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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

video game

In 1997, British author J. K. Rowling published the first of seven novels in the iconic Harry Potter series. Six years later, Warner Bros. began adapting these books into major motions pictures. To increase excitement, EA Games released video games concurrently with these films. The games follow the movie plots and feature cinematic sequences and video cutscenes to explain the more complex aspects of Rowling’s story. The first game, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone, was developed by KnowWonder, Argonaut, Warthog, Groptonite, Eurocom, and Aspyr for multiple platforms, including the PC, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox, and PlayStation. In Sorcerer’s Stone, players act as Harry in a “sandbox” or “free roam” style of gameplay, in which they explore and collect items, solve puzzles, and engage in duels or combat. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets followed in 2002, with expanded capabilities for the PlayStation 2. This was also the last game in North America to be released for the Game Boy Color. With no film release in 2003, EA put forward a game titled Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup, which focuses on the magical sport that Harry and his friends play. In Quidditch, players directly control chasers or the seeker of their team and practice skills such as passing, shooting, and tackling. Players first engage in a round-robin House Cup Tournament at Hogwarts as a tutorial and, once completed, this tournament unlocks the World Cup. Players then have the option to choose from nine different international teams and participate in another round-robin style contest for the prestigious Quidditch World Cup. In 2004, EA released Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which became the first Harry Potter game to feature a multiplayer option, with Ron and Hermione added as playable characters. The following year, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire offered a new spellcasting system that allowed for collaborative and context-sensitive charms. Goblet also includes a much more action-oriented and linearly-structured gameplay than the previous games. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, released by EA Bright Light in 2007, is compatible with Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles, offering more interactive spellcasting when utilizing the Wii Remote and PS3 Sixaxis controls. Phoenix also moves back to sandbox-style gameplay and boasts higher quality graphics. In 2009, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince became the first Harry Potter to appear on mobile devices. For the final installments, developers drastically changed the style of gameplay. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, released in 2010 and 2011 respectively, are played in a single-player, third-person shooter style, chosen by developers to accommodate Harry’s growing adult audience. Almost entirely combat-oriented, the gameplay of Deathly Hallows is more linear with few side missions, and takes advantage of the Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move’s motion-sensitive controls. Part Two offers the new feature of Apparition and several new playable characters such as Seamus Finnigan, Ginny Weasley, and Professor McGonagall, which allow players to experience the Battle of Hogwarts from alternative points of view. The game technology and graphics improve drastically throughout the series and the game world continually expands to include locations besides the Hogwarts campus, such as Diagon Alley, Little Whinging, the Ministry of Magic, and Grimmauld Place. Although the Harry Potter series does not contain overly complex gameplay or cutting-edge technological innovations, fans of the story enjoy immersing themselves in the world they love.

Materialprinted paper | plastic
OriginUSA
Object ID109.9232
Credit LineGift of Warren Buckleitner

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© The Strong.