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Harry Potter at the top of his game

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Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix is the most impressive Pottergame made so far





Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix

Publisher: EA

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, PSP, GameBoy Advance, PC, Macintosh

Reviewed on: PlayStation 3

Rating: E — Everybody 10+

Game type: Adventure

Rating: *** 1/2 (out of five)





What’s the premise?


Take control of Harry Potter as he helps build an army of young wizards and teaches them how to fight against the evil Lord Voldemort in an adventure based upon the blockbuster new film (which in turn is based on the book).





This game is most similar to…?


Strangely, the manner in which you’re led around evokes Grand Theft Auto.





Can I let my kid/kid brother play it?


You’ll be fine to let them explore Hogwarts early on, but not to let them see the Death Eaters and such later on.





One player or more?


Ron and Hermione are there to help, however it’s just you controlling Harry.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


Explore the castle. There are dozens of side missions that will take you all over Hogwarts and wandering about in this incredibly detailed representation of Harry’s school is a blast for fans of the books and films alike.





What’s missing?


The plot tends to advance at about 90 miles an hour, so unless you’ve read the book or seen the film (and if you haven’t then what possessed you to buy this game?) you might have a tough time following along.





And in the end?


Order Of The Phoenix is by far the most impressive Harry Potter game made so far and fans caught up in the fever of the fifth film and the new seventh book are sure to enjoy it.










Hot Shots Tennis

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platforms: PlayStation 2

Rating: E — Everybody

Game type: Sports

Rating: **** (out of five)





What’s the premise?


Volley, slice and smash your way through seven levels of fun pick-up-and-play tennis action, unlocking more and more playable characters, courts and other bonuses along the way.





This game is most similar to…?


Hot Shots Golf meets Virtua Tennis.





Can I let my kid/kid brother play it?


Only if he promises not to cry when his character is nailed by a smash.





One player or more?


Getting four friends together to play a few doubles matches of HST is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.





What’s missing?


An early challenge. The first few levels are meant to ease you into the experience, but as a result they’re exceedingly easy for quick learners. Don’t worry, though, it gets a lot tougher later on.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


Mix up your shots. You can get by with just your topspin early on, but as your opponents get tougher, you’ll need to add in slices and lobs or you’ll be run all over the court.





And in the end?


There is an undeniable charm to the Hot Shots series that extends into this newest franchise. Quirky and clever characters + easy to learn and highly addictive gameplay=one great game.










Hour Of Victory

Publisher: Midway

Platforms: Xbox 360, PC (coming in October 2007)

Reviewed on: Xbox 360

Rating: T — Teen

Game type: First-person shooter

Rating: ***





What’s the premise?


Choose between the tough guy, the sniper or the covert agent as you battle your way through a series of missions all across Europe trying to stop the Nazis from constructing an atomic bomb.





This game is most similar to…?


Medal Of Honor — circa 2003.





Can I let my kid/kid brother play it?


Guns, bombs, Nazis and kids. One of these things does not belong here.





One player or more?


No head-to-head war on the homefront, but you can take the battle online.





What’s missing?


The graphics aren’t nearly what we’ve come to expect from an Xbox 360 shooter.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


I’d say choose the right soldier for each mission, but frankly you can get it all done pretty quickly no matter which one you choose. How about “kill ’em all”?





And in the end?


Call Of Duty 3 has set the bar really high for all other World War II shooters and unfortunately Hour Of Victory just can’t reach the mark.




  • For reviews of Halo 2 and Monster Madness for PC, check out theTech sectionof Metronews.ca.





jonathan.kuehlein@metronews.ca

 
 
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