Most helpful critical review
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great game, wrong platform
on December 6, 2012
EDIT: After doing some research, I've found that it's possible to hook up an Xbox 360 controller to your pc for smoother game play. Unfortunately, I don't have one but if you do, your pc Lego game should play spectacularly. I've also read from many reviewers that the graphics on the pc are much more crisp than on the Xbox or Playstation versions (it also costs much less).
---- Original Review ----
The first Lego video game I played was Pirates of the Caribbean on the Xbox 360. And I loved it. The humor was fantastic, the game always kept me interested, the graphics were magnificent, and you get to play dozens of different characters, most of whom have their own unique abilities to help you get through the level. And, as with all Lego video games, it's primarily a puzzle/adventure game with a relatively open world to explore which are features I like.
Since I loved the Lego Pirates game so much, I decided to buy the Lego Harry Potter games. (I have Years 1-4 for the Wii and Years 5-7 for the PC). Now for the PC review:
Why just three stars? While the general silliness and stunning graphics are very much present in Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 for PC, the game play itself was clunky at best. I'm not referring to the quality of the puzzles or the story (both of which are excellent); I'm talking about controlling your characters. I don't get motion sick, but I did find myself getting dizzy from the choppy way the characters move on screen. Their movements - partly to blame from my poor handling of the controls, I admit - are not as smooth as they could be because the player is restricted to using keyboard controls only. Even if you go into control settings to change the commands, you'll never have the option to transfer controls to your mouse. It would've been immensely better if Warner Bros. had given us the option to use our mouse to control point of view and to cast spells. But alas, we can't.
Not only are the movements awkward, but certain tasks like spell casting become difficult with just keyboard commands. If I want to blast apart a nearby shrub, I have to hold my H key and then tap, tap, tap my left or right keys to target what I need. It's tedious at best. Much of the time I end up accidentally shooting spells at innocent NPCs like students and ministry wizards. It doesn't hurt them, but it's frustrating to see how often you miss.
Point of view is also distorted without a way to independently control it. Sometimes it's difficult to tell which way your character will move. While it seems obvious, I found myself accidentally running into a lot of walls and immovable objects because I couldn't really tell I was going to run into them. That's just because of how the scene is presented on the screen.
One last thing: the loading screens last a surprisingly long time. I'd even have enough time to pick up a book and read a few pages before the game started up again. This may be due to my computer, but I thought I'd include it as fair warning. If this happens, try not to get frustrated. There are many 3D elements that need to load. I promise, your game will resume eventually.
If you're planning to get the Lego games, don't feel disheartened by my review. The game is wonderful and well worth the time and money so long as the controls are smooth. I'm sure with enough practice, the movements on the PC will become decently tolerable. However, in my personal opinion, if you have multiple platforms on which to play these games, I'd definitely go for the Xbox version. The game is simply designed for those controls. Even the Wii controls are awkward at times. But the PC is by far the worst.
ABOUT ME: I'm a 23-year old female and I'm a causal gamer. My preferences are games with vibrant, sometimes cartoon-y aesthetics, puzzle/adventure/RPG/strategy elements, and games that are fast to learn.
OTHER GAMES I'D RECOMMEND for PC: The Sims 3, Worms Ultimate Mayhem, Pirate101 (online MMORPG), Puzzle Pirates (online MMORPG), Spore, the Chocolatier series, and Emerald City Confidential.