Game Over Online ~ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

GameOver Game Reviews - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (c) Electronic Arts, Reviewed by - David Brothers

Game & Publisher Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (c) Electronic Arts
System Requirements Nintendo DS
Overall Rating 75%
Date Published Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 at 08:05 PM

Divider Left By: David Brothers Divider Right

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire hits some kind of licensing hat trick. It's the video game adaptation of a million-selling movie (it's grossed one hundred and two million dollars as of this writing), which is in itself an adaptation of a novel which has sold quite literally one jillion copies worldwide. Is the game destined to sell millions? I couldn't tell you that. I'm just here to review the game for you. Onward.

Goblet of Fire's graphics are surprisingly good. The character models just look all right, but the backgrounds are crisp and full of detail. The only problem is that the game sometimes suffers from Dungeon Crawler Syndrome: every little room starts to blur together and look the same after you travel a little bit into a stage. There is some variation in the level design, but each stage is linear to a fault. Beating them are just a matter of getting to point B from point A without getting too beat up by the various monsters that pop up here and there.

There's two basic kinds of combat. There's the Baldur's Gate, 3/4 overhead-style combat, where you simply press a button to activate a spell to open chests, move boxes, and hopefully vanquish your foes. Another is a three dimensional first-person perspective where you face down a single enemy. You use the stylus to trace spell patterns on the touch screen and send shots at the bad guy. This is quite possibly the most promising part of the game, but the only problem is that it's turn- and menu-based. The only urgency lies in tracing the spells properly and blocking or deflecting enemy attacks. It would've been nice if it was real-time and a bit less scripted. You always cast a certain number of spells and the enemey always gets his own special go at things.

You can play as Ron, Hermione, and Harry, of course. They're separated by their specialty. Ron is quick, Hermione has strong defense, and Harry has the strongest spells. You pick to play as one of the three at the start of each level, though all three are present in every stage but the Triwizard Tournament. Only Harry is allowed into that portion of the game. Why there wasn't an X-Men Legends-style character switching option included I have no idea. To be quite honest, however, it doesn't really matter which character you choose. There's not really enough variation between the characters to make it matter, but it would've been extremely nice to have a few more options.

There's a couple of other facets to the gameplay. There are minigames that you can play, which range from sorting candies to taking care of a Niffler in a kind of stripped-down Nintendogs. They're the kind of minigames taht only a die-hard fan could love, however. They get extremely old extremely quick.

Really, your enjoyment of this game depends on how you feel about the Harry Potter franchise. If you're the kind of person who owns each of the books in both American and British editions and saw each movie at midnight (twice, even), then you'll look past its flaws and enjoy it greatly. If you've only a passing interest in the series, the games are just as average as most other film tie-ins.


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