2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fun with Harry (and Bellatrix!),
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
This Lego game is a worthy successor to the previous Lego Harry Potter, and offers hours and hours of entertaining (almost exhaustive) gameplay.
As before, the game is beautifully designed, and someone put a lot of thought into the little humorous touches that will keep little ones entertained even without being too scarred by the often extremely dark final chapters. For instance, when certain beloved characters die, the scenes are always really both funny and poignant (For instance, with one much-loved character memorably disappearing without his legs, then reappearing with an embarrassed grin to get help popping his legs back on... THEN he dies AGAIN only with a wink... you had to be there...)
The real genius as always in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is the replay value, especially when you are able to add Dark characters (and "Key" characters) to your arsenal of characters, so that you can then go back and access entirely new areas or prizes. The earliest Dark character I added was Bellatrix (who becomes accessible in Year 7 down near Hagrid's Hut, or by default very very late in Book 7). Each main character offers a unique talent combination -- Ron has the special De-Illuminator, Hermione has her endless Bag, Luna has the Spectre-specs (which are accessible to all eventually), Harry has his Cape, and Arthur Weasley, meanwhile, can fix any magical ordinary object emitting blue sparks with his blue wrench, which is really funny and true to character.
And let me tell you, replaying several scenes with the hilarious and permanently sneering (or shivering) Bellatrix is so funny and worthwhile. She's always startling at something that isn't there (hellooo, she's crazy!), yowling, smirking, or grinning, and it's really funny.
Replaying with certain characters means you also get all these weird but awesome undreamed-scenarios! You haven't lived until you've experienced the surreal buddy trip of Arthur Weasley with Bellatrix for instance (or watched Bellatrix mow a lawn for extra points, scowling all the while). She's just so darned funny and smartly designed from a character standpoint that she totally made the game for me. But ALL the character designs are adorable, from Harry dropping his glasses and mooning over Ginny, to Hermione flirting with Ron and Neville cutely carrying around his beloved plant while blowing kisses to Luna (always my favorite).
My criticisms of the game are few. Keep in mind that the Steam download can be SLOOOOOOOW, which is frustrating, and manipulating two characters constantly gets kind of old -- I would have given my eyeteeth for an 'autofollow' because, in many many scenarios, your 'main' character cannot leave a scene because the other 'following' character is stuck miles back in some hallway or stairway.
Character controls are okay for the most part, although they do get tricky in a few fights in which you have to run two characters at once. I never quite got used to this and was never very good at it -- button-mashing for two characters at once -- but it doesn't happen that often so I was able to get past it.
A few words of advice -- SAVE SAVE SAVE your money. Don't buy silly spells at first -- they don't do anything and can actually get really annoying because they add several seconds to your spells if you aren't paying attention (I bought the Slug-spell by accident early on and it was a pain for the entire game, because I had to click through it to get to my default spells, and so many times instead, I'd sluggify someone, then have to wait for them to stop puking slugs. Aghgh!)
DO make sure you grab all the red bricks you can. And, whenever you can, go back and purchase those red bricks from the upper room at the Leaky Cauldron so that you can start multiplying your dollars ASAP! You'll need millions for Bellatrix, but this is easy to do if you just keep buying those red bricks whenever possible. (Contrary to rumor, Narcissa is NOT a Dark character.) Meanwhile, the first "Key" character you'll find is Mrs. Cole, and you can find her in the back of the Cafe in London (you will need a Dark Character to access that area).
Make sure you not only buy your red brick extras, but that you also 'enable' them ASAP by pausing, then clicking on 'Extras' and then turning Red Brick features on or off, going down the list. Don't forget to check out Knockturn Alley, and always listen when you enter a new area -- many times, you'll either hear a 'fairy-like' bell sound (that means a gold brick is nearby), or you'll hear a student struggling (each student you rescue will result in another gold brick).
Don't panic if you can't open or find everything at first. By the middle of the game, however, you'll be more comfortable and will have fast and easy ways to jump back and forth from the Leaky Cauldron to London, to the Wilderness (Tent) to Hogwarts, to the back paths, forest, and Hogsmeade.
Have fun! And have a glass of butterbeer on me...