Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire GBA & DS
Published by Electronic Arts
Developed by Electronic Arts
Release Date: Out Now
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, an introduction.
Recently we've reviewed the GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Here we have the Nintendo DS and GBA versions of the game, which as you might expect are slightly different to the main console versions of the game. That's not to say they aren't good games though and Harry Potter fans will appreciate being able to play these games on the move.
What's the game about?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the handheld console game to compliment the film of the same name that was released around a month ago. Harry has been mysteriously selected as the fourth contestant for the perilous Triwizard Tournament. It's perilous because each contestant has to fight a fire-breathing dragon, as well as undertake other dangerous objectives. The action in the game begins at the Quidditch World Cup Campsite and culminates with a duel with the evil Lord Voldemort. The game itself can probably be described as an action adventure with a lot of emphasis on the action. There are puzzles to solve here and there but there's nothing too challenging.
What's good about the game?
As with the PlayStation 2 and GameCube versions that we've looked at you'll have to cast spells, usually with the aid of your two companions (you can choose to play as Harry, Ron or Hermione and each has their own characteristics) and face numerous challenges as well as tackle a variety of enemies. Both the GBA and the DS versions are good games which I'm sure Harry Potter fans will be pleased with. Those of you who have both consoles might want to opt for the DS version though, as there are a couple of extra modes. Whilst both versions have the main adventure the DS version has a Care of Magical Creatures and Mini-Games mode (the mini-games are unlocked by playing through the main adventure), which make use of the touch screen. The main adventure is virtually identical in both versions but there are certain enemies that, in the DS version, you'll switch to a first person view to cast spells, in a turn-based fashion, using the touch screen. This spell casting is rather simplistic in nature with you connecting dots and tracing lines with your stylus for example as well has having to do various manoeuvres with the stylus to block your enemies spell. This spell casting may be a bit basic but personally these additions add an extra level of interactivity to the game which I missed when later playing the GBA version. The Care of Magical Creatures mode, found in the DS version, gives you the chance to care for a Niffler and you can blow into the microphone to whistle it as well as use your stylus and touch screen to interact with the creature. It's not often a cross-platform title takes advantage of a console's special features, so the addition of the Care of Magical Creatures mode is a nice inclusion.
What's not so good about the game?
The game can become repetitive with many levels asking the same task of you. You'll run around quite large levels moving obstacles, fighting creatures, collecting Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans (which are used to purchase cards from Weasley's Wares), Triwizard Shields, cards and chocolate frogs. This isn't a major problem but it would have been nice to have seen more variation. Like the GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions the combat is a bit on the easy side although it's good to see that the various enemies you'll come across have to be dealt with in different ways. Both the GBA and DS offer multiplayer games but both versions require each player to own a copy of the game, which reduces the chance of most gamers actually getting to enjoy the mode.
How does it look?
Both the DS and GBA versions are identical when it comes to the main adventure. The main adventure uses an almost identical overhead view of the action. Given that the DS is technologically superior to the GBA it's a shame that most of the game looks practically identical, but at least you don't have the problems of awkward camera angles that 3D environments so often bring. The presentation of both games is as good as could be expected and Harry Potter fans will not be disappointed on this side of things.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Deaf gamers won't have any problems with either the DS or GBA versions of the game as all the dialogue in both versions is text only. The DS has the action on the top screen with the subtitles appearing on the bottom which does seem a little strange at first but seeing as you have to press the A button to move the dialogue forward it doesn't cause any problems. We said in our review of the GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions that there was no indication of who was saying what during the dialogue. With both the GBA and DS versions there are no such problems as a character portrait is placed alongside the text to show you who is talking. All tutorial messages and all important information is shown in text too so you'll be fine with either version of the game.
Both the GBA and DS versions of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire are respectable action adventure games that even without knowledge of the Harry Potter world are enjoyable games. If you happen to own both a GBA and DS then the DS version is the one to opt for because of the extra modes and the additional spell casting sequences that have been included. If you only own a GBA you'll still enjoy what the game has to offer. Both games are accessible though and even younger gamers should have no problems working their way through the game.
Overall Game Rating: GBA 7.2/10 DS 7.7/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
(Click the letter or here for details)
Whilst both games are good action adventure games which Harry Potter fans in particular will appreciate, the DS version has the edge and is our preferred version of the game.