Advertising Blurbs
    J.K. Rowling's modern fantasy goes multiplayer as Harry, Ron, and Hermione seek the Prisoner of Azkaban.


    • Play as Harry, Ron and Hermione
    • Trade collector's cards
    • Connect to the Nintendo GameCube to care for and race your own owl with the Owl Care Kit.

    Sirius Black, the vile criminal who betrayed Harry Potter's parents to Lord Voldemort and killed 13 people with a single curse, has escaped from Azkaban prison. Everyone's worried that he'll come after Harry next, but in Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban, our hero doesn't intend on fading to Black.

    In this RPG adventure, you control Harry, Ron and Hermione as they go on quests, watch out for Sirius and, of course, attend class at the coolest school in the world, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

    As Harry, you explore in and around Hogwarts. Occasionally, you find treasure chests. Most of these chests contain Chocolate Frogs, a yummy treat that comes with a collector's card. Some chests contain special clothing items Harry or his friends can wear to better protect themselves.

    Also roaming around Hogwarts are various creatures. When you have a run-in with one, the game takes you to the turn-based magical encounter screen. Here, Harry, Ron and Hermione cast spells on the beasts, and in return, the beasts use different methods of attack to chip away at our heroes' Stamina Points.

    When you first see a creature in the hallway, it's represented as a magical cloud. Once you enter into a magical encounter, you can cast Informus, a spell that will tell you the name of the beast you face, how many Stamina Points it has and what spells are the most effective against it. Doing this, unfortunately, costs you one turn at battle. (In the early stages of the game, you won't miss that turn too much.) In the screen's top right, you see the order in which all participants in battle take their turn. Use that information to strategize about which opponent to go after first.

    At the end of battle, Harry, Ron and Hermione receive experience points. When a character levels up, their max Stamina Points and Magic Points increase and both attributes fill to capacity.

    In battle, each character has Special Moves. Hermione lectures to give Harry, Ron or herself an extra shield or power up his or her attacks. She can also increase the experience points all receive at battle's end. Ron throws pellets or crackers at creatures, stunning them or forcing them to drop an item. Harry's Special Moves are a bit more complicated.

    Every time Harry gets a Chocolate Frog, he also receives a collector's card. Certain groups of cards help Harry perform special combos in battle. For example, one set of cards helps Harry replenish the team's Spell Points. Another combo causes the opponents to miss a turn. Whereas Ron and Hermione can only perform one Special Move per battle, Harry can perform as many Special Moves as he has card sets. You and a friend can trade cards with the help of a Game Boy Advance Game Link Cable. You can also unlock six two-player minigames.

    In certain stages, you get to choose which characters you wish to play as. But since you don't really know what situations your characters are about to get into, it's tough to tell which character is going to be right for a certain quest. The story, which follows that of the book and movie, has more twists and turns than a Quidditch Snitch. Is there a traitor in Harry's midst?

    Bottom Line

    This easy-to-manage, easy-to-play RPG delivers a great story and a rat named Scabbers. Can you really ask for anything more?

    Contributed by Xoleras (66885) on Dec 09, 2004.