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Platform

Playstation 3

 

Genre

Action Adventure

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Games

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

July 2007

 

 

- Will appeal to fans of the franchise and movie (assuming of course they are sadists)

 

 

- Not a very good source choice for a game

- Character models are all over the place

- Voice acting is completely off-mark for each character

- Spell casting system is horribly broken

 

 

Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (360)

Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (360)

Review: Spider-Man 3 (PS3)

 

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Score: 4.0 / 10

 

The Harry Potter series has quickly become one of the most sold book franchises in history, and so pretty much everything that bears the name sells well. Well, once again it’s entered my zone of terror so I’m going to have to choke down the bile and play the game. Is it just me, or is there a serious lack of games for the Playstation 3 unrelated to movie or franchise releases? This is started to get ridiculous.

 

harry potter          harry potter

Anyways, the game makers were definitely fighting from behind on this one. The content for this game is tied more closely to the movie than the book – and this was definitely a plot-heavy part of the series. Which means, in order to keep the

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game from being a less appealing way of retelling the same story… they are going to have to insert content to lengthen the game. Much like a cafeteria hotdog, we’re going to be getting a lot of filler. So, we’re going to be doing a whack-ton of gophering, pointless side-questing for completion, and collection of nonsense. If this was an RPG, you could use it some amazing upgrades or special kit – instead of 

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a bunch of fluff. The lone piece of light has to be the mini-games; I was surprised how much fun it was to play Gobstones, Wizard’s Chess, and Exploding Snap.

 

The story itself flies by in a rather expedient manner – no time for actual storytelling. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book… you should definitely not use the game as your first experience with this material. If I hadn’t seen the movie first, I couldn’t possibly decipher what was going on. Cutscenes are quick and give you only the most basic idea of where you are in the story, and are all displayed in the same engine as the gameplay. So don’t expect any amazing clips to blow your mind.

 

 

harry potter          harry potter

 

Gameplay? Ugg. You meander around the areas collecting items, interacting with the environment (so you can collect “Discovery Points”) and walk to the next cutscene. Magic play is where the designers tried to get creative – using either the Sixaxis control or the right control stick you can cast spells. The control is very unforgiving – if you vary the speed or make what the game designates as an incorrect movement, you are hooped. I spent as many as 4-5 times trying to get some of the spells to activate. Not exactly the epitome of fun to sit there like an idiot trying to get the game to recognize that I am actually doing the correct command (I’ve played freakin’ fighting games like they are going out of style, I think I know how to do a 360 spin, ok?). If I actually cared enough about the game it might even inspire me to controller throwing.

 

Visually, the game is a mixed bag – the characters certainly resemble their Hollywood counter-parts, Harry and Hermione certainly look passable but Ron looks like he was brutalized by an ugly stick. Hogwarts looks exquisite; the amount of care in recreating the school is evident and you’re going to get a lot of time to see it because a majority of the game is spent walking these halls. I personally walked those staircases an unbelievable number of times. Voice acting? Terrible. Apparently, none of the actors were willing to lend their voice talents for the game (and considering how some of their faces were slaughtered, maybe that was a good call).

 

All in all, playing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was a painful and tedious experience. I would not recommend it except to those with a collection fetish or for the young fans who don’t know any better.

 

- Mike Siewert

(October 12, 2007)

 

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