Saturday, December 03, 2011

A Blocky Harry Potter

As you probably have realized, I am guilty of not posting my weekend update for last week. You won’t be seeing one for this week, either. Instead I will give you a few posts about what I am playing.

Last weekend it was “LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7”. I have enjoyed all games of the LEGO adventures series I have played so far (which means all safe for LEGO Star Wars: Clone Wars). Some I have enjoyed more and some I have enjoyed less, however. The Harry Potter games I definitely have enjoyed more.

All LEGO adventure games have nice and very funny cutscenes, slapstick versions of what you see in the movies, normally. What goes for the others, goes for LEGO Harry Potter, too. As the game follows the movies rather than the novels, the second one has just as many levels as the first – since book 7 was split up into two movies.

The new game is just as great as the first one was. Between levels, you can explore Hogwarts or shop in Diagon Alley. There’s also the story and the free mode for each level – once you have finished the level in story mode, with the characters that you should control during the level, you can return to it in free mode. To find all secrets and enter all places in a level, you will need free mode, as you will need to take different characters with different abilities with you. This way, you earn golden stones for a special object, find new character coins (that allow you to buy the characters and use them in free mode) and earn more studs, the currency in all LEGO games that allows you to buy stuff in the first place.

Hogwarts alone is a place you can explore for hours, it’s full of secret places and objects to manipulate (and Weasley Wizarding Wheezes boxes – warning: only open with a Weasley character!). Add the levels you can replay various times, in order to find new stuff and earn more studs, and you will be occupied for a long time. After I had finished the complete story mode, I still had only solved 30.3% of the whole game!

The levels themselves are interesting, too. There’s new spells to learn for Harry and his friends, new abilities to discover in some characters and a lot of nice cutscenes. The story mode follows the story of the movies, including some memory scenes (such as Snape’s worst memory) and a very nice fairy tale part (the tale of the Deathly Hallows).

After the last new LEGO release (Pirates of the Caribbean), I had worried a bit about the series, as it seemed to have burned down to ‘same old’. This game, however, shows that there is still room for ‘more new’ instead. And will occupy my time for quite a while, between other games.

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