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Critics: “Ridiculous” Potter game will disappoint fans

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 [X360, PS3, PC]

Fans of Britain's most famous wizard won't have failed to notice that this is something of a big week for the young conjurer. Ten years after the release of the first Potter movie, the series finally wraps up this week -- and it's doing so with the blessing of most critics, who've been lavishing it with impressive reviews.

Question is, can the accompanying video game do as well?

The last Potter title, released last year alongside Deathly Hallows Part 1, was a mess, a real disappointment for a series that has turned out some surprisingly decent console entertainment in the past. Potter fans are clearly hoping Part 2 -- releasing just eight months later -- heralds a return to form.

And although it's scoring a little better than Part 1, it's pretty clear those fans are in for a rough finale.

Gamespot's Kevin VanOrd scored it a dismal 4.0, describing it as a "conceptually ridiculous" game that sounds more like a first-person shooter than a spell-casting sim.

"Stupefy isn't a stunning spell in this game: It's a pistol," VanOrd writes. "Expulso isn't an exploding spell: It's a rapid-fire machine gun. Confringo isn't a blasting curse: It's a grenade launcher. And forget everything you know about apparating, which you probably never imagined as a short-range teleport."

That's by no means the extent of VanOrd's issues with the liberties Deathly Hallows takes with its source material. And it doesn't sound like general action-game fans will be too impressed with the latest Potter either.

"You shoot the same nameless generic enemies time and again," he says, "and then you move down a narrow path so you can take some cover and shoot more clones...Even on its hardest difficulty, Deathly Hallows Part 2 isn't challenging." Top that off with a "mercifully short" three-and-a-half-hour story, and you're left with precious little to get your
pulse racing.

Game Informer's Joe Juba is a little more upbeat, crediting Part 2 with being an improvement over the last game, but it's still obvious he didn't have much fun with the game.

"Each level is a constant flow of generic bad guys with little variation and an AI that barely allows them to stand upright, much less attack with any strategy," Juba complains. "The resulting firefights feel like shooting fish in a barrel; I only died once, when I accidentally unpaused the game while I was eating lunch at my desk."

A lackluster 6.5/10 is his verdict, and the game is currently rating a disappointing 57% at review aggregation site Metacritic. The message is pretty clear: Potter fans, enjoy the movie, but leave the game at Hogwarts.

(Buy on Amazon | Find out More)


Enlightenus II: The Timeless Tower [Y!]

Sing a blues song backwards, and your wife and dog spring back to life as you get out of prison. But what do you get if you play a hidden-object game backwards? Something very much like Enlightenus II, a game that starts out by giving you a bunch of objects and setting you the task of hiding them. Sounds easy, but each has its own particular place, and figuring out which goes where is a real challenge.

Download from Yahoo! Games

NCAA Football 12 [X360, PS3]

Even as this year's NFL season teeters on the brink of cancellation, collegiate teams around the country are preparing for their first games. That means it's time for a new EA-produced NCAA title, and this year's should be already awaiting fans in their local game stores. NCAA 12's improvements are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but that's not stopping it from a broadly good set of reviews from critics.

(Buy on Amazon | Get More Info)

Ms. 'Splosion Man [X360]

If you played 2009's utterly wonderful 'Splosion Man, you'll already know what this is all about, and most likely are already hustling to your Xbox 360, 800 Microsoft points clutched in your sweaty e-hand, to see if it's live yet. (Spoiler: it is.) For the unenlightened, Ms. 'Splosion Man is an explosion-packed follow-up to one of the best single- and multiplayer platformers of the last few years. It's already pulling down top marks don't miss it .

(Buy on Amazon | Get More Info)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Extended Edition [Y!]

Jules Verne fans, get re...wait, are there still Jules Verne fans? Surely there must be. Either way, this hidden-object game is a whale of a good time. Taking place aboard Captain Nemo's hulking Nautilus submarine, you'll be helping three friends escape the depths of the ocean and return to dry land. Just remember: if you get stuck, you're probably looking in the wrong 'plaice'. Watch out for red herrings, too.

(Download from Yahoo! Games)

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