Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (2011) [Xbox 360]

If you’ve read my review of Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (2010) you’ll already know that I am a big lover of the Harry Potter films and more recently the Lego Harry Potter games. Much like the previous instalment, the game sticks rather closely to the films as opposed to the books and is accurate right down to the placement of characters in scenes. The films were once again split into six individual levels but this time included more cutscenes, thus covering more storytelling in the process. In true Lego video game fashion, the game reinforced the uniqueness of the franchise by creating clever and quirky representations of the films’ key moments. As per, the ways of telling a story without words was perfectly executed. However, this time around the makers had a much darker and tougher challenge on their LEGO-Harry-Potter-Years-5-7-Screenshot-3hands. By this of course I mean the deaths of many beloved characters. Had they missed these out I think the internet may have gone into meltdown. Not only did they include them, but the game even manages to make the saddest moments comedic. So rather than crying tears of sorrow you might just find yourself crying with laughter.

Travellers Tales, despite being bought out by Warner Bros., has had a place in our hearts since the early nineties and had yet another task to undertake; making this game original. And to be honest, their attempts were pretty unsuccessful. They introduced new fun spells to cast, such as Aguamenti, which is primarily used to water plants to gain coins but I found that it was much better used when I was spitefully knocking over my co-operative partner. They also re-introduced duelling, which was pretty cool at first but became rather repetitive and over-used in this game, sometimes less is more. Also introduced were Weasley boxes that supplied players with a few cool gadgets, 200+ new playable characters and my personal favourite; the introduction of Dolores Umbridge. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Why is that a good thing?” and I’ll tell you why, because you can zap her as many times as you like whilst she haunts the grounds of Hogwarts; and this is an incredibly satisfying feeling. Shame we can’t hurt her for real, huh? The game perfectly executes her mannerisms to such an extent that even without her whiney and patronising voice you still want to kick her in the face.

Apart from these features, the game pretty much followed in its predecessor’s footsteps. The format remains the same, like it has since the first Lego Star Wars game graced our consoles.maxresdefault (1) But perhaps the game didn’t need to be original to be enjoyable. Yeah, it was pretty much the same as the previous game but that didn’t make it any less entertaining. This time around it made up for it’s unoriginality with creating much more extensive free-roaming areas; Hogwarts itself was not only larger but cleverly changed in appearance as the war of witches and wizards became more intense. The game also allowed the player to roam free in the trio’s campsite, Kings Cross (again) and a small area in London. This combined with never-ending collectibles, this game encourages two, three or maybe even four play-throughs. Not to mention that it is compulsory to complete each level at least twice for those looking to achieve 100% completion.

The multiplayer glitches that were present in the previous game seemed to have been fixed this time around but the multiplayer experience was far from perfect. There were a few points throughout the story where the 2nd player was unable to interact with any objects, creating a very boring experience for the player. Despite this, the game still shone during multiplayer. It still caters for fans of all ages and opens up possibilities for all the family. Like as said in my previous review, players of all levels of skill can play together, with the multiplayer allowing players to drop in and drop out when they please without distrupting gameplay; another priceless commodity that the Lego games have presented us with.

As previously said, the game kept it’s quirky and bubbly aroma through innovative cutscenes and presenting the player with several puzzles and challenges along the way. With character skills such as parsletongue becoming slightly more difficult to overcome, the game succeeds in keeping the challenges fresh and interesting.

Despite hosting a very repetitive format, I found myself enjoying this game just as much as the first if not more, but perhaps that’s because all of my favourite films were featured in this instalment. Once again the game provides fun for all the family, inviting experienced gamers and those new to consoles entirely to enjoy yet another funny, exciting adventure in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.

Rating: 3.9/5 

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