Sunday, 27 October 2013

Checking Out A Potentially Terrible Old PS1 Game That I've Never Played Before: Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets

If you've read any of my recent previous stuff then you may notice this is slightly similar to my last article. If you've never read anything I've ever written before, then welcome and please ignore the first line because I can assure you, it's only ever original content that gets published here.

What I wrote earlier was about games that I had recently played from the Playstation One days, which I hadn't already played before and seeing without the rose tinted specs whether they were genuinely good or just plain frustrating. I found that quite a lot of my experience was pretty annoying and I try to go from just my boredom from a gameplay and story standpoint, rather than a graphical criticism since it was the past and it would be unfair to attack things like that as the technology obviously couldn't compete at the time.

It just so happens that recently I went on a PS1 buying binge because like most people I stupidly thought buying shit would make me feel as if my life would be more complete. It isn't, but form this mistake there'll be some reviews of some potentially shitty PS1 games that I've never played before.

The game today is 'Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets', a game which I began to play normally but gave up on during the point where the audio from one of the characters began endlessly repeated for five minutes during an extended flying car running away from train sequence. It was after this point that I played the rest of this 4 hour adventure with a pretty constant level of alcohol in my system.

This is my story.

So yeah I know I said I wouldn't attack an old game for graphics but fuck I'd forgotten how bad the faces in this game looked. I guess I'd been blinded by just remembering the faces of the Playstation mascots of the time, back when Spyro and crash were in respectable games and not simply the fucking money whores that they are today. At least Spyro is actually a profitable money whore, whereas Crash Bandicoot tried to be and failed, which is always a sadder fate to try and be the lowest and still lose. But these characters were all cartoonish and so they had large, simplistic features to make their faces not look like the drunk texting victims that the entire cast of Chamber of Secrets seems to be comprised of.

Colin Cready in particular looks the worst, which is a character for those of you who haven't played is basically a crazy stalker who just follows you around the whole game taking flash photos of you. He mostly looks bad because he has the smallest head of the entire cast, so it was clearly a struggle to fit all of the facial texture on him leaving him as some bug eyed, unblinking uncaring sociopath that just turns up every now and again to take photos of you, just standing in one spot and spinning around perfectly on the spot as if his
ejaculate from seeing the great Harry Potter is enough to lubricate the stone floor of Hogwarts beneath him. There’s a really strange bit where he shows you his photo album, which is used to go back to pre-Hogwarts levels in the game, but is full of photos that Colin really has no reason to have since he wasn't there at the time, making his lustfully gaping eyes staring at me across the album even the more terrifying.

There are only five levels to select of these past levels, so there's no fast travel back to any of the Hogwarts base ones, although I'm just guessing that those levels can't be reached since Colin's somehow managed to get the pages stuck together.

So anyway how does the game play? Well it's kind of annoying. The camera gets stuck on stuff constantly and spazzes frantically left and right as it gets caught on any tight corridor that you walk down. Harry only uses auto jump and will always jump an insane distance, so it's always hard to reel him in and not make him fly straight over the intended platform and down into some deadly pit that takes you to a game over screen where Harry lies all bashed up in a hospital room almost taunting you that no matter how hard you try you just couldn't kill him enough.

There's a couple of switch ups to keep the game in equilibrium between wanting to turn off the game and wanting to throw your console out the window. One of these is a sequence where you ahve to out fly the Hogwarts Express in the Weasley's flying car. They fly into a tunnel to look for the train because I guess
trains never come out of tunnels or something and then Ron bitches that they need to get out of the tunnel to avoid being hit by the pursuing train that turned out to be behind them the whole time. At this point you will then fly out of one tunnel, but remain close to the tracks, before flying back into one tunnel. This can only lead me to believe that Harry, who remains strangely quiet the whole time, is getting off on the whole chase thing. Not that Harry being quiet was bad since his voice actor was horrendous, but also because Ron speaking wasn't exactly a god send since his audio clips fucked up and so Ron repeated the line "Let's fly into this tunnel" incessantly on a loop during the whole mission.

If you could see Ron's stupid voice then you'd hate it as much as I do

Another rare treat of gameplay is several missions in which Harry has to travel through the use of floo powder from fireplaces. The developers of the game decided to visualise this travel system as a long brick path suspended in the abyss, which you the player must guide Harry along. This would be fun if Harry wasn't more lubed up than an ass in an Elegant Angel video and didn't insist on speeding off the edge at every corner. Also as much as I hated Harry by this point, the sound effects people had gone slightly too far in recreating what a human spine sounds like when it flies of a ramp and smashes back down into solid brick. Somehow by putting him through torture, they made me care again.

