Chamber of Secrets GBA is a great improvement on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. While the first Harry Potter GBA game was a top-down collectathon, Chamber of Secrets is an isometric action-adventure title in the Zelda spirit.
After surviving a harrowing first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy, Harry is nothing but optimistic for his second year. Enthusiasm quickly turns to horror when his fellow classmates begin turning into stone and everyone points the finger at none other than Potter himself!
Help Harry unravel the mystery surrounding Hogwarts and clear his good name, all while maintaining high grades.
Danger Lurks Around Every Corner
Considering that the Chamber of Secrets book is fairly light on action sequences, certain liberties have been taken by the developers to create an entertaining quest. For example, when Harry makes a withdrawal from his savings account, he has to traverse a fire-spitting mine filled with traps and puzzle switches.
Having already completed (or rather, survived) his first year of wizard schooling, Harry makes a rather formidable protagonist. Armed with his trusty wand, Harry can cast a multitude of attack and support spells. He can also run, jump, sneak and climb to nearly any reachable surface in sight.
It's in the Game
Not everything involves lever-pulling and plodding through dungeons. The popular wizards and witches sport of Quidditch returns. Not surpisingly, high-speed flying-broom sport lacks the visual splendor and flight control offered on the Nintendo GameCube version, but it still offers a pleasant distraction from regular game play.
Game Imitating Art
The incredible settings from the two Harry Potter movies have been faithfully recreated on the Game Boy Advance screen. Rich colors and generous parallax scrolling effects add incredible depth to the story-furthering cut-scenes. The new isometric viewpoint also shows off the detailed backgrounds and character models. If you look closely, you'll notice how closely each character resembles his or her big-screen counterpart.
The music and sound effects have also been turned up a notch from the first game. Although still a bit synth-sounding, the soundtrack seems to have been faithfully reproduced from the movie and Nintendo GameCube score.
Fans of the books and movies should be pleased to see how well their beloved characters have been handled. Those few individuals unfamiliar with the Potter-verse will still be pulled in by the well-paced action and adventure aspects. Either way, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets offers enough story and gameplay goodies to enchant Potter fans new and old.