Truth be told, it’s a personal rule of mine to always assume the worst about any movie tie-in game. By and large, they tend to have few actual merits of their own, using tedious gameplay on an extremely rushed budget. But what is it that makes movie tie-in games so bad? In this series, I will go on a journey of suffering, dragging along Ronald and Matthew as much as they let me get away with, in order to try to quantify what it is that makes movie tie-in games so near-universally awful, and maybe find a few gems in the rough.
Now, before we get started, I’m going to lay out the ground rules. Any game that I play must actually tie into a specific movie – for this reason, games set in the Star Wars franchise, like the Jedi Knight series, don’t actually count – while set in the Star Wars universe, doesn’t actually tie into any specific Star Wars movie. I may bend the rule for smaller franchises, such as Ghostbusters, but in general, games set in large epic universes such as Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter won’t count unless the game is specifically built (and has a release date timed) to match a film in that universe.
What I will do is play through a game, write up my initial impressions here, and then post a review of it, grading both its high points and its low points. As these are movie tie-in games, I will post these reviews here, instead of in the Review sections, but with the warning that I am going to be much more generous than I normally would be.
Think of it as me grading movie tie-in games on a curve, lest we end up with a pile of 2-3/10’s with a few games rarely breaking into 5/10. As a result, each review in this series is in no way comparable to any of our normal reviews, and trying to directly compare reviews is punishable by severe mockery and public humiliation.
The three of us have already begun playing a few of these games, and I’ll be happy to accept some additional suggestions once the suffering has gone full swing. To start with, we’ve begun playing the Harry Potter series, a franchise that I personally played as a child, and as such certainly remember well. Again, I plan to be generous both in consideration that it was almost certainly meant to be played by children, and in light of the fact that it *is* a movie tie-in game.
So without too much further deliberation, let’s have a look at the very first game we’ll be playing – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – known to me as a child, and to most Americans as “Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone”. As was common for this series, the game itself was released almost simultaneously with the movie. Now, while I have experience with this game and most of this series as a child, Ronald and Matthew…do not.
This is the first step on the journey to a much more terrible world.