PS3 Reviews: LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Review

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LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Review

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Graphics:

 

7.8

Gameplay:

 

8.3

Sound:

 

8.2

Control:

 

7.5

Replay Value:

 

8.4

Overall Rating:       8.0

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Warner Bros. Interactive

Developer:

Traveller's Tales

Number Of Players:

1-2

Genre:

Action/Adventure

Release Date:

November 11, 2011

If you’re looking for a family-friendly adventure that nets you plenty of bang for your buck, you can always turn to a LEGO title. Traveller’s Tales has delivered plenty of great adventures for all ages; the developer has tackled everything from “Star Wars” to “Indiana Jones” to “Batman,” and the latest is the immensely popular (and seemingly endless) “Harry Potter” series. And while Years 5-7 isn’t really anything new, it still provides exactly what it promises.

We still get those attractive pre-rendered backgrounds with tons of pretty color and impressive detail. The animations remain highly fluid, and the satisfying mini-explosion of LEGO pieces when you attack a destructible piece of the environment will still put a smile on your face. The set pieces offer fans fresh, imaginative looks at favorite locations, and the characters still have those comical facial expressions. Traveller’s has always paid faithful homage to the franchise in question.

The sound relies on a solid soundtrack and crisp effects, as voice acting has never been a factor in these cute productions. The music selections won’t come as any surprise to long-time fans of the boy wizard, and the tracks and effects often blend well together. I sometimes think more could be done with effects in regards to ambient audio, just for the sake of added immersion, but I’m not really complaining. That’s more of a suggestion. Overall, Years 5-7 is technically proficient without being progressive.

If you played Years 1-4, you probably think this latest entry is more of the same; i.e., more like a continuation and completion of the first iteration rather than a full-fledged sequel. And in a way, you’re right. But you had to expect some serious milking. We’re talking about “Harry Potter;” they split up the last two movies for a damn good reason, and it had nothing whatsoever to do with story and length requirements. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the new LEGO game feels a little like the same ol’, same ol’.

However, we have to give credit where credit’s due. There are new abilities and skills, the hub is bigger, there’s more to explore and find than ever before, and oh yes, there are over 200 characters to unlock and purchase. There are even new cheats that make the game even more humorous, and that co-op feature remains a definite bonus. There are six co-op stages that let fans sample the most memorable moments from the last four movies, and you can always wander around Hogwarts, too.

As before, the gameplay is a pleasant mix of combat, exploration, platforming, and minor puzzle solving. None of the puzzles will really tax you (remember the targeted demographic), and exploring will often get you more LEGO pieces (the game’s form of money). The control and camera are still potential issues, though, as basic control is too light and falls shy of being 100% precise. The camera can be a problem in tight areas but again, LEGO followers will be familiar with this drawback.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the LEGO Harry Potter titles and past LEGO entries is the use of the magic spell system. Rather than just relying on various weapons and items, you routinely have to learn new spells in order to advance in the story. You will cycle through your available arsenal when facing a particular obstacle, and this comprises the majority of the gameplay. It’s a nice twist on the standard LEGO formula and works very well. Potter fans should really enjoy it.

There’s always plenty to do. Unfortunately, you do spend a good deal of time relearning the spells you had in Years 1-4 but you know, it’s just as fun as it always was. The world is bigger, too, because now we can explore places like “muggle world,” and the entire experience seems that much more robust. Lastly, we shouldn’t forget the all-new dueling system: during scripted boss encounters, you will enter into one-on-one combat, and you must select the correct spell to override your foe’s attack. It’s easy to grasp and entertaining, even if we do it way too much.

And really, the amount of content these games have is really fantastic. You’ll find many parts of Hogwarts that are optional, for instance, and it’ll take a chunk of time to get 100% on some of the later levels. Revisiting levels has always been part of the LEGO adventuring experience, because you often open up new paths and stumble upon hidden secrets. This encourages vigilance on the part of the player, and I think that’s an important lesson for the younger crowd.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is yet another competent and fulfilling entry in the Telltale’s successful LEGO series. It feels a little too similar to Years 1-4 and the control and camera can still be problematic, but the rest will be quite appealing to fans of J.K. Rowling’s blockbuster franchise. There’s a ton of content, the focus on spells is cool, that patented LEGO charm and charisma is here in spades, and if you wish to do everything, you’ll be occupied for a great many hours.

If you’re looking for a Christmas present for a big Potter fan, especially one who has already played Years 1-4, this will do nicely.

The Good: Charming, attractive presentation. Great music. Bigger world crammed with a ton of content. Accessible, entertaining gameplay. New duel system is an appreciated addition. Co-op is silly fun.

The Bad: Control is still a little loose, and camera isn’t always reliable. Feels too much like the last title. Duels are overused.

