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Harry Potter works magic in 3D!
on 19 December 2011
First off I always wonder whether buying a 3DS/DS version of a console game is a good idea or not.. Lego Harry Potter 5-7 doesn't offer anything as in depth as the consoles will.
With several characters cut, a major chunk of scenes/levels clipped out and reworked; the game doesn't appear to be worth the addition purchase if you have it on console.. But! If you either do not own this on console, or are looking to play around with a few more levels (on a handheld for long journeys), this game will definitely be worth getting!
Levels, Story & Game-play:
I won't give any spoilers away here, as I don't think it fair in a review, but the general basis of the game focuses around 4 chapters with 2-4 scenes within each (varies). The cut scenes are somewhat blurred in places; even to the extent that the 3D ceases to exist.. But all seem to strongly follow the story/direction of the films as opposed to the books. So generally if you don't have a clear understanding of the Harry Potter story line from the books, you'll find it familiar from the films! If however you have yet to read HP or watch the films you'll be sadly disappointed with the storytelling here. I found myself struggling to remember which section of story I was up to at times; with several levels and story having been cut during the transfer to 3DS.
Game-play wise, although as mentioned before is shorter than say 'Ocarina of Time', it's certainly not lacking a hefty amount of fun! If you're familiar with the LEGO series, the game as always contains GOLD (sorting hats) and RED bricks (cheats/fun objects) to unlock as well as around 5 characters per level (with additional characters unlocked automatically as you progress). Although I have mentioned mainly negatives regarding story/length, I found the fun and humor is enough to keep your kids happy for long enough! Also providing a lot of healthy competition in racing each other for 100% and say a certain extra!
For adults/experienced gamers however, you may find the game a bit too short and lacking in content, so I'd strongly advise caution with this title, as it's more aimed at the casual/young gamer: unless you're already very familiar with Harry Potter and the Lego games, and want something fun and relaxing! Quick note as well, there are also 'duels' added to this game which can actually be quite demanding in places, as well as some tricky platforming, so an edge of tactic and wit is needed, although not to that in comparison to a 'gamers' game.
3D, does it blend?
The 3D on the cut scenes can marginally vanish mysteriously and also be a tad weak.. But, there are some truly outstanding pieces of 3D effects throughout, and instead of just providing depth of image (which I found other 3DS games stuck too) you'll be witnessing a fully pop-out the screen LEGO logo, several spells/effects and objects carting towards your eyes as well as several character close ups that make you want to try and grab the image with your finger tips!
I've decided due to being a big Harry Potter fan, as well as loving the game I played and what my kids have said and are currently playing on (they've managed to make it the highest rated game in the 'Activity Log' for average playtime) the game is definitely worth getting for 17.99.. I feel the price set at launch of 29.99 as with most other LEGO releases is far too steep so I'd recommend keeping the price low for reasons stated above. The game does contain some glitches, none of which I found to be 'game-breaking'; most of those I found were related to having red brick rewards enabled causing some random wand misfires, and even a black screen on occasion.. Although this undoubtedly harms it's rating, I didn't find any glitches without trying to without any fun extras turned on! So the story isn't effected as much as your 'free-play' is.
Fun game, nice portable graphics and entertains like it should! It's another LEGO game for us Harry Potter fans! I hope this review was helpful in some way, although It is lengthy!
I hope those who choose to follow my advice will not disappointed and that you can really enjoy this title!
+ Graphics and 3D effects are a great bonus, works brilliantly (3D) turned off as well!
+ Comical humor mixed with Harry Potter magic!
+ Bonus levels not seen on console versions, keeping it fresh!
- Contains glitches
- Somewhat short, and lacking the hefty content of the console versions