Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - PS2

Also known as: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (PS2)
Also for: Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Warthog Soft. Co.: Electronic Arts
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB)
Released: 12 Dec 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Card
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Analogue Control Compatible: analogue sticks only


Released alongside its respective film in late 2001, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone didn't quite make it to the PlayStation 2, appearing instead on Sony's first machine, as well as PC, Mac and Game Boy. Add to that the fact that neither GameCube nor Xbox had even launched at that time and you kind of begin to realise why EA would want to re-release the game for the current crop of hardware, especially considering the fact that there's no new Harry Potter film licence floating about this year. Thankfully the game is not simply a re-release, it's an entirely new game, obviously based on the same story but much more akin to 2002's Chamber of Secrets game.

As you would expect, the game offers players the chance to take on the role of the famous young wizard as he arrives for his first year at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Once there, he soon finds himself embarking on a journey to unravel the mystery of Philosopher's Stone amidst a magic-filled adventure.

The game utilises a modified Chamber of Secrets engine and, as such, looks and feels very similar, and has you visiting a host of familiar environments. This time however, things have been expanded upon a little, as exploration reveals that a great deal of previously locked areas have been opened up, with places like the school, for example, now benefiting from an appropriate scale. Gameplay serves up the usual roster of exploration, objective fulfilling and puzzle solving. Being a wizard/witch/whatever, Harry also gets to practice a bit of the old magic and as such, can mix spells by collecting various different ingredients.

The Philosopher's Stone is a fine remake and definitely a must-have for Harry Potter fans. It's pleasing to see that EA haven't just lazily ported the original, but instead is bringing us an all-new adventure, which should fill this year's gap in the Harry Potter calendar.