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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA UK

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2005

 

 

- Younger kids and parents can play at the same time

- Straightforward presentation and layout eliminate frustration

- Extensive film clips aren't missed

 

 

- Too much hand-holding for gamer types

 

 

Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (XB)

Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (PS2)

Review: The Warriors (XB)

 

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

Before reviewing any movie licensed game I always make an effort to check the movie source.  I did it for the Warriors, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Spider-Man 2, Hulk, Minority Report -- whatever movie-to-game cash grab, that is to say, game, I'll always check the source first.  However, due to a shortfall in the motivation I just never got around to it, but I did play the game so that counts for something.

 

harry potter and the goblet of fire          harry potter and the goblet of fire

 

Harry, Hermione, and Ron the lovable trio of wizards-in-training are up to their old tricks, casting spells, hexes, and jinxes as Harry works up to the Triwizard Tournament, an elite competition between schools of wizards.  As so, in the same vein of EA's other movie-to-game efforts like The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which mixes elements of the film into game form.  Although in a strange twist the game doesn't actually use footage from the film.  And in an even stranger twist, they aren't missed!

 

The graphics do a good job capturing the flavor of the film -- a sense of dread while being chased by dragons and a sense of discovery as you jinx various little magical critters.  The variety of the levels and environments are very good.  However, older gamers will likely lose interest pretty quick, which has nothing to do with with the graphics or animation it's just an easy segue to the actual gameplay.

 

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Like my fellow writer, Lee Cieniawa, I'm of the opinion that  anyone who has cut their teeth on the likes of Return of the King or Two Towers will find the action quite repetitive even though the changes in environments go quite a way to keep things fresh.  This isn't so much an indication of a failing of the game, it's an indication of the target skill level.  Kids ages 10 to 12-years old will have a great time but parents can also get into it (especially because many parents out there don't 

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have much gaming experience).  Goblet of Fire supports up to three players simultaneously, which is a far, far superior way to play as the computer AI during single-player is spotty at the best of times.  Obstacles that need to be overcome during the course of the game, like gates and bridges, usually require a bit of teamwork.  When the AI is in charge characters will often stand in place or get "blocked" by a piece of scenery which means they have a hard time getting into the proper position to help.

 

harry potter and the goblet of fire          harry potter and the goblet of fire

 

Adding a bit of depth to the proceedings is the inclusion of a "card" system.  Beans collected during the course of each level can be traded in for cards which, once equipped, can offer attack, defense and magic bonuses.  This is helpful during the single-player game because equipping the two AI-controlled buddies with "boosts" often helps offset their inconsistent behavior.

 

To round things out, Goblet of Fire also features the movie talent lending their voices to the proceedings.  They don't have all that much to say, but it does lend some authenticity to the proceedings.

 

At the end of the day, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is an entry-level action game for the Harry Potter set, but it's also a game parents will be able to safely play with their pre-teen kids.

 

- Omni

(January 27, 2006)

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