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Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup

Preview By: Nick Arvites

Developer: EA
Publisher: EA
Genre: Sports
Est. Release: 10-28-03
Posted: 8-12-03

The Harry Potter franchise continues to delight and entertain millions around the globe. Ever since the first book, there has been one very interesting side-plot involving the sport of Quidditch. Quidditch can best be described as some sort of hockey-rugby-soccer hybrid played on brooms. In the books and in the two films, Quidditch is depicted as very fast and very entertaining. After reading through many of the books and watching both movies, I found myself thinking: “Wow, this would make a good video game.” Well, apparently enough people thought this at EA, because they’re delivering Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup to virtually every system this fall.

Ok, so maybe you haven’t gotten around to reading any of the great Harry Potter books or watching either one of the films. This would pretty much leave you wondering exactly what Quidditch is. As I said earlier, it basically is a hybrid of several different sports and is played on broomsticks. You have a Keeper (goalie if you will) that guards three hoops. Each team has three Chasers. The job of a Chaser is to score a goal with the Quaffle through one of the hoops that the Keeper guards. A goal gives a team 10 points. Each team also has two Beaters. These are the defensive players who bat around the Bludgers. Bludgers are used to take out another team’s player. Finally, each team has one Seeker. The Seeker has to search and capture the Golden Snitch (a tiny, golden, fast-moving ball). Capturing the Golden Snitch gives your team 150 points and ends the match. Got all that? Well, if you didn’t understand a word I wrote, go pick up a copy of one of the books (preferably the first one) or rent the two movies. You’ll better understand the game if you do.

You start off competing for the Hogwarts House Cup with one of the four house teams. These teams are Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. Fans of the series will recognize some of the team players, like Harry Potter on Gryffindor and Draco Malfoy on Slytherin. The first mode basically gives you a tutorial, some challenges to overcome, and then finally compete for the House Cup.

After winning the House Cup, you get to play the International World Cup Tournament. Think of the World Cup (soccer) and apply it to Quidditch. If you want to get a better understanding of this tournament, it occurs in the fourth book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Many international teams are present, and players from these teams that appear in the books (Victor Krum from Bulgaria) are present. Instead of being just a simple “win-lose” situation in the tournament, you need to score a certain amount of points in order to move up in the ladder. This basically forces players to use a certain strategy when playing matches. It wouldn’t be advantageous to grab the Golden Snitch right off the bat if you needed 350 points to move up, so it forces players to actually keep that in mind. Each of the international teams has unique uniforms and stadiums, as well as different tactics.

What would any sport game be without a multiplayer mode? Thankfully, Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup possesses a multiplayer mode. This does insure a direct head-to-head competition between two players, but it is not clear if this means we can have multiplayer tournaments as seen in the FIFA games. Also thrown in is a Quidditch card system. Collecting cards unlocks special moves that can be used in matches. One would assume you gain these cards similar to every EA Sport game out there.

Look for Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup on PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, and PC CD-ROM this Fall.

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