The Ugly: “It’s LEGO. Nothing ugly ever entered such an innocent world.”

11/21/2011 Ben Dutka

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Comments (12 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 21, 2011 @ 10:09:38 PM
Reply

No.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 9 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 2:55:36 PM

You who thumbed me down should thumb your eyes out for having watched that garbage.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

TheCanadianGuy
Friday, November 25, 2011 @ 3:48:39 PM

gotta say thats disrespectful man really who are you to judge what other people like ?. and honestly if you don't like HP why you even bother to click on the review and comment ? not trying to be rude or anything but c'mon. i'm sure there are probably things you like that other people would consider "garbage"

Last edited by TheCanadianGuy on 11/25/2011 3:52:16 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Lairfan
Tuesday, November 29, 2011 @ 8:49:12 PM

Once again, that's sh*tty of you to say World. I know you don't like Potter, and I know if I didn't like Potter I would be kind of annoyed by all its publicity too, but there's no call to tell people to thumb their eyes out because of that.

If we were having this conversation face to face, I'd ask what the hell is wrong with you. Just saying.

Last edited by Lairfan on 11/29/2011 8:51:34 PM

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___________
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 2:03:30 AM
Reply

so tempted to get this, but i still got a sh*t load of games to get through.
just finished saints row 3 last night, cant believe how short it is!
9 hours and the campaign is finished!
WTF!?
how can a open world game have a 9 hour storyline?
and mind you that was doing over half of the side missions as well, some of the assassination missions, upgrading my cars and weapons, on medium difficulty.
take all those out, probably could of finished it in 6!
dunno what the ^%$# has happened to volition latley, but ever since red faction guerrilla came out they have fallen down the sh*tter!
RFA was a buggy mess, and this just feels so short, rushed and cheap!
whole game screams i was made for 10p!
so disappointed, i was hoping this would hold me off till GTAV.
oh well, to just cause 2 i have to look once again.
thank god for the modding community!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 6:14:44 AM

Don't rush it - enjoy it! My coop buddy and I have already clocked in 10h+ in SR3, and we've hardly started the main missions at all yet. So we are geeks when it comes to these kind of games, we can spend entire evenings just to create various outfits and roll over laughing while doing so, but still:

Games are to be enjoyed mister, it's not something to get over with as fast as possible! Get a friend with a ps3 to get the game too and start a new game. Chill, enjoy the city, and do stuff as you please. Then you'll see it will last, way waaay longer. More bang for the bucks right?

Last edited by Beamboom on 11/22/2011 6:20:09 AM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 8:17:03 AM

though all the side missions are really boring.
like all of the assassination missions, they require you go somewhere and wait a ungodly amount of time for something to show up.
like the one where you have to find a fat hoe to grab, or the other one where you have to find a specific muscle car.
i gotta say SR2 was FAR better!
the missions were allot more fun, the side missions were allot more fun, and it felt much better balanced and polished.
this game feels like it was rushed so badly, and made for 2p!
it just feels so cheap, there are so many bugs, the game is constantly loading and re placing you in another area because you bugged out of the world, the sound on big explosions lags really badly.
you shoot a gas tank, straight away you hear the gun shot, the tank explodes................... BANG!
a little late.
its really spoiled the game, it just feels like it was made by a bunch of chinese kids who have never made a game in their entire life!
feels like one of those cheap iphone knock offs!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

TheCanadianGuy
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 4:23:03 PM

wow i can't believe it. i actually agree with this guy for once. i've been let down by SR3 so far to. on top of all he said the gunfights are absolutely horribly shoot a dude 10 times and hes still standing... that is if any bullets hit him at all half my shots seem to go right though him. and a million other problems. thank god i just rented it. saints 2 much better.

Last edited by TheCanadianGuy on 11/22/2011 4:25:28 PM

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Beamboom
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 5:10:33 AM
Reply

I love these Lego games. They are so... Cosy. Feelgood de luxe. I'll probably pick it up from the bargain bin someday.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

PAKINIPS
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 8:03:32 AM
Reply

The demo made me happy

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

CrusaderForever
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 10:29:28 AM
Reply

LEGO = Happiness, really it does. Had the most fun with Indiana Jones 2. I will pick this up in the bargain bin along with 1-4. I am a Harry Potter fan so that just sweetens the deal for me. Not to mention my son will be able to play these soon! :)

Last edited by CrusaderForever on 11/22/2011 10:29:41 AM

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Condemnedsoul23
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 @ 1:05:00 PM
Reply

Bought this for my girlfriend who did 100% on years 1-4 and she absolutely loves this. For the price you can't go wrong. To get 100% in the first one she played for close to 40 hours. This keeps her busy and happy and is easily $50 well spent.

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