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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Nintendo DS)
- NINTENDO DS GAME
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- Platform: Nintendo DS
- PEGI Rating: Ages 7 and Over
- Media: Video Game
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The boy who lived is another movie hero whose video game adventures never seem to have matched up to the quality of his films (or books). Rather than simply repeat the predictable third person action of previous games though, this is something a bit different. Its almost a sort of Grand Theft Auto: Hogwarts (or a variation on The Simpsons: Hit & Run for those that are too young to know about Rockstars naughty blockbusters).
What this means in practical terms is that youve got almost the whole of Hogwarts school to explore from the off, with different missions of varying degrees of importance available from different locations. You now control only Harry, with Hermione or Ron reduced to supporting roles, although there are some short sections where you can play as Fred and George Weasley instead. The re-focus on Harry is a result of the sheer number of magical spells available to him now, from standard offensive and defensive magic to summons and levitation spells that help you uncover and unlock the hidden secret of Hogwarts.
Casting spells isnt as simple as just pressing a button though, as youre made to actually trace out a magical symbol using the controller (something that works particularly well on the Wii), which adds greatly to the sense of immersion. Theres also a range of similarly controlled mini-games, including wizard chess and gobstones, which you can play either in or out of the game. Its all a vast improvement on the previous titles, with similarly superior graphics and a general air of effort not usually associated with film tie-ins.
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I admit it is not the most exciting game I have ever played but is not too challenging and that is what I wanted! I don't like having to play the same levels over and over again because they are too difficult to get through and I don't like feeling so frustrated with the difficulty of a game that I'll throw it to the side and not attempt it again.
The main game is a little boring and does involve a lot of running around Hogwarts doing mini side quests. The best bits are the mini games - Gobstones, Exploding Snap, Quidditch and the lessons! The lessons are really good and involve Transfiguration, Charms, Divination, Potions, Astronomy, History of Magic, Herbology. You also get to do your OWLs in these subjects!
I like it - and if, like me, you are a Harry Potter fan then you'll probably welcome any chance to 'do spells' and 'make magic'.
The ds version of Order of the Phoenix basically takes the ps2 game, and destroys all the the good things about it. For example, instead of a huge 3d world you can explore, you have lame, compressed 2D backgrounds with 3d characters. This might sound okay, but the camera angle changes every five minutes, which makes the already tiresome travelling even more of a pain!
Also, whereas in the ps2 version, hogwarts is populated with hundreds of students who you can talk to, in the ds game the only people you see are neccesary (if you know what I mean.
Another thing I didnt like - instead of just porting the beautiful music scores from the console versions, EA decided to use lame, compressed MIDI music which sounds a bit lame.
At the end of the day, we all know how much effort EA put into making this game have a huge hogwarts, but the DS version just isn't fun. The game conists of running around for ages to get to the next fetch quest, playing some minigames and watching severely compressed cutscene images with almost illegible text... Even a harry potter fan won't appreciate this!
Unfortunately, within 7 minutes of playing the game I was bored, and hated the game all together.
The camera angles were terrible and incredibly annoying. You keep losing your sense of direction as it changes whenever you move into a different area. I would have prefered it if the camera angle was behind Harry.
The 'tasks' were just errands which were riddiculously easy and stupid (eg. Find Hermione and speak to her, Find Ron's Prefect badge)
I would not reccommend anyone to buy this game as it is a real waste of money (mainly because of the stupid camera angles).
EA have ruined this game
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