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Get your Nimbus 2000, shine up the quaffle and tell Ms. Granger to meet me in the Chamber
of Secrets. #EmmaShouldDateDerek, it’s Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup.
Sorry, Professor Snape, but uh...Hermione and I won’t be making it to the match.
Released in 2003, Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup is based on the popular game from
the Harry Potter books and movies. That being quidditch. Two teams fly on their broomsticks
and pass a ball around like a kind of aerial soccer. The objective is to toss that ball
through one of three rings. That gives you ten points, but really, you can win without
ever doing so. If your team’s seeker catches this crazy golden thing, you’re awarded,
like, a million points and pretty much automatically win.
Quidditch World Cup totally captures the spirit of the movies and the electric atmosphere
of their on-screen quidditch games. For Harry Potter fans, in particular, it’s easy to
appreciate the detail here. And although the game does feel a bit dated, it’s still aged
EA did an excellent job. They simplified this bizarre and somewhat complex sport into far
more manageable pieces. You play primarily as a chaser, or an offensive player, and you
basically fly over the place trying to get the ball and toss it through the rings.
Now, when you call for it, you can also control a ***...basically a defenseman who tosses
another ball at the other team’s players to knock them down. Kind of like a little
dodgeball. Once you’ve launched that ball, you go back to controlling the chaser. The
game plays out, back and forth, until the snitch—that gold thing—is released.
That’s when Quidditch World Cup turns into a kind of racing game. You control the seeker
and try to stay on the path of the snitch until you’re within reaching distance. Once
you grab the snitch, the game is over. And usually, you win.
EA split things up nicely, and they paired that approach with really simple controls.
Movement is handled with the left analog stick, passing and shooting with the circle
and the X. It’s very basic, very user-friendly...there’s really not much depth to the gameplay, but
it compensates for that in terms of content.
Quidditch World Cup is a great pseudo-sports game. It’s not very hard, but given its
intended audience, that makes sense. And anyway, its addictive, arcade-sports charm makes up
for that. If you’re into Harry Potter or pretend sports, Quidditch World Cup is still
a PS2 game worth owning.