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Book of Spells

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Book of Spells

Book of Spells

European cover art


Developer(s) SCE London Studio[1]
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Series Harry Potter
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Release date(s)
  • AUS 15 November 2012
  • EU 16 November 2012
Genre(s) Augmented reality
Mode(s) Single-player

Book of Spells (or Wonderbook: Book of Spells) is an augmented reality video game for the PlayStation 3. It was developed by SCE London Studio in conjunction with J. K. Rowling as a companion to the Harry Potter series. It was introduced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2012 and is the first release for the Wonderbook. It is based on Book of Spells, a fictional book by Miranda Goshawk released about 200 years from the event date. It was released in the United States on 13 November, 15 November in Australia, and 16 November in Europe.[3] The game received mostly positive reviews from critics, praising the use of augmented reality and the PlayStation Move, while criticizing the game's short length.

Gameplay

The user casts spells by drawing shapes with the PlayStation Move controller, while the book itself uses augmented reality technology to appear on screen via the PlayStation Eye. The Move controller itself appears on screen as a wand,[4] and may draw patterns on screen to launch spells.[5] Players are allowed to interact with elements appearing on screen, such as dragons.[6]

The game is designed to be an interpretation of learning spells at Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter universe,[7] with the "book" itself having been written in the Harry Potter universe over 200 years ago by Miranda Goshawk.[5] At the end of each chapter, a poem will describe a failed Hogwarts student in order to teach the user a lesson in the manner of Aesop's fables.[8]

At the start of the game, players choose one of the four Hogwarts houses, and one of three different wands. If, however, the player has a Pottermore account, they can link it to the game, in which case the in-game choices will reflect those they made on the site.

In addition to the specific spells covered by each chapter, the player is sometimes given the opportunity to briefly make use of other spells, such as the Oppugno Jinx. The player, however, does not actually learn the gestures for these spells and thus is not tested over this material.

Plot

Harry Potter, a 12-year-old-student in Gryffindor, has arrived at Hogwarts and discovers a book in the Restricted Section of the library. He will need your help to defeat Tom Riddle, who is going to become the world's greatest sorcerer, by mastering spells and completing tests at the end of the chapter to defeat him.

Story

Chapter 1

The story takes place at the Hogwarts library where Harry uncovers the 'Book of Spells' and discovers that he has been given permission by the librarian to get a copy of the Restricted Section of the library. He then goes to work on the Levitation Charm (Wingardium Leviosa) and hears a story about the spell. The book takes Harry to the Herbology Room where Professor Sprout, the Hufflepuff High Master, is asking him to repot Mandrakes while she is away. After the Mandrakes were potted, Minerva McGonagall, the Gryffindor Head Master, gave 15 points to him. Harry then masters the Water-Making Charm (Aguamenti) and hears another story, this time, about the Unlocking Charm (Alohomora). The book then takes him to the Common Room where Harry uses the Unlocking Spell on the chests. The book then zapped him into a dark corridor where he uses the Wand-Lighting Charm (Lumos) to find some objects. Suddenly, the Devil's Snare attacked Harry at the Forest and Harry used Lumos to drive the tentacles off the spellbook. McGonagall gave another fifteen points to Harry for his actions. In the test, Harry used Aguamenti to fill up the fountain, only to discover that it was a trick set by Draco Malfoy and released a Kelpie, a shape-changing water demon, on the loose. The book takes him to the Scotland Ruins where he finds himself locked in a prison, but used Alohomora to pick the lock and used the Levitation Charm to put the cogs in place and made the Devil's Snare lose the fight by using Lumos. He treks down to the lake and used Wingardium Leviosa to lift the bridle on the Kelpie's head, taming it. Hagrid was surprised and gave 10 house points to Gryffindor, but Tom Riddle has got some other tricks up his sleeve.