The only other part of the regular game is combat. You can't do spells at your own will, so even though there are minigames which involve following spell combinations, you don't actually ever have to use these at all, rendering them as just abit of filler. Everything auto aims, so whenever you come to fight an enemy, all you have to do is hit the X button. That's it. Sometimes during duelling, which is basically combat but more drawn out, you will get to hit the O button if you receive a special jinx. But that's it.

As wild and fun as it looks

So you'll go against slugs and pixies and trolls, but surprisingly rarely actually. I'd say you fight under a 100 enemies throughout the game. The auto aim doesn't help any of this combat, making the lack of it not a criticism I want to hold against it. If anything I'd add a point on for its rarity. There you go 1/10. The enemies will constantly head towards you, which is a problem if you have to kill them through charging up your wand, since all attacks basically have to be charged. There's no lock on, just this flimsy auto aim, so that means that if an enemy ever gets close to you, you have to walk away and so stop aiming at them, turning your fully charged wand into just a glowing flimsy dick in your hand.

Most of the game is comprised of platforming and collecting beans, which may sound a lot of fun, but surprisingly isn't. Collecting beans will allow you to buy a total of 5 of the collectible Famous Witches and Wizards cards that can be found in the game. There are forty in total and you'll probably collect enough beans to buy 40 cards, but that won't matter since you can only buy 5. The rest you have to find, which you won't do because that'll involve spending more time playing this game. After you buy the 5 purchasable cards though then you'll just have a shit ton of beans for no reason.

Being a kindly reviewer however, I did collect everyone of the cards, and a shit ton of beans along the way. None of the information about the witches and wizards on them is interesting unless you really insanely love Harry Potter to the point where you are clearly mentally retarded. The information is also lovingly read out by the voice actor who does the video game voice of Harry Potter. His voice bad. Really bad. Really fucking boring bad. It's the type of voice that could only ever come into existence through combining the elements of reading a sheet of Bruno Mars lyrics whilst having your head glued to a wall that has a washing machine going at full speed with a heavy load rumbling on the other side of it, and all of this happening whilst your extended family gets together in the same room and tries to awkwardly grasp at conversation straws for several days.

As well as a face to match

The rest of the voices are fine though. Except for Hermoine. Don't know what it is but they made her to be too much of a bitch, but that's just a personal problem that shouldn't take away from all my other reasons of why this game was shitty. But to its credit it does have random bits of narration by Stephen Fry which are quite effective at making your annoyance simmer for a few moments in between levels.

But this game is still shitty. Oh and boring. I hope I made that clear.


  1. Did someone mess with the clocks last night?

    N64 games of that era still retain a certain charm, showing its abject superiority.

    1. The N64 seems to have been the start of Nintendo's slight downfall. They always use some technology or strategy that stops third parties wanting to develop for them and so they fall behind in sales (except the wii for reasons that still remain a mystery). No one would ever be foolish enough to deny that it kick the ps1's ass in terms of how much nicer the games look on it. At least it could do faces properly.

      I was replaying MGS1 and although I love that game, the amount of effort you have to put in to empathise with the characters, who are basically bouncing heads with voices coming out of them, is pretty insane.

  2. "While having your glued to the wall". Having my what glued to the wall? Although I think i can guess.

    Always enjoy your stuff.

    1. Has now been changed. Thanks for noticing it. I never seem to make big grammatical errors but will instead leave out entire words that make the sentence make any sense. The answer was "head" obviously, although if I was feeling lazier I could've just gone with "asshole".

      Glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Sounds like your most hated game yet...The first one was even more annoying.

    1. Haha, yeah fuck the first harry potter game in its ass, that was soul destroying to play. I would've reviewed it but I'd already played it and sad as it is, I wanted to be honest to some extent to avoid just this being me reviewing PS1 games. Which this is, but with a slight gimmick to give me an excuse.

  4. sorry I'm late. Never realized how many damn clocks there are. Why do I need a clock on the microwave? This trip into terrible games of yesteryear could rot your brain. Very amusing.

    1. I've been asking myself that all day. Why can't they all update automatically like the computer. Where is the hivemind!

    2. Exactly. I never learned how to change the tiny clock on the car dashboard. It about 5 hrs out.

    3. I used to have an analogue clock in my car before my new fancy digital one. You had to hold the adjust button for ages when the clock's went backwards cause it had to go round a full rotation, at the slowest speed imaginable. Always preferred the clocks going forwards.

      We could just stop moving the clocks backwards and forwards though. I still don't fully understand why we do it. But you're right, I shouldn't complain. When the hivemind comes around it can make all my decisions for me, making us all do arbitrary things like putting the clocks forwards 24 hours at the start of each day.

    4. Originally, the clocks were moved to help the farmers (Aaron could relate to this) so that they weren't farming in the dark. Now we move them cos nobody thought to stop.

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