Sunday, April 09, 2006

Unforgivable Curses

I wonder if
the folks who made Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the PC realize that, yes, in fact, computers can re-map their controls. I wonder if they considered that some people might like the options screen to display the control configuration. I wonder if they ever thought that, just maybe, people might want to use the mouse to navigate the menu. Or that using the arrow keys for movement is just a little bit too 1980s for a modern game.

Once you get used to the control scheme, however, the game is a nice diversion. The spells are interesting, the characters are -- ah, hell, just read the review linked above. They hit all the main points except for my gripe about the controls.

I still can't figure out why none of the Harry Potter games have attempted to break away from the nu-beat-em-up format established in licensed fare like The Lord of the Rings games put out by EA.

Potter is a property just begging for the Mario 64 treatment. Wander the school grounds, collecting clues, attending classes and playing level variations all while gathering gobs of knicknacks. There could even be a GTA element involved, what with vehicles like brooms and hippogriffs to ride.

These kinds of games never seem to escape from the must-have-mass-appeal mentality of kid-friendly IP. They make a game that is so inoffensive to anyone that it ends up being a kind of bland romp of lobbing projectiles and moving forward forward forward.

But what do I know?

I'm just a Muggle.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I'm no Potterhead. In fact, I feel that the story construction in the Harry Potter series is abominable. But I confess, I would have thought the obvious way to render a Harry Potter game would be as an exploration experience.

And now I hear from you that they are all beat-em-ups? Truly, the lameness of EA's concept design departments is beyond redemption. :(