Chapter 2

Harry gets to the Gryffindor Common Room to practice the Fire-Making Spell (Incendio) and hears a story about it. Before that, a paper dragon flies out of the book and sets it on fire, but Harry used Aguamenti to put out the blaze. The book then zaps him into the Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom where it was covered by paper dragons, but Harry defeating them all using Incendio. After that, McGonagall gave another 15 points to Harry. Harry then practices the Bird-Conjuring Charm (Avis) and the book zaps him into the Potions Dungeon where he uses Avis to scare the cat. Harry then practices the Revealing Charm (Aparecium) and hears another story about the spell, but Miranda Goshawk is telling him to beware the sandstorm. The sandstorm takes Harry into a dark room and Harry used Incendio to put the torches ablaze, but got attacked by a group of angry scorpions. He used Reducio to make them smaller and the scorpions fall through the grille. Just then, the giant scorpion attacked Harry, but the grille breaks, making them fall in. At the chamber, the giant scorpion fought Harry, but is no match for Harry's Shrinking and Fire-Making Charms. The tunnel starts filling up with sand, but Harry impressed the sphinx by answering puzzles very quickly and carefully. He also received another part of the conundrum and earned 10 points from Albus Dumbledore.

Chapter 3

Harry awakes from his bed and goes to practice more spells at Hogwarts. He then practices the Gouging Charm (Defodio) but Draco Malfoy is about to get into mischief again. Harry learns that the spell can dig up something from the roots. The book then takes Harry back to the Herbology Room where Nifflers are trying to steal some shiny things they aren't theirs. After days of training, McGonagall awarded Harry 15 house points. Harry then practices the Mending Charm (Reparo) and hears another story. Suddenly, Harry rushes into the Gryffindor Common Room only to find that Draco has broken the clock, so he used Reparo to fix it. Harry then practices the Scourging Charm (Scourgify) but a swarm of bats invaded him, spraying smelly goo everywhere. He then practices the Shield Charm (Protego) and hears another story about it. The book zaps him to the Defence Against the Dark Arts Room where Gilderoy Lockhart is invaded by a group of evil witches. After the fight, McGonagall gave 15 points for defending Lockhart. In the test, a cactus sprayed stinky stinksap at Harry but he used Scourgify to clean up the mess. The book takes him back to the Herbology Room where Harry stops a gnome from making the Fanged Geraniums go psycho. The gnome wants to attack the cactus, but is knocked out by the Protego spell, then Harry used Scourgify again to clean up the sap. Suddenly, the gnome upsets the deadly Venomous Tentacula, making the plant attack Harry Potter. Harry used the Protego spell to block off the attacks before finally using Defodio to pull the plant monster up before using Reparo to clean up the mess. Harry received the third part of the conundrum as well as 10 points from Hagrid.

Chapter 4

Harry heads down to the Common Room and practices the Summoning Charm (Accio) and hears another story about it. The book zaps him to the History of Magic Room where Draco Malfoy has stolen the chess pieces. Harry used Accio to bring all of the chess pieces so his Gryffindor mates can play chess again. Hagrid then gave 15 points to Harry. Harry then uses the Severing Charm (Diffindo) on an Abyssinian Shrivelfig and hears another story about the spell. But a gnome has appeared again but Harry used the Disillusion Charm to make him invisible. Then, Harry learns the Impediment Jinx (Impedimenta) and used the spell to freeze the gnome when he's in a funny pose. Then, he learns the Hardening Charm (Duro), but if Harry or a Slytherin student uses this spell on someone, the points will be taken off their score. Harry finds that the Student Scribbler is a Cornish Pixie from Lockhart's Classroom. The pixie gets stunned by the Tickling Charm (Rictusempra), before the pixie launches paper planes at Harry, but the planes were knocked out by the Hardening Spell. The book takes Harry back to the Herbology Room where the Nifflers are trying to dig up the plants. After days of hardening the soil with the spell, Professor Sprout gave 10 points to Harry. In the test, the book takes Harry back to the Dark Forest where Harry uses Diffindo to cut off the tree branches before discovering that a Welsh Green dragon is missing her egg. The pixies pulled the nest apart but quickly flees when the dragon is near. The egg has fallen out of the nest by a cyclone yesterday into a mudpit. Harry used Accio to rebuild the nest, before using Duro to harden the mud and using the Summoning Spell to get the egg back. Suddenly, the pixies ambushed Harry but got defeated by Impedimenta before Harry used Duro to harden the mud and Accio to get the egg back. The dragon arrives and gave 15 points to Harry for returning the egg and another part of the Final Conundrum.

