Wednesday, April 21, 2010

WAA - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Another Wednesday, another set of awards. This week's game is Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, which will pair nicely with my review from Monday.

The "One With Combat"Award: "Portrait Novice"
This one comes as the story progresses, and it's nearly impossible to miss. Just use a portrait shortcut once to get this award.

The "Mile High Club" Award: "Master of Flying"
The Achievement that focused and intensified my hatred of Quidditch. The basic idea is that you maneuver Harry around the screen on his broom (a little like a flight simulator) and go through gates shaped like stars. At the end you catch the snitch and receive a grade based on how many gates you hit along the way. For this Achievement, you need to finish all eight Quidditch events with a grade of five stars, which requires near perfect flying throughout. That is, no missed gates, as well as hitting most of the gates in the dead center. Unless you're a Quidditch natural, expect to repeat these a few times until you've memorized each course.

The "Seriously..." Award: "Crest Collector 14"
Segueing nicely from one thing I hate (Quidditch) to another thing I hate (widget collecting), this Achievement tasks you with finding every hidden crest in the game. There are 150, so this will take a while. The grind of this Achievement is somewhat mitigated by two facts: (1) there are many crest collecting Achievements along the way, so you don't have to get them all for just one award, and (2) finding crests does make your character stronger and unlock bonus content, so it isn't quite the busywork that some widget collecting Achievements become.

The "Little Rocket Man" Award: "Reflex Badge"
This one goes to the player who can complete a duel without getting hit once. Either go defensive by dodging and using Protego to reflect spells back at your opponent, or press the offense to keep them from getting off a shot.

The Scientist Gone Gamer Award: "Escaped the Cave"
Why do the enemies in the finale look like Gollum?

Achievement Set Rating - 5
This set pretty much defines average. It covers all the activities in the game (good) without really giving any additional challenges (bad). The icons are a mixed bag of character shots (good) and low-res clip art (bad). There are too many collection Achievements (bad), but they do unlock game content and improve your character (good). I guess middle of the road will have to do.

Achievement Difficulty Rating - 4
Getting into the 850-900 range is a piece of cake, but finishing the set is surprisingly challenging. Putting up a five star score for all the potion mixing and Quidditch B.S. takes some practice and skill, while finding every crest is a tedious affair.

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