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Any fan of the Harry Potter world will enjoy this game. The scenery and music is taken straight from the film, and you can see that they've spent a lot of time planning this game to give it a single, straighline story, moulded together with funny (voiceless) cutscenes which hint at the main story. If you haven't seen the films/read the books, it might be a bit confusing, but I would espect anyone buying this game to have some idea of the storyline anyway.
The main gameplay is pretty simple - you are Haryy, or Ron or Hermione (mainly) and you have to complete levels, collecting coin studs, solving challeneges, and casting spells. As well as the individual 'levels' there are 'hubs' where you can wander around in freeplay mode. Out here you will find red owl post boxes (which unlock extras) and you can also buy other charaters with different skills/spellsets (for example, buying Dudley Dursley and selecting him allows you to interact with objects that require special strength - which none of the base characters have). Once you have characters unlocked, you can then enter a 'level' using those characters to open/use objects that you couldn't use before. this allows you collect previously uncollectable mimi-kit peices (which, when all collected, combine to give you a transport item.
The really good thing about all lego games is the ability for a second player to join in/drop out at any point. Some challenges/puzzles need more than one characters involvement, hence it can be extremely useful for you to have a second in command.
It is a serious game, given the lego 'treatment' - and you will want to complete this game to 100%.
My whole family loved the first Harry Potter Lego Wii game, so we decided to buy the next game which was Harry Potter Years 5 -7. It follows on from the previous years of Harry Potter and goes to the final episodes of Harry Potters life at Hogwarts. I purchased it for about £25 at GAME , and I think it is about this price still, but it probably has decreased in price as I bought this when it first came out.
The game is rated for seven plus, and this is about right for the game, as it requires you to think about how to overcome certain obstacles that may be too challenging for younger audiences. The game states that there is supposed fear and violence included within the game, but I didn't see what would be scary about this as most of it was just Lego people re-enacting the Harry Potter scenes. You can play with up to two people as long as you have a Wii remote and nunchucks.
The controls are really simple on this game, as all you do is move around characters and make them do certain movements. You use the joystick on the nunchucks to make the characters walking around and then certain buttons on the Wii remote to make them cast spells or pick up objects. Even my younger sister picked these up and she found them to be some of the simplest controls that she has ever had to used within a Wii game.
The graphics in this Harry Potter Years 5-7 game are really well developed and detailed. All the items throughout the various scenes and worlds that Harry travels through are depicted through Lego blocks, and look pretty realistic. Even when the characters enemies are killed, similar to the first game, they break into little tiny pieces of Lego! The colours used throughout really highlight the different scenes within the game, with colourful outdoor scenes to the dark and scary seeming forests and castles.
The main point of the game is basically to run through the game as it follows the different parts of Harry Potters life. Throughout you will visit the different places such as Diagon Alley, Ministry of Magic and Godrics Hollow - where you will be faced by many challenging enemies and obstacles - that are really challenging yet fun to overcome. The gameplay is never too easy but never too hard, making the game all the more fun to play.
The amount of collectibles that are able throughout the game is really high. It kept me wanting to play throughout the entire game, as all I wanted to do was collect all of them and finally get a 100% on the game. There is the Lego studs, which you must get enough of throughout all the levels to gain True Wizard status, Hogwarts House crests to gain the Golden Lego Bricks, Character Tokens unlocking new characters to play as, Red Bricks to purchase Extras and Students In Peril throughout the game who will reward you with a free Golden Lego Brick if you save them. I have been playing this game ever since it came out, and I still have not been able to collect all the Golden Lego Bricks! These factors make gameplay extend well after you have completed the plot.
Playing this game alone is fun, but it is even more fun if you play with a friend or family member. It's so much easier as you never have to continuously switch between characters and much more fun to work together to complete the challenges.
Overall, this is a great game I would recommend to anyone who loves Harry Potter and Lego as it combines the two to make for a fun experience. With great graphics and interesting gameplay that challenges you, it can be fun for anyone to enjoy. The added bonus of the collectibles makes this a game you'll want to keep going back to complete!
Harry Potter: Years 5-7 follows the story of the final four Harry Potter films. My children are huge fans of both Harry Potter and the Lego videogame series and asked for this addition to their collection after completing Harry Potter: Years 1-4. The game lets you take control of a range of characters from the Harry Potter franchise as you progress through different levels solving logic puzzles, learning spells and finding collectibles. People who have long grown out of traditional Lego can enjoy the nostalgia that these games provide.
The game is played with a Wii remote and Nunchuk. To start the game, insert the disc and follow the prompts on-screen. From the title screen, you can either start a new game or load a previous game. You can have up to four games saved at a time.
The game consists of four stories in total, each one following the sequence of events as shown in the films. Films 1 to 4 (Philosopher's Stone to Goblet of Fire) were covered in Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, so this sequel covers Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts in Order of the Phoenix all the way through to the climatic duel with Voldemort in Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Each story is split into six levels which are played in chronological order and represent important parts of the plot.
Like all Lego videogames, Lego Harry Potter has a home world where the game starts - Diagon Alley. Here you can access shops where you can buy extras once you have unlocked them. You may also replay levels here after completing them in Story mode. However, the way the levels are played is different to other Lego games in that the plot is very linear; the game is entirely chronological and the levels must be completed as they appear in the films (i.e. you cannot play any levels in Half-Blood Prince before you have completed Order of the Phoenix). Some players may find this more restricting as it does not allow them to save their favourite film until the end (something my children did with the Star Wars Lego game) but others may actually prefer this as it treats Harry Potter as one big story rather than separate episodes as shown in Star Wars or Batman.
