Monday, February 24, 2014

Pottermore Rated: GOF Chapters 12-16

Pottermore explores the Harry Potter series by renowned and imaginative author JK Rowling. Each book has been released in sequence. Early January 2014, chapters 12-20 from the fourth Harry Potter bookHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was added.

The fourquel brings the terrifying and death-defying Harry Potter villain closer to meeting Harry Potter. The Gryffindor student is incidentally and mysteriously chosen to participate in the Twi-Wizard tournament alongside foreign exchange wizards and Hufflepuff's very own Cedric Diggory. Today we are showcasing Pottermore and its recent installment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Let's rate!

Chapter 12 - The Twi-Wizard Tournament

This should be a wildly exciting chapter considering that is the first appearance of Mad-Eye Moody - however, it is considerably tame. Every reader or movie goer remembers the thunder striking above the castle and the ominous feeling of something coming around the corner. The only thing of notice in this chapter is Mad-Eyes' frail stature coming through The Great Hall doorway...and little else.

To note, you don't unlock him for his background story to be shared. There is little to no special information on his character page, except the scenes he participates in throughout the fourth book. You can collect a pepper imp, a Bertie's Blott Prawn flavored bean and five galleons. Waving your mouse across the shadowed portraits causing them to move. However, that's it.

Chapter 13 - Mad-Eye Moody

Occurring in the Great Hall with all the students present, Mad-Eye Moody transforms Draco Malfoy into a white ferret. The ferret bounces around the page - which is the most animation for this illustrated moment. You can take a closer look at the Daily Prophet by clicking on it, collect a fanged frisbee and a galleon.

Chapter 14 - The Unforgivable Curses
Another round of Defense Against The Dark Arts, and new teacher Mad-Eye Moody teaches the fourth years some unforgivable curses. I don't know if it bothers any other Pottermore users, but I never depicted or pictured Mad-Eye to hide behind a cape during his entire tenure at Hogwarts or the wizarding world - just a word of annoyance with the illustration.

Usually on individual illustrations, if you double click you can zoom in and out of the page to see different views. This and similar to the pure white ferret moment above, you cannot do this. Ron Weasley and his desk seem to move further away from Mad-Eyes desk, and occasionally there is a blast of green light - however, the only significant activity on this page is collecting the Queen Maeve Chocolate Frog Card, a Busy and Hexes for the Busy and Vexed book can be collected.

Chapter 14 The Unforgivable Curses

This is the second moment of Chapter 12 titled A Letter from Sirius. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are studying in the Gryffindor common room, as Hedwig flies onto their window sill with a letter from Snuffles. You can take a closer look at both Harry and Ron's homework for Professor Trelawney's Divination class by clicking on highlighted passages, and Sirius' letter to Harry. Collect a S.P.E.W. badge, a whizzing horn, five galleons. Voice talent Jim Dale adds narration audio to the page

Chapter 15 - The Beaubaxtons and Durmstrang
In Goblet of Fire, we are acquainted with other wizarding schools from Europe: The Beaubaxtons Academy from France and Durmstrang from Russia. Two of their students will join Hogwarts in a series of challenges to win the Tri-wizard cup. The first illustration shown above does not have much activity. Wave your mouse across the trees and you can collect poison ivy and wormwood. Click on the seal of the chariot and unlock new information by JK Rowling about the academy.

The Durmstrang illustration is much more impressive. Their skeletal ship loudly rocks in the lake against the tide under a full moon. Feels like a memorable scene from Disneys' Pirates of the Carribean. Click on the haul of the ship to unlock information about their wizarding school. The new information presented about the Beaubaxtons and Durmstrang provides new meaning behind their names and a brief history about their wizarding schools.

Overall Review: 3 out of 5 owls
The activity for these chapters was quite disappointing. Besides being able to collect items for my trunk, there weren't animated illustrations. Sometimes I expect a bit more sound effects - though that might hog a lot of the websites' server space and force Pottermore to operate at a slower speed. The illustrations themselves are always amazing but it's chapters like the Unforgivable curses where I'd like more interactivity.

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