7/10

This game was one of the last to be released on the Gameboy Colour, and it does look like it. Although the graphics aren’t quite as bad as those in the first game, they still leave a lot to be desired. There is a lot of pixilation on character models, and the backgrounds are somewhat lacklustre.

The spell effects are pretty decent though, and look quite good. Enemy models are okay, they allow you to identify different foes without too much hassle. However, I would have liked for there to be more variation in the different enemies you fight against, rather than just simple palette swaps of the models.

Multiplayer Options

N/A

I’ve never used the multiplayer, so I won’t comment on it. I think it’s only for swapping different wizarding cards, though? Maybe for playing some of the mini-games as well?

Challenge

5/10

There wasn’t much challenge to this game – if you were struggling at any point, usually a bit of level grinding would solve it.

Really the only real struggle to be had was ensuring that you have enough MP to be able to cast spells, but even then restorative potions are readily available, and if worst comes to worst, you can spam the low level Flipendo spell which doesn’t cost any MP until you level up, which restores both your MP and HP to full.

Some of the boss battles can be slightly tough, but they’re nothing out of the ordinary. The only one I found really tough was the final fight at the end, with the Basilisk, but that was more to do with the fact you only have Harry joined with a phoenix to fight with, and it’s only the phoenix who can actually damage the Basilisk, and Harry has to keep it healed enough to not die, if it does, you lose the fight. If you go into that fight without sufficient means of healing, chances are you’ll lose the fight. Ah, and if you save before going into the Basilisk’s chamber, you’ll be unable to go back out again to buy more potions if you find you don’t have enough before this battle.

Gameplay

9/10

This game follows on in much the same way as the first game did. It follows a fairly basic RPG turn-based structure for battles, with you fighting a maximum of three enemies at a time. You get to cast spells, with different enemies having certain weaknesses or resistances to different spells. As you use the spells more and more, they have the chance to level up, which makes them more powerful, although the upgraded versions also use up more MP points to cast. There is also a much wider selection of spells to learn and use in this game, as compared to the previous game, which was nice, however, I seemed to only be using Flipendo, Vermillious, Verdimillous and Incendio as my mainstays as the game drew to an end. Greater use of the other spells would have helped the variety, I think.

Like with the previous game, you trigger fights by walking into blue puffs of smoke, with larger blue smokes signifying a boss fight about to take place.

A big improvement from the previous game was the introduction of a bestiary, which you use the “Informus” spell to fill out, and it contains details of spells which each opponent is weak to or resists. It’s also quite good fun searching in every corner of Hogwarts looking for every creature to fight against in order to fill out your bestiary.

Finally, this game also has Ron and Hermione join you in battle at times – something which makes sense, especially when you consider that they follow you around for most of the game. Each character also has character specific-attacks, which adds a slight element of strategy to the game as well.

ReplayValue

6/10

I can always replay this game, usually just to collect all the chocolate frog cards, but that’s about it.

Overall

Story: 8

Sound: 8

Graphics: 7

Multiplayer: N/A

Challenge: 5

Gameplay: 9

Replay Value: 6

Overall: 7/10

Very much an improvement on the original game. I enjoyed it, and still do.

Written by Karen

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