Chapter 5

Harry goes to practice some powerful magic he needs to defeat Tom Riddle. He uses the Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus), the spell he always used, and hears another story about it. The book caught fire but he put out the blaze with his hands. The book takes him into the Herbology Greenhouse where the Nifflers are taking Galleons back to the lair, but they are quickly foiled by the Disarming Spell. Suddenly, Harry rushes to the Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom only to find witches working for Draco Malfoy attack Justin Finch-Fletchey, a Hufflepuff student. But the witches are no match for Expelliarmus. After the battle, McGonagall gave 15 points to Harry. Then, Harry practices the Reductor Curse (Reducto), but got attacked by Draco's Stinging Jinx, but after a healing spell from Lockhart, he was back to normal and Hagrid gave 15 points to Harry. The book takes him to the cave where Lockhart was using Ron's wand to wipe his memory, but the spell backfires and knocks Lockhart senseless and causes a cave-in. Harry used Reducto to smash the rocks before sending Fawkes to pick up Lockhart and Ron Weasley. Harry then practiced the Stunning Spell (Stupefy), but the book takes him back to the Defence Against the Dark Arts Room where Lockhart's pixies are causing trouble again, but are quickly stunned. Harry then learns the most powerful spell, the Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronum) and hears another story about it. The book takes him to the Great Hall where Harry learns that his Patronus was a stag. McGonagall was pleased and gave 15 points to Harry. In the test, the book takes him to Diagon Alley where a Dementor is wreaking havoc. Suddenly, a group of werewolves comes out and bashed the wagons and carts, but got driven off by Stupefy. Harry rushed to the next area and used Reducto to destroy the werewolves' hiding places. Suddenly, Harry was attacked by the Venomous Tentacula, who was working for Tom Riddle and captured some of the townsfolk. Harry Potter used Expelliarmus to free the villagers, but the Dementors won't make the test easy. Harry's stag chased off the Dementors before he used a basilisk fang to destroy Riddle's diary, defeating his evil work and saving the village. McGonagall was proud to see the Patronus stag fight the Dementors off and gave 15 points to Harry and the last part of the conundrum. Harry learned the practice will make the young wizard better.

Voice Cast

Development

To develop the game the Sony Computer Entertainment team worked with Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, who described it as "the closest a Muggle can come to a real spellbook".[4] Rowling had previously worked with Sony on her Pottermore website, and the company at one point had an exclusive contract to release Harry Potter e-books.[9] The game was launched as the first title for the Wonderbook on the PlayStation 3 at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo.[4][10]

Reception

Book of Spells received mixed to positive reviews from game critics. It holds a 72 on Metacritic, indicating "Mixed or Average reviews." Critics praised the use of the Wonderbook technology by the use of both the PlayStation Move and augmented reality, while criticizing the game's short replay value.[11]

The Book of Spells was nominated for a BATA in the ‘Game Innovation 2013′ category.[12]

Sequel

At the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo, a second Harry Potter-themed Wonderbook game was announced: Book of Potions.

References

  1. ^ http://uk.playstation.com/bookofspells/
  2. ^ http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2012/09/25/wonderbook-book-of-spells-release-date-confirmed
  3. ^ http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2012/09/25/wonderbook-book-of-spells-release-date-confirmed/
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/wonderbook-book-of-spells
  12. ^ http://www.mugglenet.com/2013/02/wonderbook-book-of-spells-nominated-in-game-innovation-2013-category-at-bafta-game-awards/

External links

  • PlayStation UK page
  • Pottermore page
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