Just spent the weekend finished Harry Potter & the Order of Phoenix.
Since I like the Harry Potter series, read the books and watched all the movies, thought might as well try out the games.
I got both The Order of Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince arrived for the weekend. I thought I would finish (or at least got tired of them and stopped) both games by Sunday night. I guess since I am sort of a Harry Potter fan, following the story sucked me into at least finished the main storyline in TOoP. In the end, I have 75% of the game completed.
TOoP was published in 2007, well into the 2nd year of Xbox 360 console was released. I didn't expect the graphics would be that horrible. The game definitely was pushed out of the door in a rush, which happens a lot to "movies to video games" titles because of the deadline of the movies' release dates.
The game play was designed towards more adventure and exploration than action/combat. I think there were a total of 5-6 magic combat scenes in the entire game, which I didn't mind at all. Running around Hogwarts was plenty of fun except for a few tasks. Basically you run around completing tasks (mini quests) for every scripted character in the game, fixing broken stuff, lighting torches while progressing through the main storyline. You collected orbs from almost everything that you do or fix (experience points) to unlock (achievements points for xbox) behind the scene bonus videos and still images from the movie, concept arts etc.
Not all the casts from the movie were on board for the voice over acting, that's a bummer but I guess EA has limited budget for voice talents. I wish they put more details into the main characters. A lot of them just look plain creepy. Character animation was stiff or lack of any, the ghosts just a stiff model floating up and down. AI students at Hogwarts looks more zombies than human, mindlessly wandering around.
The camera movement was the worst, it was the most annoying part of this game. You cannot control the camera at all except pressing B to get to "first person view" only if the camera is behind Harry to begin with.
The interactive items in the game didn't have enough highlight within the scene which can be missed easily if you were not actively scanning the environment looking for them. The highlight for the spell cast targeting system was also not bright enough. Making it difficult to complete certain tasks when you are racing against the clock.
If this were not a Harry Potter game, I probably would have ejected the disc within an hour playing it.