Review by KTRSFan

Reviewed: 12/08/05

Finally, a multiplayer Potter...

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth installment of the game series, all created by EA Games. This version of the games, however, is entirely different than the first three. It seems more like a Lord of the Rings game with a Harry Potter theme... Oh well. At least they got one thing on the ball: multiplayer.

Gameplay: 8/10

I don't play Lord of the Rings (I probably missed out on some things.) but since my nephew brings it over from time to time, I'm well aware of the gameplay. It takes everything LOTR has, minus the swords and bows and the like, and gives it a HP (Harry Potter) theme. Well, they might not have wanted the poor camera angles. Usually, camera angles aren't too much of a problem for me, I'm pretty flexible at that. However, I actually had a hard time with the camera this time around. Sometimes, the ENTIRE view gets blocked by a bridge or tree or some other structure, and I have absolutely no clue what's going on. So while something is chipping away at me, I have no clue what the heck it is, or what direction. ...It's a good thing Ron and Hermione actually help out for a change.

Now, as every Harry Potter reader knows, this tournament, the Triwizard Tournament, is a competition between the three wizard schools. One student from each (who entered a form of some kind into it) are picked by the Goblet of Fire, hence the name. Well, wouldn't you know it, Harry's name pops out AFTER the trio are selected. So, poor Harry has to compete. Quick rundown of the tasks:

1) Broom Flight: 10/10

The flight is pretty dang difficult, actually. The broom goes VERY fast if you hit enough of the zippers (or "boost rings" as the case may be) and the fact that you have a dragon on your tail burning up the track doesn't help much. This task, I found, the most enjoyable, mainly because you actually have to be slamming the stick around pretty hard at times to keep from banging into a wall.

2) Swimming: 5/10

Piece of cake. This one is just way too easy for me. The only hard part is when you are forced to fight, and even then it's pretty simple. It feels rushed here.

3) Running Around a Hedge Maze: 7/10

Simple, Medium, Rough. That's the order of how difficult this one is. Simple is when you actually run around the maze. Medium is when you're running for your life. Rough is when you have to fight two rhino/snail-looking things (Although... ...They're called skrewts, and look nothing like I envisioned.) that fire acid at you and run you over. Again, feels a bit rushed here.

Graphics: 10/10

Looks aren't important when it comes to making fine games. However, I can't get over how well detailed it looks. I was playing one level with my sister when she pointed out a staircase in the background. I stated that there must be a way there, since why would there be so much depth to it? Well, wouldn't you know it, there's no way to it. I'm used to backgrounds looking like flat backgrounds, not having depth to it. I'm actually pretty impressed.

The characters are pretty well detailed as well. I normally skip cutscenes, but those looks like pictures from the storyboards, to give you an idea.

Sound: 10/10

The sounds are pretty nice, actually. And the jabs that Hermione shoots at the others are pretty comical:

Ron: "You know, there's nothing like beans..."
Hermione: "Oh, will you stop going on about beans, Ron!?"

They also show some sarcasm every now and then. Then the enemies also make sounds, depending on who they are. Mosps, for example, (The Hogwarts form of wasps.) buzz around, while Erklings grunt a lot. The backgrounds are well done, and the music is excellent.

Replayablity: 7/10

The problem with this game is that I can beat pretty much the entire game in one sitting. Mastering the game and getting everything, though, is a different story. It'll take you a long time to perfect this one.

Overall: 8/10

Overall, the game could've been better, but the fact that you can now have a buddy or two help out for once makes up for the flaws somewhat. At least you don't have to take on the wizarding world on your own this time.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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