Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Hex yourself into minigame hell
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for the DS is one of those games where you have to ask yourself how the developers sleep at night. This half-assed adventure/puzzle game isn’t even mildly entertaining and it certainly doesn’t do the Harry Potter franchise any favors with its buggy game play and shoddy design. Potter fans and DS devotees alike should steer clear or risk the burning desire to tear their eyes out after playing even five minutes of Order of the Phoenix.
Game play is essentially stumbling through Hogwarts from one mini-game to the next with half a dozen Harry vs. Malfoy duels thrown in for good measure. If the minigames were worth half a damn, or the art style NOT a complete mess of pixels, this might be entertaining – sort of like WarioWare, but with Harry Potter. Alas, the minigames all exercise in rapid-tapping tactics (plus a blatant Cooking Mama rip-off) and the DS doesn’t really lend itself to the 3D graphics. The layout of Hogwarts is a walking nightmare with fixed camera angles and bad collision leading to many a headache as you drag Harry from Herbology to Potions and back again for no apparent reason.
About the only redeeming thing in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the music. Without it, there’d be no way to know if you were doing well in certain minigames until after you failed them. Sadly, the music is the only thing that even reminds us that this is a Harry Potter game and not some sadistic exercise cooked up by EA Games to punish us.