27 Apr Review | Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7
The Travellers Tales Lego Video Game series of games have certainly not been around as long as the Harry Potter books and movies but have entertained and beguiled many gamers worldwide nonetheless. The franchise has covered some of the most popular children’s action hero stories from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean and of course Harry Potter. Last year TT released Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 which covered the first four books/movies whilst this game encompasses the final four movies.
It’s no secret that the gameplay could be described as ‘samey’. They all have the same general feel and work in a very similar manner with an emphasis on collecting and exploring. In the HP Lego games, you will be able to cast spells, use potions, unlock characters and items as you progress which in turn can be used later use during ‘freeplay’ (replaying levels with different characters and skills). The potion making aspect is interesting in which players can inadvertently trigger unwanted side effects such as being turned into a frog if mixed incorrectly.
Of course, one thing you can rely on on relation to any of TT’s Lego games is that they all offer solid gameplay, excellent graphics, value for money and a generous portion of humor. It’s the hilarious antics during the cut-scenes that I really enjoy and you won’t be left short with this one. Although the games tend to be aimed at the younger audience there’s certainly plenty on offer for us older ‘kids’ entertainment wise. Of all the Lego Video games, the original Star Wars title will remain a favorite for me, but this one certainly ranks as one of the best. If you start getting lost in regards to level objectives ‘ghost’ bricks will lead you on your merry way as well as the big shiny arrows. Some of the building/demolishing objectives can at times be a little vague so the younger ones may need a hand now and then
TT has however made a few tweaks to this game. The first was opening the world a little more for exploration, in fact much more so than any other of the previous titles. I was surprised when I arrived at Hogwarts and spent considerable time searching and collecting items without continuing the story to the next stage. You can also fire your wand in the general direction of your intended target and for the most part hit, whereas previous games were less forgiving. Lastly, TT has tweaked the graphics, lighting, flow and overall look of the environments. The game also incorporates a two player split screen option as was seen in Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues, this means that there will be less frustration in a movement where one player might be dragging their feet.
With the generous amount of quality games recently released the wallet may be feeling a little light but if you were looking for a game that will please the younger ones for Xmas then this is certainly not a bad choice; especially if they are Harry Potter and/or Lego gaming fans.