[GAME MASTER]Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireFor veterans of previous Harry Potter games designed by Electronic Arts, the latest game in the series, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” will disappoint. Not only are players required to tediously re-play old stages to get various items, the navigation perspective is from a very confusing bird’s eye view rather than first person, which would have been more natural.
The game narrative is based on the book, but elaborates on it somewhat in order to incorporate more adventure into the game’s storyline. Fans of the novel or the movie will find that the game does lacks some exciting story elements ―nowhere in the game will you see how Harry was suspected of submitting his own name for the Triwizard Tournament, or how he develops a crush on Cho Chang.
Of course, the game is designed for game-playing, which means that you will encounter several things that were neither in the book nor the film. This includes going through an underground sewer system after Ron drops Harry’s egg into a pipe in the Prefects’ bathroom, and creating huge lily pads in Professor Sprout’s greenhouse in order to cross bodies of water.
But the main reason the new game is so disappointing is because players must repeat previous levels after learning new magic spells. This is necessary because one must collect a certain number of shields in order to “unlock” the next level. I don’t know about other players, but I don’t want to spend half my time going back to scenes I’ve already experienced. It’s particularly frustrating because when you collect a large shield, the level ends. Sometimes two large shields are located close to each other but you have no choice but to play the same level over again just to collect the second one.
Another disappointment is that the Triwizard Tournament challenges are far too simple to be called challenges. Even the final graveyard duel with Lord Voldemort is pretty uneventful.
One of the unique things about “The Goblet of Fire” is that other than the Triwizard Tournament challenges, Harry, Ron and Hermione play as a team ―you choose one character and the computer plays the other two. (In Playstation you have the option of playing with your friends, which is more exciting.)
As you work through the stages, you can collect Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans which can later be used to buy cards that have various functions. Each character can carry up to three cards when going on a quest, and you can choose whether you want to boost stamina, increase magical powers or wield special magical spells such as triple jinxes. This character card system was designed quite well, so it’s a shame that it got buried amidst the game’s other rather blah features.
Also, the soundtrack and voiceovers were not bad, but the characters’ dialogue is repetitive.
Apparently the makers of the Harry Potter game series couldn’t think of anything terribly original to add to the latest game so they tried to differentiate it by altering tried-and-true elements, ultimately making it worse.
The verdict: Avoid this one unless you’re with two other friends, a Playstation console and have time to kill. However, computer graphic geeks may want a peek at the suave content featured on the PC and Xbox versions.
by Wohn Dong-hee
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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