Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Script by Jeanne Goshe

Voiceover for Adam Sessler


For all you Harry Potter fans out there, we know that times have been tough. You finished reading the seventh and final book, the next movie won’t be out for over a year, and your 11th birthday came and went with no letter from Hogwarts. It’s perfectly natural to feel like your life has no meaning.

But wait! Perhaps during your media boycott to avoid spoilers, you missed the release of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix game. So dust off your wand, and pull yourself together. You might just have a reason to get out of bed again.

Modeled closely after the movie, the game transports you to the magical world of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As Harry, you’re beginning your fifth year at school and you are extremely whiny.

(sound-up of Harry whining)

With Ron and Hermione at your side, you are also joined by many characters who may or may not die in subsequent books, movies, and video games.

The story is woven into scenes throughout, but the game is mainly a chance for fans to immerse themselves in Harry’s world. Earlier Potter games attempted this, but Order of the Phoenix is far more successful.

At the headquarters of the Order, you learn a variety of simple, but useful spells from your godfather, Sirius. Which begs the question - what have they been teaching you at this school for the last 4 years?

When you arrive at Hogwarts, you spend your time exploring the vast and beautifully recreated castle, casting spells, and meeting familiar faces along the way. The sets are visually impressive and for the most part the characters are pretty good models of the film’s actors.

You’ll certainly enjoy prowling around the castle, as long as you can put aside your suspicions that Ron is moments away from attacking you to feast upon your brains. Seriously, you can see it in his eyes.

(cut scene of Ron being creepy)

The gameplay is a bit repetitive, but it won’t really matter to fans of the series. As long as you can pretend that you’re a wizard, the endless fetch quests won’t bother you. And for extra wizardly fun, try playing on the Wii where the remote lets you wave your wand in the air like you just don’t care.

All in all, it’s a charming game for fans who want to try their hand at spellwork. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix gets 4 wands … out of 5.