Review: Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix

Review: Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix
Review: Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix

Available for almost every system under the sun, Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix for the Nintendo Wii promises to be a slightly different experience than that of the others. While the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS and other versions of the game will see you learn spells and fight the evils of Voldemort and the Death Eater in an action adventure, you'll have this as well as control over Harry's magic wand on the Wii.

This means that together with the Wii Nunchuk controller, the Wiimote becomes your portal into the game. You are Harry Potter and you will have all the power that he has.

That's the premise of Harry Potter for the Wii. But is it as real as Harry or as empty as a bad spell.

The game is charming in some ways. When you first start, you'll practically be greeted with the same sort of introduction as you'd expect out of the movie or the book, except it plays out as if it's been recorded entirely within the game. This means that even if you're not really a Harry Potter person, you can get a basic understanding for what's going on. Some of the words and names seem to require a Harry Potter understanding, but you'll probably be fine.

One of the first things you do when you start out includes learning to use your magic wand. You'll quickly learn to push and pull objects with magic, as well as repair things and move them around the air. Now don't be misled: using magic spells isn't easy. In fact, while that's probably one of the best reasons to play this game, the controls could be a lot better. In some ways, you'll feel let down by how uneasy it'll leave you feeling as you control the spells. Still, the novelty of this is very cool.

Walking around Hogwarts can be pretty cool at first. It seems to be designed like you would see it in the movie, complete with moving stairs that will aim to confuse you at points. The candles dance and the paintings sleep. It's all there. You'll attend classes, use powers, go after the evil that awaits you.

All of this is cool, especially for someone who loves Harry Potter, but the level design doesn't seem to be there and finding your way from place to place can often be frustrating. It was frustrating for me and I'm an adult. It might be easier as a kid, but still.

The textures also lack pretty much anything to make them seem something other than ugly and it really drags down the look of the people and the world of Harry Potter. The camera isn't very good, the game isn't very fun, and the controls could do with a bit of work, but the novelty of the magic wand is cool so it's not as bad is it might initially sound.

Still, if you're looking for the Harry Potter wand-wielding experience, you can't do much better than this game. While it ultimately lacks in almost every area, the music is good and the wand is fun. You can't help think that it could've been done a lot better, but for all of the practicing wizards out there, this could be a lot of fun for all of you.

Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Classification: PG
Formats:Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Gameboy Advance, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PC, Mac
URL: Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark

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