Every video game version of the Philosophers Stone

The Harry Potter video games stand out surprisingly well when compared to other licenced properties, not only by quality but that almost every console had a unique version of the game, I have already reviewed the PC version on this website and I feel its time we take a look at all of other versions of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, these wont be full on reviews but I will discuss what I like and dislike about each version, I own all of them apart from the PS2 game mainly due to the fact that it costs and arm and leg to purchase but I have managed to at least lend a copy from a close friend so without further ado lets get into this.

PC version

The PC game was developed by Knowwonder and was released in 2001, it followed the plot line of the book and had a linear level based system.

The game stands out for heavy use of the computer mouse, in order to learn spells you needed to trace shapes representing them and you would even use your mouse to aim and fire your magic, I feel this gave the game a unique although very slight realism which only the PC port could offer.

You moved and flew using the WASD keys which also work very well and I feel that this version controls a lot more smoothly to the PS1 game which I will cover next.

My biggest complaint with this version is that the collectibles are pretty lame, you can collect different coloured beans that can be traded with Fred and George to buy Wizard cards, some of the cards are also hidden throughout the game, the fact that all the twins do here is sell you cards it is a bit disappointing compared to other versions.

The PS1 version

This is the version I have most recently finished so I am going into this with a fresh mind.

Again this game follows a linear path however it does differ in its collectibles, you still grab beans but this time not only can you get wizard cards but you can also unlock a more powerful knockback jinx as well as the nimbus 2000 and better quidditch armour. I will say that the areas are very guided as there is very little room for exploration, the enemies can be interesting but the game auto selects spells for you so defeating them requires very little skill.

Flying really takes some time to learn here, I found it very difficult to control, the broom stick feels very slippery and trying to get all of the hoops takes some proper skills, there is a part in the final challenge rooms that really had me struggling at times. The actual quidditch matches in the game are quite boring as you simply follow the rings and grab the snitch, I wish there was a little more to it but the I suppose that’s what the quidditch world cup video game is for.

There are a few different types of gameplay here including sections similar to games likes Crash Bandicoot, other areas needed stealth gameplay as well even racing, there is really something here for every gamer although at times I did feel like there was a few too many different game types.

GB Version

I will be honest with this one and say that I cant really give a proper opinion here because I have never got far enough in this version to even get into Hogwarts.

But what I can tell you is that it is a traditional turn based RPG which is very challenging and follows the events of the book rather than the movie, I would like to finish the game one day and I think its is deserving of its own full review but that is for another day.

So apologies if this one was brief but I just haven’t experienced this game enough to go into more detail or fairly critique it.

GBA version

This is my personal favourite version of the Philosophers Stone.

This game is very challenging for new players because unlike other Harry Potter games, in this version you can actually lose the house cup! yes that’s right at the end of the game you may not actually beat Slytherin, you gain and lose house points based on your performance in the games tasks.

The main game requires Harry to learn new spells and successfully complete tasks from the book, a lot of the time puzzle solving is required to complete the areas, some inspiration from 2D Zelda games was definitely used here as this has a very knock off feel of those games. Of course this is no where near as good as a AAA title but it has a lot of charm and is very difficult the part where you have to sneak around Hogwarts castle avoiding the prefects always has me puling out my hair but trying to beat your house points score every time you beat the game will keep you coming back. I highly recommend picking this one up if you get the chance.

And here we are at the very expensive one, the reason this game costs so much is because it was released after the Chamber of Secrets video game so not many people bought this assuming it was an older game and now its worth quite a bit and is a game I am desperate to add to my personal PS2 collection.

The first thing I want to point out with this game is that it looks great, Hogwarts is huge and is full of colours and things to see, I love that you can explore the castle after bed time to find secret passages and collect hidden wizard cards, there is a lot to do in this game and most of the time its more fun to explore than stick with the main campaign.

You can now set spells to specific buttons for quick uses and thankfully the game controls very well, this made flying a lot of fun, due to the advanced technology of the PS2 when you were flying you could see far beneath your broom and flying around the castle was really satisfying as it helped to show how large the in game maps actually are.

The Bertie Botts beans are back and this time they are used as currency in Fred and Georges shop, the only complaint I have with the game is Harry shouting the beans flavour every time he picks one up as it gets annoying very fast.

And that’s all of the video game adaptions of the Philosophers Stone, which one is your favourite? I think mine will always be the GBA game but the PS2/ XBOX/ Gamecube version is a close second !

