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on 1 September 2014
I play this game all the time now :)
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on 7 November 2007
Well, when I first bought this game, it was great fun, but being the caretaker for the school soon starts to get boring. The gameplay is not the greatest at all, you just run around doing spells on broken objects and making things float and just helping Hogwarts get clean and tidy really. All main gameplay is collecting DA members and doing their chores, then you get to be sirius and dumbledore which is very dissapointing.

The first 3 games were excellent they had alot of things to think about, but on this game all there really is to think about is which spell to use.
But there are also some very good points about this game, such as the whole of Hogwarts is absolutely huge, and its free roam, and no more loading! As the whole place is like 1 big room. The scenery is excellent and obvious that they've put alot of work into it, but shame about the actual playing of the game!

But all in all, the scenery doesn't make up for the poor gameplay, another good point though is that you get to duel, but they are pretty easy and over quite fast.
Once I finished the storyline, I really got bored very quickly because all you do is play chess or gobstones (which is very fun at first but eventually gets very tiring) and then you just have to go around clearing up Hogwarts again, so now the game is gathering dust on a shelf.
So I advise you to buy this game if you are a Haryy Potter fan and will appreciate the good work they've put in on Hogwarts, but I warn you the gameplay is very dissapointing and very boring.
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on 26 July 2007
To be brutally honest, the gameplay in this title isn't all that great. However, the thing that makes this game special and really worth buying is the sheer amount of effort EA has put into it. Any harry potter fan will really appreciate it!

The blueprints from the movie have been followed exactly, so every scene from the movie can be visited in this game, not to mention the added discoveries and missions to be found. The graphics are really great too, with lush outdoor courtyards and stony indoor corridors.

This game is really worth getting if you like harry potter - nearly everything from the book has been mentioned!! The game is cram-packed with funny references from the book and film, so this alone will keep you occupied for ages!!

There are tiny flaws with the game though, I have to admit. Firstly, the game is a bit on the short side; I completed the main storyline in about a week, but to be fair there are trillions of fun sidequests and minigames which add on a few hours of gameplay. Also, exploring hogwarts, without much action along the way, can get slightly tiresome.

In conclusion, if you like harry potter at all, I really encourage you to get this game for the likeness to the book/film and the graphical design in general. If you don't like harry potter (you probably do if you're reading this...) it might be best to get the game cheap or not at all.
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on 30 June 2007
After playing demos and reading reviews of Harry Potter 4, I was so disappointed that I didn't buy it, the first Potter game I haven't owned. So, while eagerly awaiting the 7th book, I was understandably not expecting much from the latest game. However, after reading a review, which touted its qualities, I took the plunge and bought it. My copy arrived this morning and already I love it. It is so different from previous games in terms of graphics and atmosphere, and the tasks are challenging enough to warrant serious effort. Whilst the controls aren't spectacular, they are steady and eassily manageable, and spell-casting, unlike previous button-bashing, is a joy - using the right analog stick to cast increasingly intricate spells.

The whole game is free-roaming, and there are literally no loading waits. It is possible to walk or sprint all the way from Hagrid's Hut to the Gryffindor Common Room. Not that you'd want to do it all that fast. With breath-taking graphics that show that the PS2 is far from dead, exploring Hogwarts is a privilege. There are many things to do in each and every room, which only you can discovere, sometimes with the aid of school friends. For instance, in the Gryffindor Common Room, small compared to other areas, there are logs to be put on the fire, wizard chess to play, portraits to talk too, and a snitch to find.

There are other small aspects to the game that make it the best Potter game yet. For instance, talking to the portraits will give you tasks to do in order to discover their password, to uncover areas of the castle. Also, by challenging schoolmates to games, you can become a champion at Exploding Snap, Gobstones, and Wizard Chess. The Marauder's map once again plays a big part, as you can select people or locations to find and then follow ghostly footprints in the game to find your destination. However, you may prefer to just wander around the castle at will, exploring secret areas and earning discovery points - a key part of the game, these can be earned by fixing things around the castle and unlockables can be found at the room of rewards.

