Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix   - Review

Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix
Ages: Everyone 10+

With the movie, the final book and the game all coming out at the same time, it feels like Harry is one of the family. By now I have added Hogwarts, Slytherins and Gryffindor to my spell checker and they will be with me for years.

I think that this particular game could easily become the favorite of Harry Potter fans simply because the games offers you the chance of being in Hogwarts. Over the years the spaces constructed for Hogwarts have become endless, and they are here for you to explore. As you pass by you can hear the chatter of students, some call out to you many you can engage in conversations some you can fight. Harry and all the characters look realistic and move well, a distinct improvement for the earlier HP games.

Wands glows brightly at the ready and leave bright trails every time a spell is cast. There are twelve spells evenly divided between combat and non-combat. On the PS2 they are accomplished with combinations on the right analog stick -- up and down or side to side or rotating it. Clever, and it works, but I can only imagine how much more natural it would be using the Wii stick. Whatever the platform, kids will practice using the spells until they feel like true wizards. In spite of the spells, you will still have to do some climbing and other physical feats. Easy housekeeping tasks, to tidy up the premises will provide practice in using the spells and affords the opportunity to discover previously unknown parts of Hogwarts. A large number of paintings seem to have fallen down that would benefit from a clean-up spell. Passwords and portraits go together and keeping track of them is useful. Eventually you will have to meet up with the Death Eaters and Voldemort but by then you should be pretty adept at using spells.

Hogwarts is a wonderfully complex space and the Marauder's Map is the solution to finding your way around. Besides the prompts from Hermione and other miscellaneous characters as to where you are supposed to be, a list on the side of the map with the current locations of your next visits helps get you there. Once you have made your selection black footsteps lead your onward.

There is enough story and action to satisfy, but don't expect the book or the movie video games still have a long way to go. You will encounter the arrogant Slytherins, put up with injustice of the faculty, recruit and train you Dumbledore's Army and eventually go head to head with Voldemort and the Death Eaters.

I don't know if I would buy an Xbox 360 for this game but I would certainly consider the Nintendo Wii if I didn't have one already.

Fun Factor: Great to be in Hogwarts
Female Factor: Yes, there are other girls in the school besides Hermione
Player Friendly: Plenty of aids to help you find your way about

Reviewed by: Editor - 07/07

  • Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix
  • © Electronic Arts
  • Platform(s): PS2
  • To Order: PS2 http://www.amazon.com/ $39.99