Perhaps one day I should go over all versions of the Chamber of Secrets as well 🙂

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Castlevania: The Adventure (1989) Gameboy Review

Castlevania: The Adventure was the third Castlevania game released chronologically and was the first title to be exclusive for a handheld system, It was developed and published by the video game developer Konami, it was released in 1989 for the Nintendo Gameboy in Japan and North America prior to a 1991 release in PAL regions.

The game is set 100 years before the events of the first Castlevania game and stars Christopher Belmont who after years of Dracula causing havoc decides he’s had enough and travels to his castle ready to slay him.

The gameplay is fairly standard with it being a very basic 2D action platformer, in traditional Castlevania style you attack with the whip which can only be used in the direction you are facing so quick reaction times are a must in order to survive, it should also be noted that Sub Weapons are not in the game, a very odd choice which really takes away from the experience.

Quick progression is very important in the game since players are given a time limit to finish each of the four stages and their boss, overall the game is very short and I didn’t find the time limits to be anywhere near running out as I completed each level, as usual there are limited lives but there is little reason to worry because continuing from a Game Over only makes you repeat the stage you died on.

The boss fights are very forgettable and its a shame because in the two previous titles the boss fights were at least interesting and had some strategy and weaknesses to sub weapons, here they all feel very much the same and die fairly quickly.

I can at least say that while its not as good as before, the music here is really fun and is impressive for Game Boy standards, I would argue that the music may be the best part of the game due to the rest of it lacking in many ways.

Castlevania: The adventure is extremely disappointing as an entry in the Castlevania series, due to its limited stages, lack of sub weapons and overall boring gameplay nothing about it stands out compared to what we have had before, even the infamous Castlevania 2 is more enjoyable as a gaming experience than what we got here, the controls are clunky and the hit detection is a little off making the whole game even more frustrating than it needs to be, it had a good soundtrack but that’s about it and unfortunately I really cannot give this a higher ranting than a 2.5/10.

I am only grateful that the next Castlevania game I am reviewing is at least another good one so please look forward to that.

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The Battle of Olympus (NES) Review

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Released in 1988 by a small game company called Infinity, Battle of Olympus is a really interesting game, it was the first game released by the developers and the entire thing was designed and programmed by the companies president at the time, five years later a game boy port was released and its actually a very good port apart from the black and white visuals which couldn’t be helped and a few items and areas being differently designed or found in different locations its a very strong release which is similar to the original.Battle-of-Olympus-The-U

The game takes place in ancient Greece where Hades the ruler of the Underworld is terrorising the land, you play as Orpheus who needs to get to the Underworld and defeat Hades in order to save his girlfriend Helene, in order to succeed in defeating Hades Orpheus must gain help from the other gods you first visit Zeus who encourages the others to help Orpheus in his quest by granting him special items and abilities.

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This game is very similar to Zelda 2 the adventure of Link, for the most part its a side scroller, you will need too get around the game by finding hidden doors, traversing through labyrinths and discovering hidden treasures, fairies are extremely useful as most will fully heal you and some will even give you necessary items, fountains can be used to heal you also but first you need to obtain the flask in order to store some of the fountains water, other discover-able items are also handy but most will come at a price, some of these prices are ridiculous, throughout the game you will need to collect olives from fallen foes as this is your currency but enemies dont drop them nearly enough so collecting enough to pay for things can often become a drag, in the game boy version items cost half of the price of the original game which is a nice update.

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There are nine locations in the game, eight of these are shown above on the in game map while the gate to Tartarus (where Hades resides) is hidden and is only accessible late into the game, a lot of these areas are extremely well hidden and you have to travel back and fourth between these areas often, thankfully you can obtain a harp which will summon a Pegasus which makes getting around much faster.

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The only enemy I would consider to be a boss would be the final battle but you will need to beat some very tough enemies who are lurking around in various locations, personally my favourite was the cyclops but there are a lot to get through including a Siren, a Minotaur, a Centaur and many more, each is defeated in a different manner and all of them are very fun to fight.

The music is ok there isn’t much to it and nothing really sticks with you once you beat the game but the music is fun and doesn’t effect the game-play in anyway.

The Battle of Olympus is a hidden gem on the NES, not many people know about it but its quite cheap to pick up and is a really good third party game, its very difficult and may leave you screaming at your TV at times but with enough patience and learning you can quickly adapt to it, I wish it had a proper save system instead of passwords and some of the grinding for olives became too much of a nuisance but apart from that this is pretty solid game and is well worth your time 8.2/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Battle of Olympus on NES

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