The main thing about this game that makes it most different to the previous installments, is the feel of it. Hogwarts seems almost perfectly recreated from the films, authorized by J K Rowling - the characters are voiced by the real film actors andf, for the first time, the authentic film music is used. All of these add up to create an extra-special magical atmosphere that makes the game what it is. For once, the game is a credit to the books and the film and is worthy of the title Harry Potter.
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on 20 June 2008
Having played previous Potter games, and loving them (until the 4th one) i was looking forward to playing the game, especially after all the good reviews.

However, the game had none of the action and adventure of it's predecessors. No class challenges or puzzle solving. No sneaking around at night or flying around on your broomstick playing Quidditch.
The game has none of the spirit of the books, and there is basically no day/night format or storyline which makes the game hard follow.

The Hogwarts campus, although magneficent in itself, is huge. It is impossible to find your way around, and you have to put all your faith in the Marauder's Map, which incidently takes away all the fun of discovering new places in Hogwarts, because all the areas are mapped down for you.

The game is pretty much hours of wandering around, talking to characters and completing minor tasks for them. The spell casting is fun at first, but after a while it gets tedious and fiddly. I would much prefer challenges that require me to think about which spells to use as opposed to easy tasks that require frustratingly intricate wandwork.

One of the upsides of the game is the duelling, but it only takes up about 5 minutes of the game, and even in that short space of time, it failed to deliver all the anticipation and enjoyment that even just sneaking past a prefect did in the 2nd game.

The game also barely lasts long enough to be worth the money. It could easily be completed in under eight hours, leving the player with nothing but unfulfilled expectations. the ending is also quite useless. It doesnt matter whether you win or lose the final duels. the game still goes on, which kind of takes out the point of it.

however, the sound is truly magneficent and the graphics are very decent. I will still hold higher hopes for the next game, however.
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on 29 December 2008
This game has loads of plus points but is let down by the boring gameplay.

You have free reign of Hogwarts castle and can wander around completing tasks; these include plot related ones like completing chores for DA members to encourage them to come to meetings, and finding items to do homework assignments. You can also uncover bonus interviews with HP actors by completing chores round the castle.

On the plus side, the scenery is very impressive and faithful to the books, as are the characters dotted around the castle who you can talk to. The portraits are particularly impressive - you need to speak to them to uncover secret passages around the castle.

On the minus side, gameplay is slow and repetitive. Nearly all the DA/homework chores involve either retrieving an item or a piece of information. Casting spells involve waggling the right hand analogue controller at an item or person until something happens.

Irritatingly, of the gameplay tasks just don't fit in with the HP world as well as the characters and scenery do. Most of the chores are things like fixing vases, straightening out beds or hanging up paints. The house elves must be on strike!

One of the most infuriating aspects is that Harry often has to shimmy about drainpipes to find creatures or pick up an item. There are loads of magic spells for doing boring chores you could easily do by hand, like pulling back curtains. But there is no magic or broomsticks available for doing anything like flying, which would make this game loads more interesting. Hmm.

It's worth getting if you're a big Harry Potter fan, or are getting it for a younger HP fan who doesn't mind the repetition. Or you could buy it for someone who has a mania for housework. But, overall, it's not a very good game.
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on 9 January 2008
Definately the best Harry Potter game! Graphics are fantastic...almost film like!!! Loads of game play, from defeating other players in wizard games, obtaining all the portrait passwords, learn how to cast spells, search for discoverables and in addition to all of Harry's course work at Hogwarts, Dumbledore expects Harry to learn Occlumency! As well as all this there's the opportunity to wander around the school and grounds finding out where everything is by exploring all the knooks and crannies!Visit Hagrid! Go into all the rooms and corridors and courtyard. Chat with other students, interact with magical objects and the ghosts. Then teach all the students the defence Against the Dark Arts in the Room of requirement.! It's never ending...well almost!!! The characters are so real like with their own voices it's like taking part in the film!! Definately a brilliant game. Then there's the extra as you unleash advanced magic and play as Sirius and Dumbledore fighting the death eaters in the Ministry! This game has it all! As it states on the back of the game " relive the magic of the Movie". I'm only selling because I got a PS3 for Christmas and got order of the Phoenix for the PS3 too!
Definately recommend for all ages. Its classified as a PG.
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on 5 July 2007
After being thoroughly disappointed by the 4th game is was paranoid about buying the 5th in the series but I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO REGRETS!!

