Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban
|a game by||Eurocom|
|Platforms:||GameCube, XBox, Playstation 2, GBA|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||7.3/10 - 42 votes|
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|See also:||Harry Potter Games, Action Adventure Games|
As a movie tie-in game you can expect Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban to follow its film counterpart’s narrative, which it does in the most basic way possible. Large sections of the plot are cut out and important details are just spammed out in quick sentences during cutscenes. Overall there’s really no way to understand what’s going on while playing without previously having either watched the movie or read the book. Disappointing you can’t see some of the movie’s more memorable scenes (particularly with the Dursleys) recreated here but if you’re playing this then chances are you already know that stuff anyway.
In this game you use magic and spells to interact with the world. You move your mouse over different items and you’ll be able to move, attack or otherwise use them as long as you have the relevant spell learned.
Harry, Ron and Hermione each have their own unique spell. Hermione can animate and control small animal statues, although the controls for this are very subpar. Harry can freeze water and enemies along with creating ice slides that feel straight out of Super Mario 64 when riding them except worse. Ron gets flung across pits, which sounds about right for the character.
The game mainly revolves around doing classes and challenges in between short story segments. Challenges are used to either teach you a new spell or test your skills but are overall very simplistic and a little tedious. Story segments go about as quick as you’d expect.
The real meat of the game is the exploration of Hogwarts itself. Throughout the game you can pretty much ignore the main story to go out and explore the open world of the castle to find as many secrets and collectibles as you can. You can use different spells to progress farther and farther as you learn them to open up some of the harder to access areas. Inside these places you can find cards, frogs and beans to fill up your achievements page. A drawback though is that this is all actually required to finish the game and not just a fun distraction you can find on your own. This turns what would otherwise be exciting exploration into blatant padding for the game’s already short length.
Atmosphere & Sound
The game has a very charming, childlike and innocent vibe overall. It’s a game based on a beloved children’s book and it fits its character very well. Music is memorable and interesting and about as good as it could get for the era.
You’ll instantly fall in love with the castle and vibrant environments while feeling flooded by nostalgia due to its licensed property and magical old-school graphics.
Overall a very fun game that can hold up well due to previous nostalgia and a love for the franchise but is otherwise very simplistic, unfocused and shallow in content outside exploration; which is just padding despite its charm.
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On the Silver Screen:
The hotshot boy wizard's third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry isn't nearly as happy as his previous two--an escaped serial killer, mysterious werewolf, and countless soul-sucking monstrosities all hinder his homework. Plus, our heroes shirk their school robes in favor of street clothes. Shocking!
On Your TV:
The basic concept hasn't changed much since the last game, Chamber of Secrets--you still scurry about Hogwarts, solving puzzles, exploring catacombs, and engaging in a little Zelda-esque combat. This time, though, it's not just Harry's game: You can also play as his best pals, headstrong Ron and kinda-hot-for-14Hermione.