So, I think it's worth a play, I just don't know if it's worth it's full price of admission, at least not for everyone. If you are any level of potterhead, then you should 100% play the game. The scale of the castle, navigating the grounds and Hogsmeade and the "you're a wizard, Harry" feel of it all is amazing. They succeeded in really making you feel like you are in the universe. The map is also huge. Some people were concerned before release, but that was quickly assuaged after getting into the 1st season (4 seasons of the game [grounds and castle change in each]). It all sounds like a great sprawling open world game. The combat can also be surprisingly fun if you take the time to learn to combo. It can be a button masher, but it's not nearly as effective. Where the game takes a downward turn is in its item, looting, and voice queue systems. To talk about the last one first, they didn't record enough audio for the main character or ancillary character. If I have to hear the main character say the same exact phrase one more time from finding a thing in the world that there are 65 of, I'm gonna dive her off a cliff. Every floo flame you run past says one of two phrases and you can imagine you run past a crap load of them just in the castle alone. That's a bit annoying. It's really the items and loot that failed on, and maybe a little bit of main quest versus side quest, too. For the items, once you've played enough, you never need to find another scarf, another robe, another hat every again. You can buy items of your level from one of the shop once it's unlocked and sadly there is no robust stat set for items, so they just matter very little. Items just have a simple offense and defensive rating and while they give them rarity (basic, rare, extraordinary, legendary, stupendous - I made that last one up and maybe even the first two), the rarities also end up mattering so little. It affects only how many times you can upgrade the item, but since upgrading items only affects one of the two limited states items have (offense or defense), it impacts very little. Additionally, you are going to just find lower rarity items, with higher ratings than what you currently have and you are going to rinse and repeat that over and over and over again. The items you 'find' always scale at your level or one above your level. There's no finding the kick-ass item that you can't use for 5 levels so you have to hold onto it. They've sadly made it very pointless. You can add one modifier to each clothing item and they have 3 levels - 1,2, or 3. The rarest legendary items can get level 3 modifiers, but all these do is enhance certain spells or attacks...let me tell you - you wont even notice the difference. Additionally, you may call its rarity legendary, but you'll find those orange legendary items all the'll always have an inventory full of them. When it comes down to it, they oversaturated the world with items which eliminated any need to hunt for certain items or save ones for later on. It's the flaw of the system they chose versus a fixed system. It's random. Every time you open a chest it spits out a random item or random amount of gold. Literally, you can save before a chest, open it, and if you don't get a legendary item, just load your save file and open it again until you get one. The enemies don't drop 'special' items at all, so your going to fight all different bad guys - dark wizards, goblins, spiders, trolls; whatever, and none of it matters from a loot perspective. You'll have boss fights as you do the main quest, but it really just about moving the story along. It's not like you receive this super rare wand that is more powerful, because your wand doesn't even have power. It's static to your level. So,items and loot sort of go together, but loot takes on one more annoying shape in this game and that's in the caves they littered all over…every area has 5-10 of them. It would be really cool if these were dungeons, with enemies and puzzles and then there was a unique item at the end. Sadly, their failure is two-fold. One, they aren't of any length. Many are just run down a ramp into a room and there's a chest. The more 'complex' ones are, run down a ramp to a room and solve this simple puzzle to now open a chest. It becomes repetitive and eventually completely unnecessary later on because you don't need anything in those chests. You don't need more random item drops, because you can just buy items near your level. You don't need the gold because you've sold all the trash you have found since the game started. My guess is they wanted to have cool dungeons, but ran out of time in development and just came up with a half-assed experience of a solution for them. The spots were all on the map, we'll just program in some simple find more loot spots. The game would have been so much better if there were 1/3rd the number of these caves and they were 3-5 times longer and more involved. Think of Breath of the Wild's shrines. They needed that type of experience and then for it to actually mean something when you got through it. So, returning to the main quest versus side question part of the game; they are just so disparate. The main question is a rich story that you look forward to seeing evolve. The side quests, very quickly become repetitive and seems very pointless. That doesn't even include the myriad of 'check the box' things to do out in the world. The sheer amount of 'kill this many of this type of enemy' and then do that at each tier we created, is astounding. Some of these have impacts on the game. There's puzzles that increase your inventory size, but they again eventually become so repetitive that you only keep doing them after the second tier if you desperately want to 100% the game. So many of the 'check all the boxes' things just unlock cosmetics. I know some players care about those things, but they are so much better when they contribute to something else you are invested in within the game. They did so much right from an environment standpoint, they just poorly filled said environment. Flying a broom around the castle, the surrounding areas, all the way to the sea, is just a great visual experience. Moving around Hogwarts, finding the secret nooks and crannies and all the unique little easter eggs they put