Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Review

It may have seemed like a good idea to bring the next-gen console Order of the Phoenix experience to the PSP, but the final result pretty much fizzled like one of Ron’s classroom spell attempts.

The Order of the Phoenix is designed to immerse you in Harry’s world by recreating the entire Hogwarts School and leaving you free to explore it and take on story missions only when you’d like to. Unfortunately unlike the next-gen versions of the game, the halls of Hogwarts are pretty much devoid of life. Without the students walking the halls and milling about and the sounds of their conversations, Hogwarts comes across as desolate and somewhat creepy. Furthermore there’s not as much to do when roaming around the PSP version of Hogwarts, with most of the game secrets and mini games present in the console versions removed. Most of your free-roaming time is spent on a Potter PR tour as you must find copies of The Daily Prophet to prevent students from reading your bad press and protect students from Slytherin bullies to restore your good name with the other three houses.

Now I know that comparing a portable game to a console game is not necessarily a fair comparison. The game can certainly be forgiven for not providing as immersive a Potter experience as the console versions while still giving gamers on the go the chance to explore Hogwarts. What is not as forgivable are the game’s frustrating controls and camera. Controlling Harry can be a chore at times and become downright maddening when trying to target objects with your wand. I wasted more time than I care to think about running in circles with my wand just trying to target stationary objects. The left trigger is supposed to let you cycle through available targets but I could not get it to work correctly in most cases. Making matters worse, when you do have your target selected the spell buttons don’t always work. The one button spells seem to be OK for the most part, but the ones that require a two button sequence to cast are completely inconsistent and it can take a lot of button presses before the game realizes that you’re trying to cast a spell. The controls are in need of a complete overhaul, but that doesn’t do you much good if you’ve already purchased the game.

While it is certainly a treat for Potter fans to walk the halls of Hogwarts while reliving the adventure of The Order of the Phoenix, the game’s control issues sap a lot of the fun out of the experience. If you have the option of buying the home console version of the game, then I recommend that you do that instead. This Potter is best left at home.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 50%. There's no magic in this Harry Potter game.

Also reviewed on:
  •  · PlayStation 2 
  •  · PlayStation 3 
  •  · Wii 
  •  · Xbox 360 

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