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LEGO Harry Potter

ESRB: Everyone - E
Platform: PS3
Category: Adventure
 
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Author: Alyssa H

Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment

Although Harry Potter games have accompanied their movie counterparts since the world wide phenomenon had its start in 2001, it is only now that we are able to experience the story through the fun blocky world of LEGO. As a fan of the source material, I was excited to build, blast and enchant my way through the newest LEGO addition.

As one can deduce from the title, the game follows through the major plot points of the first four movies. Using the typical wit and humour synonymous with LEGO games, Harry’s life prior to discovering he is a wizard is shown through a fun, and of course non-verbal, 3 minute cinematic. Simple controls using your versatile wand enable you to manipulate almost every aspect of your surrounding environment, building and blasting apart almost anything you come in contact with. Twinkling lights surround items of interest that need to be enchanted in order to complete puzzles, and coins are collected in the thousands in each level just for fun. Small glitches with inconsistent targeting and interaction makes completing a task challenging, sometimes taking several tries, but overall the enjoyment of the gameplay is not severely affected.

In Lego Harry Potter, the main focus is the accumulation of currency; this comes with performing various tasks and challenges all completed using a wand rather than the typical combat based challenges present in the previous Lego games. Each level is full with hidden nooks and crannies where extra tasks can be completed for in game bonuses. There are many areas that cannot be entered until they are unlocked later on in the game, giving it many hours of replay value. At the end of each level you can travel to Diagon Alley where you can purchase perks and enhancements for your characters with the currency earned throughout the game. Playing at a normal pace, about 50% of the game’s achievements are unlocked.

In common with other Lego titles, online play is once again not featured in Harry Potter. You are accompanied by at least one other AI character throughout the game and can switch controls between each character at any point or do two player co-op. Each playable character has a specific skill or feature that is sometimes necessary in order to advance or makes game play easier. For example, Harry is the only good flier on a broomstick making him the best choice for any flight-related challenges, or a member from a particular house may be needed in order to gain access to restricted parts of the castle. Polyjuice Potion is used throughout the game, enabling you to temporarily become another character.

Conclusion

Easily one of the best in both the Lego and Harry Potter franchises, the charm, humour and loyalty to the source material makes Lego Harry Potter a must-have addition for any fan of the series. Peppered with silly cinematics and the use of the original film scores create an immersive gaming experience that draws you into the magical world that has dominated pop culture for over a decade. Whether you are an Order of Merlin First Class wizard or just a young student waiting for the train at Platform 9 3/4 , the trip to Hogwarts is definitely a ride worth taking.











 
 

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