Wednesday, February 21, 2024
HometechThat time I saved the wizarding world on a hippogryph

That time I saved the wizarding world on a hippogryph

H  ogwarts Legacy is an open-world RPG that lets you assume the role of a new 5th-year student with a special innate ability.

On your quest to solve mysteries that have been brewing underneath Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for hundreds of years, you’ll be walking, running, flying on broomsticks and riding on mystical beasts around the game’s huge lush or snowy landscapes, while solving puzzles, taking out baddies, and helping friends and villages along the way.

It’s easy to get lost in this vast fantastical world. You’ll be reading and listening to hours of dialogue, lore and tall tales. The length of gameplay in terms of Harry Potter novels would be around three books, I believe. Good thing the game throws you a bone in the form of an AI navigation system for travelling around the Hogwarts world. Without it, players would be totally lost.

The combat sequences are flashy and fun at the beginning, but get a little stale by the end due to a lack of options. There’s eight damaging projectile spells and seven enemy disruption spells, plus countering or dodging moves. A stealth attack mode, and the ability to disarm and throw weapons at an enemy are also available, but limited in effectiveness.

The game has good graphics and a great ragdoll physics engine. You’ll see plenty of environmental elements, particle effects plus wind and lighting effects during your adventure, which can be rather eye-pleasing. It’s great to see your cloak flapping in the wind as you run.

However, this review is for the Nintendo Switch version, which as a seven-year-old console is somewhere between a PlayStation 3 and 4, with graphics to match. You’ll see plenty of jagged edges around a character’s hair and clothes, and also rocks and grasses in the game’s world. The frame rate will usually hover a little below 30fps. Yes, you’ll get used to it after a couple of hours, but at the beginning it’s a little jarring.

I would recommend playing this game in handheld mode or even on a Nintendo Switch Lite, because the smaller screen size helps to hide the jagged edges well.

Unfortunately, the game has way too many loading screens when you move from one area to another. This takes you out of the action because you’ll be playing for about five minutes then get a loading screen for 30 seconds, breaking the continuity. I yawned a lot during these loading screens.

The dialogue is engaging and fun to follow while also having full voiceover. It’s impressive that they voiced every word and made the characters move in sync. Not many Nintendo Switch games can do this.

There is also a very diverse cast of characters — white, black, Asian, African, you name it. All of them have a matching accent as well.

Being bad in this game has no consequences whatsoever. You can use unforgiveable curses in front of your mentors or the town’s people and they’ll make some disgruntled comments, but let you continue massacring baddies until your heart’s content.

There are plenty of dialogue choices that are obviously meant to be “evil”, but the game simply twists them to “a little snarky” when the conversations pan out. Throughout the entire game there is only one choice that can result you in to becoming “evil”, and that comes at the end of the main story. So if you like to be a secret baddie, this game won’t suit.

To see the end credits, you’ll have to finish 43 main quests that will take you around 30 hours. Luckily, there are hundreds of side quests and in-game activities that will reward you with skills, clothing, mounts and much more. It took me 34 hours of casual gaming, completing whatever quest that was thrown at me, to beat the final boss.

Even when you complete the game, it continues and lets you tie up loose ends from earlier while also opening quite a few more quests. To complete 100% of this game, it would probably take more than 100 hours, although a couple of those will be the loading screens.

This game is almost perfect for people who love to uncover secrets while on an adventure, experiencing fully-voiced diverse characters, but the loading time and the slightly downgraded graphics are drawbacks.

SPECS

Console: Nintendo SwitchGenre: Role-playingLanguages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional ChineseFile size: 14.3GBPrice: Around 2,200 baht

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