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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Action / Adventure

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Games

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

June 25, 2007

 

 

- Casting spells becomes quite natural

- Hogwart's is a big place, full of detail

- Sticks close to the source material

 

 

- Fetch Quests become boring and tedious quickly for older gamers

- A few of the mini-games may mystify younger gamers

 

 

Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (GC)

Review: Spider-Man 3 (Wii)

Review: Prince of Persia: Rival Swords (Wii)

 

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

harry potter and the order of the phoenix          harry potter and the order of the Phoenix

 

Just as with the Harry Potter books and films, the series of Potter games has grown up over the years to match the maturing nature of the series as a whole.  If the games stay on that course, we might see an M-rated Harry Potter by 2012.  In this case, Order of the Phoenix is still kid-friendly and though older gamers 

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will probably give the game a miss, kids in the 7 to 12 age group are in for some straightforward fun.

 

Probably the biggest draw for the entire game are the motion controls of the Wii itself.  Different combinations of waving around the Wiimote and nunchuck cast the various spells and for

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the most part, it works, though it can take some practice and they’re introduced during a tutorial that is injected right into the story of the game.  (Anecdotal no doubt, but my seven-year old son had little problem manipulating things.)  It's just too bad that most of the spells are used for trivial tasks, such as cleaning up.

 

Like most licensed games, Order of the Phoenix sticks close to the source material of the movie with not a lot of padding to artificially extend the game and/or make it more interesting for older players.  Besides Harry, there’s a chance to play as other characters that populate Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which offers a bit of a change as the story progresses toward the inevitable cinematic conclusion.

 

harry potter and the order of the phoenix          harry potter and the order of the phoenix

 

Hogwart’s itself comes alive like none of the previous titles.  Again, EA has stayed close to the source material but the level of detail and small touches is great.  My son appreciated being able to just wander around and look at everything; I thought including a specific animation for ascending and descending stairs was brilliant.  He also enjoyed the straightforward objectives, which I found them to be boring as hell.  (He might be relatively new to fetch quests, but I’ve seen them all many times before.)

 

It might seem like I’m giving Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix short shrift, but as far as move tie-ins go it’s better than some of them without actually having much innovative about it besides the Wii controls.

 

- Omni

(July 19, 2007)

 

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