hell, its Harry Potter!
by Devin DiNardo
2, 2005 - With
my love for the Harry Potter movies increasing with
the release of the fourth chapter in Harry's magical
life, The Goblet of Fire, I saw it fit to pay homage
to the young wizard as he and his mates make their
very first appearance on Sony's PSP.
Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the PSP is, in actuality,
a large step away from the hit movie. After all, it
must be moderately difficult to market a videogame
based upon puberty and the challenges that lie therein.
So with this in mind, Electronic Arts were prepared
to re-tell the fourth tale of Potter in typical videogame
Goblet of Fire immediately feels like your stereotypical
platformer. The option to choose one of the three
wizards or witch (Harry, Ron or Hermione) is available
to you at the start of each level. After your wizard
or witch has been chosen, you'll find yourself bopping
around each level to collect not only Tri-Wizard shields
to advance to the next level, but also every wizard
or witch's favorite candy.
famous Bernie Botz Every Flavored Jellybeans are the
main item for collection. While you won't have to
open orange boxes covered in question marks to obtain
the jellybeans, they will come available to collect
after you defeat an enemy, or use your magic spells
to complete certain tasks. Ah yes, magic. When you
begin casting your magic, the feel of the platformer
the three magic casters all cast the same spells.
At your disposal will be the Accio spell (the triangle
button) that has your wizard cast their wand into
the air to attract out of reach collectables such
as jellybeans or pumpkin cakes (which also replenish
health). Next is your Jinx spell (the X button), which
is simply your attack spell. Finally you have Charms,
which allow you to lift enemies into the air and to
move large objects. If there is a daunting task ahead
of you, such as an insanely large bolder or an incredibly
large gate that cannot be moved by you alone, your
AI comrades will come in to help.
you'll soon learn, this isn't always a good thing.
often during gameplay the artificial intelligence
of your party seems to forget its intelligent surname.
When you are presented with small puzzles such as
lifting heavy objects or dousing a large flame, the
objective usually requires all three members of your
party to complete. Such as in the Forbidden Forest,
which marks your first meeting with the Hungarian
Horntail Dragon, where you must use a Aqua Eructo
charm to put out a large flame. Often playing as Hermione
(insert jokes here) frustration became quite frequent
when Harry Potter took on an attitude that could rival
any American Pop Diva. Instead of assisting you and
Ron in dousing the large flame, or pulling open a
large gate, Harry will take a small troll around the
stage, looking at flowers, admiring his hair, staring
at Hermione's bum
Needless to say, Harry's anti-social
behavior tends to arise at the most inopportune time
during the game.
AI aside, what really blew me away about this game
was the art direction. Each level is tailored to a
grim, castle like representation of the school of
Hogwarts. The player models themselves seem to have
been given an incredible attention to detail as each
character looks exactly like its movie counterpart.
Although the cutscenes don't feature full motion video,
the presentation that EA showcases between levels
is beautiful. The crystal clear 2D images are treated
with fresh camera angles to re-create a full motion
having the young actors of the film providing the
voice-overs is only one of the minor flaws found in
this game. It does become rather boring and repetitive
when hearing the same lines spoken with poor British
with only a few minor details as the only weak points,
Electronic Arts did a bang up job porting the Harry
Potter storyline over to the PSP. The execution of
the magic spells and the top notch presentation makes
this game a definite buy for Harry Potter fans and
for those gamers looking for a simply fun title to
pop into their lonely PSP.