Every time I see that we have new chapters, I become hopelessly excited though I'm well aware that well...Pottermore's a slow, painful process.... So? What do I think here?
Well... It was just 9 chapters, with only a few of them providing multiple moments. In addition, this one maintains a rather bland experience, as we still have no shopping list for Diagon Alley or any new spell books or potion books, though it seems like those may still be in the cards at some point.
Now as for the specifics...... there's not much to laud here. The artwork is beautiful, as always, and I'll admit it's a little harder to complete the bars in these sections as there are small, easily missed things to collect, and some moderately difficult to trigger animations. In addition... there wasn't any new game... major shake-ups and it's the usual collection-fest. There were a few interesting things... wizzling worms and fanged frisbees... but again, the amount of stuff we learned about was pretty small. We *did* get to see three exclusive bits of content though, but the things we learned were fairly small, as it was mainly about Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, with the two of them being MUCH bigger schools, and with Durmstrang only turning out a small amount of "bad eggs" contrary to their reputation. The rest was sort of to be expected, and there wasn't anything worth while to talk about in regards to the characters, leaving us in the dark further regarding Mad Eye, Barty Crouch Jr., and Rita Skeeter. In addition, we didn't really get much about the challenge either, the dragons, Ron's brother Bill... nothing.
This is becoming pretty typical of chapter releases and oddly enough, I'd probably rank this as my least favorite "release" with the best release Pottermore's had is probably the release of the first Chamber of Secrets chapters, or the Chamber of Secrets as a whole, as the other releases have been sub par, though I'd say that even with Prisoner of Azkaban it seemed like they were trying harder.
Pottermore is the Emperor trying on new clothes still... everyone says how wonderful it is... but all in all, it's not really there. And that's probably going to be my thought process on the chapters for the time being. Pottermore certainly CAN improve... the question is if and when. Unfortunately, the first four were the biggest opportunities to let users "play along" with mini-games and such, and after Chamber of Secrets... that idea was sort of blown off, and they've let the whole site become stale and in reality, unless you're a diehard Pottermore fan, all you need to do now is skim by, look for those little red quills, and hunt them out like we used to on Rowling's old website. Yes, the skin has changed, but in reality, that's all Pottermore is now. It's Rowling's old website wearing new clothes, and without the suspense. We don't have "new" news, myths and can't even explore as much as we could on her site, and even then, we could look at the new wizard of the month, a sure fire change that we don't even have on Pottermore where the site become stale for months on end.
I know it's near useless to complain about by now, but it's happened in the past. Occasionally users have raised such a stink Pottermore would change things, but that just doesn't happen as much. If you aren't happy, just send them a message, and maybe one day, we WILL have something worth talking about on the site.
Here's to the next release, and I'll post another one of these when we get those last chapters.