In the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The Videogame you play in Harry’s fifth year at Hogwarts, which is shaping up to be his most dangerous yet. Fearing that Hogwarts’ venerable Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, is lying about the return of Voldemort in order to undermine his power, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge appoints a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to keep watch over Dumbledore and the students.
But Professor Dolores Umbridge’s ministry-approved course leaves the young wizards woefully unprepared, so Hermione, Ron and Harry form “Dumbledore’s Army” with the goal of preparing themselves and other courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle that looms against Voldemort and his Death Eaters.
System: Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, DS, GBA, PC, Mac
Release dates: June 25th 2007 (USA), June 28th 2007 (EURO)
Developer: Electronic Arts UK
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Origin: United Kingdom
With the ability to play as multiple characters, including Harry Potter, the Weasley brothers (Fred and George), Dumbledore, and Sirius Black, the videogame of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix gives fans the opportunity to wield a wand, explore all around Hogwarts, and experience one of the most exciting and dangerous years in the life of the Boy Who Lived.
If you’re looking to buy this game, then you’ve no doubt seen the movie first (if not, do it). So how do you preparing the courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle that lies ahead?
The Wii-specific controls for the game are well put together. Once Harry’s wand is drawn, the Wii controller can be used to directly control the spells you cast. Everything is handled through accelerometers; there is no pointing in the game whatsoever. Any of the game’s spells can be cast quickly and easily, merely by a flick of the wrist. Thrust the Wii controller forward, and Harry will propel an object away from himself. Motion upward with both the Wii controller and nunchuk, and Harry will cause an object to levitate in the air. Once you have an object floating, you can move the Wii controller around in 3D space to reposition it.
Watch the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix game launch trailer.
So what are the main features of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix game?
* Immerse Yourself in Magic — Interact with magical objects, ghosts and portraits in every room, corridor and courtyard. All faithfully recreated from the movies.
* Perfect Your Wand Work — Cast spells to unleash powerful fifth-year magic.
* Lead Dumbledore’s Army — Recruit fellow students and teach them Defence Against the Dark Arts.
* Relive the Magic of the Movie — From the Dementor attack in Little Whinging to the epic battles at the Ministry of Magic.
* Unleash Advanced Magic — Play as Sirius and Dumbledore as they fight Lucius, Bellatrix and Voldemort in the Ministry of Magic.
This video shows people casting spells on the Wii.
While we’re on the subject of casting spells, this is taught by various other characters to Harry, who practices them first, after which he is able to use them to do the following…
* Reparo — A repairing spell.
* Wingardium Leviosa — Used to lift objects.
* Depulso — Used to push away objects.
* Accio — Used to summon objects.
* Reducto — Used to destroy objects. (The Reducto spell can not be used in mission gameplay.)
* Incendio — Used to burn objects.
* Expelliarmus — Used to disarm an opponent. (It deals great damage but if opponent is kneeling, use this spell to finish off your opponent.)
* Stupefy — A slow, powerful stunning spell.
* Protego — Used to deflect spells coming.
* Rictusempra — Another stunning spell that is faster than Stupefy but weaker (In the books, Rictusempra is a tickling spell).
* Petrificus Totalus — Paralyzes the opponent. (Though it only deals great damage against Voldemort)
* Levicorpus — Used to hang the opponent upside-down. However, in the books, this spell did not appear until Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. (This is yet another spell that only damages Voldemort)
See the game’s Hogwarts in this video tour.
In conclusion I have to say that Hogwarts is incredibly HUGE, you get to go everywhere, from the Gryffindor Common Room with Harry’s invisible cloak, to crossing the Grand Staircase, and visiting the Prefect’s Bathroom, Dungeon Corridor, Clock Tower, Viaduct, Ministry of Magic, Grimmauld Place, and Hagrid’s Hut. There are 85 locations that have been included in Hogwarts (combining the movie blueprints, J. K. Rowling’s drawings and books). But I have to point out that at the same time it can be a bit confusing, so you will likely get lost and will then have to use the Marauder’s Map to have its footsteps lead you to where you need to go.
While we’re talking about walking, sadly moving around can be slow to the point of irritation, in hallways other people can get in the way, and the camera moving around so much to find the best angle doesn’t exactly help. However, then you discovered more secrets by waving your wand around, you stop caring about the quibbles. So how much fun is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The Videogame on a scale from 1 to 10?
FUN FACTOR – 8.0
The Wii version of the game is the ultimate version here. It gives you the ability to cast spells by motion instead of button pressing. As a result you’ll totally immerse yourself in the game by waving your Wii Remote wand around while you’re casting spells. Move, repair or send things flying, it all works very well and is lots of fun!
Graphics – 7.0
If you want the best graphics you can go ahead and buy the Xbox 360 or PS3 version, but this Wii version looks great with lots of design details and big Hogwarts environments that are made more lively by the many characters in it. After comparing the versions it’s clear you shouldn’t miss out on the superior Wii control system just to get a few more frames per second or higher resolution visuals, the Wii’s 480p on 16:9 looks fine.
Audio – 8.0
The beautiful orchestrated music from the movies is back. Many of the movie actors recorded their own voice dialog, which really puts you in the story. Not to forget about the sound effects which are all included as well.
Ingenuity – 8.5
The game is a celebration of the Wii remote motion controls, giving you lots of quests that require your wand’s magic and knowledge of the books/movies. An absolute must for Potter fans.
Replay Value – 7.5
The game has a focus on adventuring by doing exploration and solving puzzles more than giving you action through duels. You’re doing all this in a simply huge world with lots to see and do. Loads of discovery points to find to level up (from 1 to 13) your magic spells, and they unlock bonus content to browse through in the Room of Rewards, altogether it can keep you busy for up to 20 hours as you play out the story. Make sure to put your Wii Remote wrist strap on or you might wish you could use Reparo for real.