Electronic Arts announced Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for every console under the sun today. News, but predictable news. A few weeks ago I played a Famicom shmup with Harry Potter soaring over Arabian skies on his broom. I’m covering the latter.
Surprisingly, the game isn’t awful like most pirate carts. Harry Potter is playable and there are some decent enemy patterns to fly through. At the start of the game Harry is sluggish. Slower than the Vic Viper without any speed power ups slow. Harry also only has a single straight forward bullet to shoot flying carpets, floating dog heads and bats. If you shoot an entire formation you might get a weapon power-up, a speed boost or an extra life represented a by flickering Harry Potter head.
On the first level enemies use basic patterns like the snaking ships in Gradius, V flight patterns and sunburst shots, a bullet pattern where shots explode from the center of the enemy outwards. Once you max out Harry’s firepower he has a three pronged spread shot that makes quick work of the enemies. However, in later levels enemies need to be shot multiple times and they quickly dart across the screen to dodge bullets.
Let's take a look at some of the bosses.
This is the boss at the end of the first level. It’s some kind of dragon, which fits the Harry Potter theme. The dragon shoots five shots that are pretty easy to dodge.
This is the boss at the end of the second level. It’s some kind of missile shooting robot, which doesn’t make any sense at all with the Harry Potter universe. Pretty amusing, though!
Photo credit Spencer/Siliconera.