Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
HP prisoner of azkaban.png
Developer(s)
Publisher(s)EA Games
Composer(s)Jeremy Soule
SeriesHarry Potter video games
EngineUnreal Engine 2 (PC)
RenderWare (Console)
Platform(s)
ReleaseGame Boy Advance & Microsoft Windows
  • NA: 25 May 2004
  • EU: 29 May 2004
GameCube, PlayStation 2 & Xbox
  • EU: 29 May 2004
  • NA: 2 June 2004
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Role-playing (GBA)
Mode(s)Single-player

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is an action-adventure video game based on J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third novel in the Harry Potter series and the film of the same name. The game was developed by three teams, KnowWonder, Griptonite Games, and EA UK, and were published by EA Games and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

The game was released as a trio, with separate versions for Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows, and home consoles (released on GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox.) The game received moderate review scores by critics across all versions.

Plot[edit]

The game's plot is loosely based on that of JK Rowling's 1999 novel of the same name, and the film adaptation.[a] The games follows Harry Potter (voiced by Tom Attenborough and Harry Robinson) along with Ron Weasley (voiced by Gregg Chillin) and Hermione Granger (voiced by Harper Marshall) as they return to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Prisoner Sirius Black has escaped the wizard prison Azkaban, and is supposedly ready to attack Harry in Hogwarts.

The game begins on the Hogwarts Express,[b] ignoring the events at Harry's home. Upon reaching Hogwarts, the trio follow the events of the novel, and learn magic by attending classes.

The spells that can be learned include carpe retractum, a spell that allows an object to be pulled towards the caster, or the caster be pulled towards the object; Steleus, a spell that causes sneezing and expecto patronum, a spell to defect against dementors.

Using their skills, the trio, along with Remus Lupin investigate Black. Finding that Black is innocent of all crimes, and looking out for Harry, the team defend Black from a horde of dementors, allowing him to escape.

Release[edit]

Similar to in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, different versions of this game were produced for the different platforms. The game was released for PC by KnowWonder, whereas home consoles (PlayStation 2 (PS2), Xbox and GameCube) by Electronic Arts UK (EA), and a handheld version by Griptonite Games for the Game Boy Advance (GBA).[2] However, all games were published by EA and Warner Brothers. As well as having different designers, the games also had different graphics, controls and level design, depending on platform.

The genre of the game also differed between platforms, whilst the console release was a traditional 3D over the shoulder perspective, it featured boss fights, and detective sections, the PC version featured similar puzzle solving missions as those in earlier versions. The Game Boy Advanced release played as a traditional Role playing game, similar to games like Dragon Quest.[2] The game features turn-based mechanics, similar to Final Fantasy.[3]

There are three distinct versions of the game. The GBA version is a role-playing video game, which more closely resembles the GBC versions of the previous two games rather than the PC versions of the previous two. The PS2/Gamecube/Xbox is the typical action/adventure platformer game. The PC version is also an action/adventure platformer but a different game entirely than the console version.

The GBA version follows the storyline the closest, and the PC version was farthest from the original plot. The console version is made up mostly of quests, whereas the PC version is made up more of magic lessons and exams.

The PlayStation 2 version features mini games compatible with the EyeToy. The Gamecube version of the game features the possibility to connect with the GBA version. If the player has a GBA connection cable and the Player connects a GBA with the game's GBA version in it, it gives them the possibility to play the minigames from the GBA version on their TV screen.[citation needed]

In addition to playing as Harry, the game also allows the player to control Hermione and Ron, as well as fly Buckbeak, and control Harry's pet owl, Hedwig.[1]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
GBAGCPCPS2Xbox
EGMN/AN/AN/A6.5/10[9]N/A
Famitsu27/40[10]30/40[10]N/A30/40[10]N/A
Game Informer8/10[11]N/AN/A6.5/10[12]N/A
GamePro3/5 stars[13]3/5 stars[13]3/5 stars[13]3/5 stars[13]3/5 stars[13]
Game RevolutionN/AC[15]C[16]N/AC[14]
GameSpot7.5/10[17]N/A7/10[18]7.2/10[19]7/10[20]
GameSpyN/AN/AN/A3/5 stars[21]3/5 stars[22]
GameZone7.5/10[23]N/A6.5/10[24]9/10[25]6.8/10[26]
IGN6.5/10[2]6/10[27]6/10[1]6.2/10[28]6.1/10[29]
Nintendo Power4.4/5[30]3.9/5[31]N/AN/AN/A
OPM (US)N/AN/AN/A4/5 stars[32]N/A
OXM (US)N/AN/AN/AN/A7/10[33]
PC Gamer (US)N/AN/A72%[34]N/AN/A
Aggregate score
Metacritic69/100[4]67/100[5]67/100[6]70/100[7]67/100[8]

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban received "mixed or average" reviews, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[4][5][6][7][8]

GameSpot were positive about the game, scoring 7/10 or above across releases,[20] with a high of 7.5 out of 10 for the GBA version.[17] Frank Provo of GameSpot was very positive about the GBA game's recreation of the novel; saying "The main thing to keep in mind is that Prisoner of Azkaban on the GBA offers a fun way for Harry Potter fans to step into the shoes of their favorite wizard-in-training and experience firsthand everything that happened in the third installment of the series."[17]

