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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Puzzles and spells and wizardry tales, thatís what good games are made of. Thankfully, EA has included all of these in the latest addition to the world of Harry Potter along with many other goodies. From the moment you load the game and watch the Hogwartsí Express shipping the young wizards and witches back to school, it is easy to get pulled in.

The adventure starts off relatively easy. Your quest is to find Ronís rat, Scabbers, who is running loose on the train. As you chase him the length of the train, you will learn how to climb, jump, and cast spells. You will also get the chance to play as Hermione. In a break from the tradition of playing as just Harry, EA has seen fit to give you rein over all three main characters. Each of them will play an important role as you unravel puzzles and explore Hogwarts.

This game is really fit for just about anyone in your family, unless, of course, you are concerned that your child may start casting spells indiscriminately at strangers. Essentially, if you are comfortable with taking your child to see the movie then you will be comfortable playing this game with them.

The graphics are good. Iím reluctant to say great so perhaps Iíll say quite good. The background details and lighting were very well done and added to the overall feel of the game. Inside you are treated to ornaments and portraits in almost every scene to look at and sometimes explore. My favorite effect is the spell casting. It seemed that the movements, whether people or objects, flowed smoothly. There are many options available to adjust your graphics to better suit your system.

The sounds of the game do a great deal to add to the general aura. The background music and sound effects are used appropriately to set the mood. Voice acting is the real treat here. When the characters are speaking you actually believe them. They will spend a fair amount of time talking to one another and more importantly, offering you prompts and clues on your way to complete the game. My only complaint is that there were no enhanced stereo features. I could use reverse stereo but no surround sound. On a personal note, I really wish you could stop them from saying the spell name each time they cast one. Sure, it is not in keeping with the story but wait until you need to fight something and you keep hearing that same spell again and again.
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter series then this is a great game for you. If you like fairly straight forward and enjoyable games, it is for you. If you are looking for a game that you can play with the kids, well, this would also be a game for you.

~ Harry Potter - Prisoner of Azkaban Walkthrough

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