There are many more 'home' areas other than Diagon Alley such as Hogwarts, the Forest of Dean and Platform 9¾, but Diagon Alley is the main home world and can be accessed from the game's pause menu.
Each level is first played through in Story mode, which follows the plot of the film with the characters involved. For example, one level features Harry, Griphook, Ron and Hermione (in her Bellatrix disguise!) breaking into Gringotts Bank at the beginning of Deathly Hallows: Part 2. After Story mode is completed, you may play the level again in Free Play mode, which allows you to run through levels with any character you have unlocked. This is essential for finding all the collectibles hidden throughout each level, as many characters have their own special abilities. In addition to levels, there are many more important events that occur whilst navigating Hogwarts such as learning to fly thestrals, brew potions or cast spells which makes the game last much longer than other Lego games as it does not require a new level to be started immediately after completing one.
Every level shows a cut scene at the start and end as well as a few in the middle to indicate important parts of the plot. Many of these cut scenes incorporate humour where the plot may have been particularly dark in the films. For example, instead of a headstone Dobby has a sandcastle with a Lego sock on top of it to mark his grave. Although the cut scenes are there to let you know what is happening, they may be difficult to follow if the player is unfamiliar with the complex plot of Harry Potter as the characters communicate only with sounds and gestures.
One major difference of this game when compared with other Lego games is that characters are no longer unlocked by completing a level. Instead you must find what is called a 'character token' before you can use them to navigate Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, or any level in Free play mode. These tokens are scattered throughout the game and may be found in or outside of levels. When a token is found, the character becomes available for purchase in Madam Malkin's robe shop in Diagon Alley. This is a much more exciting feature than what is present in previous Lego games (where you can only buy characters or unlock them after completing a level) as it brings a greater sense of mystery into gameplay by letting you explore more thoroughly to find your favourites. There are over 200 characters to find ranging from the well-known Dumbledore and Voldemort to the much more obscure Gregorovitch and Scabior.
All characters can cast a range of different spells. Many characters have special abilities as a bonus, such as Ron's Deluminator which can light up lamps and Neville's pet toad, Trevor, who can hop through pipes. These spells and abilities must be used in order to find every collectible and means that even very obscure characters can get a look in. A good thing about this game is that the abilities are much more individualised than in Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, for example the Death Eaters now have differing abilities and traits rather than being seen as a group. This gives every character the personality that they have in the books and films (Professor Slughorn can even turn into a chair!)
Other than character tokens, the game contains many more collectibles including Hogwarts crests, students in peril, red bricks and gold bricks which can be put towards extras in Diagon Alley.
What's good about it?
The graphics are not the Wii's selling point and are not outstanding in this game, but give a real cartoon-like feel to the characters which fits in well with the Lego theme. The game follows the plot of the films very closely complete with the characters' personal touches (Ron is often seen to be eating a lot) and even includes some running jokes that are unique to the Lego game. There is much variety in level content, including the showdown at the Ministry of Magic, a difficult duel with Snape following Dumbledore's death and the hunt for the lost diadem in the Room of Requirement. The game is rated 7+ for moderate violence and briefly scary scenes, but is actually very cheerful and uses humour to lighten the more negative mood set by some scenes.
The music is recognisable as the original soundtrack from the films, which adds to the atmosphere and heightens the playing experience.
The game can be played alone or with two players, so people can work together to solve the different puzzles and problems. The wide range of characters is a real plus for this as it allows both players to pick the people they like best.
The best thing about Lego Harry Potter is that the game allows for much more exploration than others in the Lego series. There is less of a divide between the home world and levels which means that many more locations are accessible, making Hogwarts feel larger and more exciting than ever. My kids find it fun to explore the grounds and identify areas they recognise from the films such as the Room of Requirement, the Astronomy Tower and the village of Hogsmeade, and much prefer this to simply completing level after level. The huge range of characters and the fact that they have to be found before they can be used is also a feature they have enjoyed in this game.
What's not so good?
There are a few minor glitches in this game and although they do not detract from gameplay experience, they can be a little annoying. For example, some characters may freeze when using a certain ability which results in you having to exit the area to undo the glitch. However, the game is generally smooth to play. The game saves progress automatically when certain tasks are carried out so it is rare to lose a lot of data if the Wii ever needs to be reset.
The character creator that is present in all Lego games is not quite as sophisticated in this game and does not offer as many features as in Batman, for instance.
Something that this game shares with others such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones is that because the story is based largely on a film series, a player who hasn't seen any of these films may struggle to understand the plot. For somebody with no knowledge of Harry Potter, it will be quite difficult to follow.
Yes. The game is a fun and cheerful contribution to the Harry Potter franchise and will be much loved by anyone who is captivated by the characters, creatures and spells. The controls are easy to grasp as they are the same as other games in the Lego series and similar to other adventure games. Anybody with experience of even very basic gaming will have no trouble getting used to this. The game is very visual and most of the verbal prompts are kept simple, so reading difficulties will not hinder gameplay experience.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is currently available from Amazon new for £17.98 or used for £14.38, which seems quite reasonable for such a new game.