in there is sooooo good! Having two sets of armor you just walked past start fighting each other and you wouldn't even know it but for the audio queues are such nice little touches. The ghost, the ghost in the castle are so fun and pop up in places, not even to interact with, but make the castle alive. That's the thing, the castle feels so alive. There's so many npc's in it (many you can't interact with, which is fine) and they often have their own side conversations going and as you walk by they may be commenting on something related to school or something you were involved in. I truly do think it's worth a play and if you stick to the main quest, you are in for a very fulfilling story, but I just wouldn't recommend someone buy it at full price if they haven't already. Soon it will be $40 and that is a better investment for the experience. Here we go (spoilers ahead)...and, I admit, we haven't finished the season yet. I think we are 5 of 8 completed. There are just too many lowlights and not enough highlights. I was fully prepared for changes. I was ready to overlook early preview complaints about this. Some early complaints I haven't even found to be true. There was talk about removing the humor and while it definitely has a more serious tone, I have found Sokka very funny still. It's a shift where it's a bit more at his expense then him being punny, but it's still there. Zuko is the complete highlight of the show. They made some good changes with his character and the actor plays him really well. Now for complaints: The younger actors are not good actors. I know this sounds pretty basic, but it is especially bad. You know how sometimes there are complaints or jokes made about 25 year olds playing high school students...well, there is a reason they do that. It's a lot easier to find 25 year olds who can act than it is to find 15-16 year olds that can without really having to weed through 95% of the chaff. The actor pool is just so much larger. Aang looks great, fits the character well visually, but the kid is not on the right acting level to play the character. You don't have a lot of people 12-13 year olds that can act well on their own - they are rarer finds and that's why your Dakota Fanning's, McCully Culkin's, and Hailey Joel Osmunds end up being in 5 movies a year when they are 6-14 years old...if you can act well on your own at that age, you are cast a lot. All the kids do better when acting against adult actors who are good. That's common, so the badness really shows when they are on their own or acting against other kids. The same I say above goes for the playing-14-year-old Katara and the same age Azula, Ty Lee, and Mai. Some of these actors are in the 18-20 year old range, but I say again, the pool is still smaller. I also believe that how the show was filmed is impacted how stunted the acting feels. It reminds me so much of Episode I - III. Actors playing against too big of green screens and not enough practical sets. Requires even more skill to act in such an environment. The writing is equally to blame for some of the stiffness of the acting, but the good actors in the show make it way less noticeable. So, that's all just the acting, which obviously has a big impact on the show, but there's also other things. While I think we all expected changes and for plot points to be squished much that has happened as surprised me. There's certainly aspects we know just can't work in live action coming from a cartoon, but some changes are just annoying and don't seem to benefit the overall story in my mind. I mean, the 'spiritual episode' in this season pulled in the face stealer, the village spirit, the blue spirit, and the library owl knowledge spirit all together in one. Once they start pulling things from season 2, it probably means they don't play a role in season 2 of the live action and I don't like seeing that as it suggest the show runners are going to run out of good material and make up even more shit that ends up not being good. Back to writing, a lot of dialogue is stilted or flat, more like quick snippets. Zuko does the best with what he is given and he is, again, the best part of the show so far. Iroh is fine, but doesn't come off as well as in the cartoon. Sokka has worked well and, again, older actor, does better. Not a fan of how they handled Bumi. Instead of the reveal that Bumi is Aang's old friend, it's revealed right up front. They probably thought they were giving Bumi more depth by actually making him resentful of Aang and his disappearance and not being present during the war or not being there to prevent it, but it sort of ruins his spiritual place as one of the lotus member...the guiding members that through the war hold onto the higher purpose and are less transactional....they made Bumi transactional. There's a lot of small changes I am not even mentioning, because I expected and accepted them before the show even started. I could name a bunch of them and a lot of them I don't think were necessary, but a lot of those small changes don't ruin anything and even a few enhance some things. Appa has become just a means of transportation. That's really sad. They flattened Aangs story arc, probably for time, but I think for the full arc (all 3 seasons) it's not great to have him almost from the beginning taking his responsibility seriously instead of starting off avoiding the pressure of it and growing into it. There's a mcguffin-esque problem solving technique that is present in a lot of the episodes, almost like a video game - here's a problem, obtain that item, return with that item, problem solved. That's never great story telling, though that foundation is common enough. Here in the show it's presented in such a poor way to solve the writer's problems, not the character problems. The CGI takes you out of the show sometimes as it is poorly done. The one area they nailed for the most part is the bending. Fire and Earth look amazing, Air is not bad, but water suffers a bit. The background CGI is the biggest problem - too much green screen shooting paired with not good enough CGI animators. There's a reordering of the plot, which isn't necessarily bad on the face, but the reordering has exacerbated some of the other problems - characters and locations feel more rushed as a result.