GameZone also reviewed the Game Boy advanced version, calling it "a really fun romp in Harry's world! Fans should be well-pleased."[23] IGN commented on the game not forcing "random battes" from similar RPGs as a positive, but saying that it wasn't "enough to make Prisoner of Azkaban a successful RPG. It's got a solid storyline based on the book and film, and dozens of quests that branch outwards from situations from the film ... but the experience is hindered slightly, simply by sloppy implementation of standard gaming elements."[2]

Matt Casamassina of IGN reviewed the PS2 version of the game. He gave the game a 6.2 rating out of 10, saying "In some cases, it's prettier than any other "Boy Wizard" game. In some cases, it's smarter. As a long-time Potter fan who has read all of the books and watched every movie, I've always been particularly interested in this chapter of the franchise. And this game does deliver a good amount of compelling story and play. I especially enjoyed the multi-character-based puzzles and the new spells that Harry, Ron and Hermione can cast, all of them useful for different reasons."[28]

However, Casamassina, also called the game "Sloppy", and criticised the somewhat unpredictable framerate, before concluding "Potter fans who can deal with the drawbacks will find an entertaining experience hiding. But everyone else should steer clear of this game."[28]

The game may be short and easy, but it's also thoughtfully designed and genuinely entertaining

Brad Shoemaker of GameSpot[18]

Brad Shoemaker of GameSpot reviewed the PC version, but called it "easy" before saying "One, any player of even marginal skill will finish the game in five to six hours, and two, its puzzles and combat are both remarkably easy. Those facts make Prisoner of Azkaban a great game for younger kids, and it's a lot of fun for less-discriminating older fans of Harry Potter too. The game may be short and easy, but it's also thoughtfully designed and genuinely entertaining, and KnowWonder deserves credit for that."[18]

Tim Wapshott of The Times gave the game a score of four stars out of five and stated, "The game remains faithful to the spirit of the book, but it is perhaps a little too linear and predictable. Some scenes do not look quite right — the scale of the characters against the width of the Hogwarts Express clearly do not tally. But these minor disappointments are quickly outweighed by stunning visuals in the later levels. While older teenagers may snub this Harry Potter outing, there's still good mileage in the bespectacled chappie for younger players."[35]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Whilst the game has a similar plot, the game has a different focus, with events sometimes out of order, simplified, or simply removed. The game also features events that never take place in the novel or the film[1]
  2. ^ with the exception of the GBA version, which begins in the Leaky Couldron.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Butts, Steve (9 June 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PC)". IGN. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Harris, Craig (16 June 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (GBA)". IGN. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Game Boy Advance)". MobyGames. Archived from the original on 18 July 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Critic Reviews for Game Boy Advance". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 25 April 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Critic Reviews for GameCube". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 25 April 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Critic Reviews for PC". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 9 April 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Critic Reviews for PlayStation 2". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 25 April 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Critic Reviews for Xbox". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 25 April 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  9. ^ EGM Staff (August 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". Electronic Gaming Monthly (182): 101. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  10. ^ a b c "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". Famitsu. 811. 2 July 2004.
  11. ^ Mason, Lisa (July 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (GBA)". Game Informer (135): 123. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  12. ^ Helgeson, Matt (July 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". Game Informer (135): 111. Archived from the original on 3 January 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  13. ^ a b c d e Iron Monkey (2004-06-17). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Review for Game Boy Advance on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2005-03-05. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  14. ^ Silverman, Ben (2004-06-18). "Harry Potter / Prisoner of Azkaban [sic] - xbox Review". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 2004-06-27. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  15. ^ Silverman, Ben (2004-06-18). "Harry Potter / Prisoner of Azkaban [sic] - gamecube Review". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 2004-06-26. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  16. ^ Silverman, Ben (18 June 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Review". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  17. ^ a b c Provo, Frank (24 June 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Review (GBA)". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  18. ^ a b c Shoemaker, Brad (14 June 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Review (PC)". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  19. ^ Shoemaker, Brad (3 June 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Review (PS2)". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  20. ^ a b Shoemaker, Brad (3 June 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Review (Xbox, GC)". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  21. ^ Villoria, Gerald (4 June 2004). "GameSpy: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PS2)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  22. ^ Villoria, Gerald (2004-06-04). "GameSpy: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Xbox)". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2005-09-08. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  23. ^ a b Hollingshead, Anise (2004-06-30). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - GBA - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  24. ^ Hopper, Steven (2004-06-28). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  25. ^ The Bearer (2004-06-20). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  26. ^ Sandoval, Angelina (2004-06-23). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - XB - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  27. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2004-06-03). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (GCN)". IGN. Archived from the original on 2004-06-04. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  28. ^ a b c Casamassina, Matt (2004-06-03). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PS2)". IGN. Archived from the original on 2004-07-01. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  29. ^ Casamassina, Matt (3 June 2004). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Xbox)". IGN. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  30. ^ "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (GBA)". Nintendo Power. 181: 119. July 2004.
  31. ^ "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (GC)". Nintendo Power. 182: 120. August 2004.
  32. ^ "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine: 94. July 2004.
  33. ^ "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". Official Xbox Magazine: 78. August 2004.
  34. ^ "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". PC Gamer: 58. July 2004.
  35. ^ Wapshott, Tim (2004-05-29). "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PS2, PC, GBA)". The Times. Archived from the original on 2006-01-09. Retrieved 2014-01-29.(subscription required)

External links[edit]