ITS AMAZING!! its much more like the second and third but BETTER! You can explore Hogwarts once more!! beautiful music, stunning visuals and wonderful character interaction! Not only this, but you have tons of freedom to do whatever tasks you want and there are millions of mini quests and secret passageways!

The other thing i love about it (and tbh most of the HP games) is that though it's visually a reminder of the film (especially in this game the makers have incorporated many corridoors like in the film), its also very true to the book. Little details add to the game such as like the fact that Snape sets Harry an essay on the properties of Moonstone - which hapens in the book! (don't look at me like that, i know this because i recently read the 5th book -_-)

I would definately recommend this to anyone, even if they're not a Harry Potter fan! who wouldn't enjoy venturing an enchanted castle, waving spells here and there?
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on 27 July 2007
I was eagerly looking foward to the realease of this game mainly because of interactive and huge Hogwarts that you can explore at your leisure anytime during the game. The interactive side can be merely reparing a statue or having a duel with a snide passing Slytherin. The actually tasks can be boring for instance individually finding the DA (who are spread across the grounds)and doing the tasks they set you, the hardest of which in my opininon is Dean Thomas' where you must find 5 talking Gargoyles across Hogwarts. There are three levels outside of Hogwarts, two at Grimmauld Place and one in Little Whinging.
The reward system is slightly flawed as you don't get any rewards except your spells upgrading. You also play as four other characters, Fred and George Weasley, Sirius Black and Albus Dumbledore. Each of these levels are very short and they are basically the same as being Harry so there seemed to me very little point in having.
My conclusion is a very short one - Brilliant but Flawed.
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on 16 July 2007
This game finally releases the player from the constraints of its forebears, where the emphasis is to try and save the Wizarding World between classes, but that you get reminded every few steps that "Its Transfiguration next Harry!". Harry, now in his fifth year, finally seems to be allowed to choose his own path around the school... its probably something to do with "study periods" for his OWLS exams and, like the book, you don't really spend much time revising hehe. The option to do studying still exists in minigames set by your teachers, though I haven't completed the entire game yet. I echo that the developers clearly have researched both the book source material and their own previous works to make Hogwarts a HUGE place to explore and it allows a certain consistancy with their earlier releases at least since Prisoner of Azkaban. The bonus unlockables of interviews with developers and cast echo EA Games earlier attempts with The Two Towers and The Return of the King for Lord of the Rings, and it is welcome. However one major criticism of this feature is Moaning Myrtle's "reminders" of new unlocked features every time you level up. In some ways it is interesting to make the player feel towards her in the same way that the characters do in the book (Oh no, not HER again) but at the same time I feel less sympathetic to her being killed by the Basilisk in Chamber of Secrets every time she descends from nowhere. The puzzles are a ranged mix, but generally involve chore-based tidying up of the school of broken statues, clearing of overgrown plants and replacing scattered portraits. Clearly the Slytherins had an end-of-year party just before the summer holidays after the Triwizard tournament.

Ron and Hermione definately have a glitch though developers, they consistantly block Harry's path if you want to double-back and, particularly on the grand staircase, stand in places which make the GPS like footstep feature almost impossible to make out at times. If it wasn't for this flaw in particular, I would have no qualms about giving it a full 5 stars.

Overall it is a faithful following to the book and film franchise.
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