Not much magic in here.
I suppose it is just the way it goes sometimes in that the first Lego title on the Vita is the one I play last. Now we will of course ultimately end up with every review on The Vita Lounge, but sometimes it may take time. But one quirk is that it draws attention to errors that you may have made yourself. After playing this, I now think perhaps I was a tad harsh on Lego Lord of the Rings. Not too harsh mind, it’s still over too quickly and could – and should – have been better. But in comparison to this it’s somewhat of a masterpiece. Almost.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is your typical Lego game but it only very basically follows the plot of the films upon which it is based (and therefore even less with the books) with a few standout scenes present, but the amount that has been cut compared to the console version renders this an almost pointless game. The four films have been condensed to four chapters each, and each of these chapters cut further to between one and three scenarios as you aim to take young Harry from The Order of the Phoenix to the final Battle at Hogwarts. But what you will find straight away is that it is very incohesive and seems to only reference the source material. If you have played the console versions then you will see why. Half the game is seemingly missing.
When I say missing, I mean that many of the film’s events are actually portrayed in typical Lego humour through a level or a cut scene in the console version but this portable version which is identical (as was the subesquent Batman and LOTR) to the DS and 3DS versions has many of these cutscenes and levels absent. The ones that are there are heavily cut back versions of the other ones.
What you are left with is a heavily disjointed sequence of events which fans may feel a little cheated by. The non-Lego style scenery though does do a pretty good representation of the atmosphere though and the main characters in their blocky forms are easily recognisable. It is also easy to indentify with the sections that are in the game from their counterpart scenes.
The game itself uses puzzle based platforming with differing character choices, each with different skill sets or moves to aid you. Many of the main characters have a unique skill, Harry having his invisibility cloak and can speak parsel-mouth, Hermione can use her endless bag and can use book cupboards, Ron later obtains the deluminator. Hagrid can use his strength and goblins can open safes, whilst Dark wizards can use their skills in the dark arts to open secret passages. Not only will this be useful for completing the level on your run through, you will need to use freeplay mode on a second play if you want to collect all of the collectables in the game is is the staple with Lego games, characters, red bricks and minikits if you want to get to 100% completion.
Which is ultimately one of only two reasons why you would be playing this, for the easy platinum that the game offers (took me around 12 hours from start to finish) or because you are a big Harry Potter fan. If it’s the latter then you may find something enjoyable here, but even my five year old son completed the game with very little trouble, so it isn’t especially challenging. The game does try to extend the lifespan somewhat by offering a duels mode, in which eight different classes of wizard groups must be defeated one-on-one, ranging from the Dumbledore’s Army to Deatheaters, from normal Hogwarts students to Hogwarts Staff and a few more. You cast a jinx at your opponent or deflect one back until they (or you) are knocked out from it. It’s fun enough at first, but really could have been something more, had it been online and had a vast array of spells available. Now that would be worth playing.
But as it it, it just serves as filler to a very disappointing title. By all means get it if you like Harry Potter and/or want some easy trophies. But for me the only good thing was that it makes Lego LOTR look better.
- Some humerous nods to the franchise
- Duel Mode is fun at first
- Poor cutscene quality
- Very cutdown port
- Not really much of a challenge
GAME NAME: Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7
DEVELOPER(S): Traveller’s Tales
PUBLISHER(S): Warner Bros. Games
PLATFORM(S): PlayStation Vita
GENRE(S): Platform, Puzzle
RELEASE DATE(S): 22nd February 2012