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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a multi-platform action-adventure video game developed by KnowWonder, Warthog Games Limited, Griptonite Games and Argonaut Games. The PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance versions were released in 2001 while the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube versions released in 2003. It follows the events of the first book.

The game received mixed reviews. Critics commented on the game's simple game play and its poor graphics (2003 versions)[1][2] while others said the game's license will be the only thing to draw in fans.[2][3]

Gameplay

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone gameplay is from a third-person perspective. The player controls the character Harry Potter from a behind-the-character view.[4]

PC

In the Microsoft Windows version, the game is played like a third-person shooter and puzzle game.

GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox version

A new game of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was made for newer consoles in 2003, a couple of years after the original versions. It had quite different gameplay, and was made by Warthog Games. It was criticised for taking all the spells from the Chamber of Secrets. But on the other hand they used quite a lot of imagination in the spell challenges and other levels and locations, and it follows the events of the book and movie very closely.

Game Boy Color

The Game Boy Color game is a role-playing game, similar to games like Final Fantasy. The player controls Harry, starting from when Hagrid brings him to Diagon Alley. It strictly follows the story of the books, with all the scenes from that point on in the book being playable, except for the addition of bands of monsters such as rats, bats, and spiders roaming most of the locations. The spells are used for combat, rather than interacting with the environment.

Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Advance game is completely different from the Game Boy Color game. The Game Boy Advance game is a top down puzzle game. The player explores Hogwarts, and must attend classes which often include a challenge of collecting a certain number of items, such as challenge stars or potion ingredients. This game features the familiar monsters from the other games in the series, such as snails and gnomes.

PlayStation

The PlayStation version of the game is a puzzle game, however, it also features combat with various creatures and bosses such as Lord Voldemort. The Flipendo Jinx (cross button) is used on both enemies and objects around the environment. Many other spells are learned during lessons taught by the teachers around the school.

Plot

Be Harry Potter as you embark upon a mysterious journey filled with fun and mystery! Discover the many secrets of Hogwarts as you learn to ride a broomstick, play Quidditch and participate in exciting spell challenges. Ensure you attend your lessons to become skilled at magic spells as you study to become a wizard. Along with friends Ron and Hermione, prepare yourself to face You-Know-Who.[5]

Development

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is based on the story of the same name and through working with Warner Bros. the game also features the sets and environment from the film adaptation.[6] The PC version was developed by software company KnowWonder and was built on the Unreal Engine which allowed for it to play on both software and hardware-accelerated modes.[6][7][8] The games executive producer Chris Graham stated that the game was aimed at eight to forteen year olds with its puzzle based gameplay.[6] The PlayStation version was developed by Agronaut as an action-platform game which integrated a 3D environment into its gameplay.[9] The Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance versions were individually developed by Griptonite Games and Eurocom.[10][11]

Philosopher's Stone was first revealed on the PC at the E3 expo in May of 2001.[12] A press release followed, months later, on November 13, 2001, days before the films November 16 release.[7][13] The press release stated it would ship the game to coincide with the film adaptation of the same name.[7][14]

Next-generation remake

The new Philosopher's Stone game was initially rumored in June of 2003 for next-generation consoles.[15] It was officially confirmed in July of 2003 that EA was developing a new game for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and Gamecube console's based on a similar format as the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets game released in 2002.[16] The game was developed by Warthog Games and set out to fix some of the problems encountered in the previous game such as loading time.[16] The game uses similar set designs and graphics as the Chamber of Secrets game and the previous generation consoles by making them 3D.[16][17]

The game was released on December 12, 2003.[18]

Reception

 Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
GBA GBC GC PC PS PS2 Xbox
1UP.com B[19] C-[20] C-[21]
GameSpot 5.4/10[22] 6.1/10[23] 5.5/10[24] 4.0/10[25] 6.1/10[26] 6.1/10[27]
GameSpy 2/5[28] 2/5[29] 2/5[30]
IGN 6.0/10[31] 7.0/10[32] 6.4/10[33] 6.4/10[3] 8.0/10[34] 6.4/10[35] 6.4/10[36]
Aggregate scores
GameRankings 68.37%[37] 73.00%[38] 63.31%[39] 67.35%[40] 68.67%[41] 57.90%[42] 61.82%[43]
Metacritic 64%[44] 65%[45] 64%[46] 56%[47] 59%[48]

PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone received mixed reviews. The game was compared to the Chamber of Secrets game with IGN saying the game was "[...] like the digital equivalent of a Ron Weasley hand-me-down[...]"[36] and GameSpot saying the graphics "[...]doesn't look as sharp as Chamber [of Secrets][...]".[2]

Worthplaying.com praised the games voice acting saying "Voice acting is probably the game's best aural aspect as the voice talent[...] deliver[s] their lines in a believable and fitting style."[49] IGN found the voice dialogue to be "[...] well acted and very crisp."[50] GamePro said the game was "[...] more interactive and enjoyable[...]" than the PlayStation version.[51]

