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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Games


ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2005

 

- Touchscreen spellcasting is fun

- Monotony might not affect younger gamers

 

 

- Long, linear and boring

- Simplistic and at times frustrating combat

- Missed a great opporunity to explore the book rather than just the film source

 

 

Review: Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (DS)

Review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS)

Review: Trace Memory (DS)

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

 

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Score: 5.0 / 10

 

Harry Potter has been an extremely successful property -- books, movies, and games.  But if they were all like the DS version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire the boy wizard would have been forgotten a long time ago.  In short, Goblet of Fire is downright boring.  It lacks a coherent sense of purpose and as levels drag on and on you'll wish you were playing something, anything more interesting.

 

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

 

You play as Harry, Hermoine and Ron on their way to face the challenges of the Triwizard Tournament, adhering to the events of the film rather than including any new elements drawn directly from the books. (Licensed properties must be such a bitch to work with.)  Along the way you'll collect jelly beans, learn new (context sensitive) spells and generall attempt to get the three wizards-in-training working together to complete each level.

 

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Each level you face is just as directionless as the last.  More accurately, the levels are so long and linear that there's no feeling of actually accomplishing anything.  If the puzzles were more of a challenge the extreme linearity might have been masked somewhat but Harry and Co. will be able to overcome everything with the press of a button since the spells are context sensitive, which means that once you've learned a spell it will 

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always activate when you need it.  (The spell that reassembles broken objects will automatically change to the spell required to lift a reassembled object -- there's no confusing spell switching.)  Some spells require teamwork like to lift really big rocks but that's about as challenging as it gets.

 

Killing the little beasties and blasting chests throughout the game yields jelly beans, health points in the form of chocolate frogs, and other items.  Cards are collected along the way or bought with the jelly beans you've collected.  If this was an attempt at an role-playing game sensibility, the development team failed miserably.  Unfortunately the "hack 'n' slash" action is more "hack 'n' whiff" than anything approaching fun.  The aiming "system" is lackluster -- hitting anything can be a challenge.  The touchscreen comes into play during seemingly random one-on-one encounters with enemies.  You're presented with three attacks options then perform the required actions (tap the screen, trace a glyph, etc.) to send out a blast of magic.  After attacked you get put on defense and use the touchscreen to throw up a shield, redirect enegy bolts, etc.  I enjoyed these sections of the game but because they're so random they couldn't be counted on to appear at at regularity.

 

Like the console version, Goblet of Fire doesn't actually pull any assets directly from the film.  Instead there are drawn sketches.  What voice work there is is supplied by the cast.  Both the audio and visual aspects work well enough but it's not in line with what one usually expects from an EA game based on a film.

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is basically dreck.  I should have been a straight-up action game or a full-fledged role-playing game with a coherent story to accompany more connected levels.  Instead it's long, boring and not worth anyone's time, even if the touchscreen spellcasting is kind of fun.

 

- D.D. Nunavut

(February 7, 2006)

 

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