ComputerAndVideoGames.com commented on Hogwarts saying it is a "[...]curiously flat experience, and not helped by the chronically jerky frame rate."[52] G4tv.com said the games camera angles were [...] the worst offender[...] It's a maddening and uncooperative a system."[53] Soundtrack Geek's Jon Blough identified Jeremy Soule's music for the soundtrack as too short. He also added that "[...] the menacing and relaxing cues [in the music] fail[ed] to provide anything definitive."[54] GameZone observed the tasks and quests and stated they [...] aren't as compelling [Chamber of Secrets], and the puzzles seem a little lacking."[55]

Award nominations

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone received nominations for several awards. It was nominated for the 2002 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards for Favourite Video Game but lost to Mario Kart: Super Circuit.[56] It also received a nomination for a Golden Joystick Award in 2003 for MTV Film Adaptation of the Year but lost to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.[57] The soundtrack received a nomination from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences for Original Musical Composition in 2002 but lost to Tropico.[58]

References

  1. Casamassina, Matt (2003-12-09). "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". IGN.com (IGN Entertainment, Inc.). http://au.ps2.ign.com/articles/445/445542p1.html. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Steinberg, Steve (2003-12-30). "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". GameSpy (IGN Entertainment, Inc.). http://au.ps2.gamespy.com/PlayStation-2/harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone/493911p2.html. Retrieved 2010-06-07. [dead link]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Casamassina, Matt (2001-11-16). "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". IGN.com (IGN Entertainment, Inc.). http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/166/166530p1.html. Retrieved 2010-06-07. 
  4. Steinberg, Steve (2003-12-30). "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". GameSpy (IGN Entertainment, Inc.). http://au.ps2.gamespy.com/PlayStation-2/harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone/493911p1.html. Retrieved 2010-06-07. [dead link]
  5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone video game PC blurb
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sulic, Ivan (2001-08-09). "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". IGN (IGN Entertainment, Inc.). http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/136/136530p1.html. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Press release (2001-11-13). "CALLING ALL WIZARDS-IN-TRAINING EA LAUNCHES FOUR HARRY POTTER VIDEO GAMES". Moby Games. http://www.mobygames.com/game/harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone/adblurbs. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  8. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". Yahoo! UK & Ireland (Yahoo!). 2001--. http://uk.videogames.games.yahoo.com/pc/previews/harry-potter-and-the-sorcerer-s-stone-ad89c5.html. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  9. IGN Staff (2001-05-19). "E3: Harry Potter Hands-on". IGN (IGN Entertainment, Inc.). http://au.psx.ign.com/articles/095/095083p1.html. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  10. "E3: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". GamePro. http://www.gamepro.com/games/gameboy_advance/105483/harry-potter-and-the-sorcerers-stone/. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  11. "Griptonite Games". IGN (IGN Entertainment, Inc.). http://au.games.ign.com/objects/027/027786.html. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  12. IGN Staff (2001-05-17). "E3 2001: Harry Potter -- The PC Experience". IGN (IGN Entertainment, Inc.). http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/094/094837p1.html. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  13. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)". IMDB (IMDB.com, Inc.). http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0241527/releaseinfo. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  14. Ahmed, Shahed (2001-11-13). "Harry Potter games ship". GameSpot (CBS Interactive Inc.). http://au.gamespot.com/gba/action/harrypotterandthess/news.html?sid=2824289&mode=news. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  15. "Rumor: EA to produce new Philosopher's Stone game?". The Leaky Couldron (HPANA). 2003-06-26. http://www.hpana.com/news.cfm?nids=15302_rumor_ea_to_produce_new_philosophers_stone_game. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Casamassina, Matt (2003-07-14). "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". IGN (IGN Entertainment, Inc.). http://au.ps2.ign.com/articles/428/428679p1.html. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  17. "EA makes Sorcerer's Stone 3D". HPANA. 2003-07-07. http://www.hpana.com/news.16000.html. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  18. Press release (2003-07-07). "EA’S HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE NOW AVAILABLE FOR NEXT-GEN CONSOLES". GameZone (GameZone Online). http://www.gamezone.com/news/item/ea_s_harry_potter_and_the_sorcerer_s_stone_now_available_for_next_gen_consoles. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
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  51. Elektro, Dan (December 9, 2003). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. GamePro. Retrieved on June 7, 2010.
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  53. Schkloven, Emmett (January 19, 2004). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Review. G4tv.com. Retrieved on June 7, 2010.
  54. Blough, John (July 20, 2009). Soundtrack Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Video Game (2001). SoundtrackGeek.com. Retrieved on June 7, 2010.
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  58. AIAS ANNUAL AWARDS > 5TH ANNUAL AWARDS, interactive.org

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