Lego Harry Potter : Years 5 – 7
There is something quite comforting about Lego. It seems to be a brand that is recognised as a safe pair of hands for any franchise. The philosophy of precision on the production lines of the spikey little plastic blocks always seems to make its way into every other product they turn their hands to. The Lego game series is no exception. Many many hours have been spent in our house playing all manner of movie spin off lego adaptions.
The recent edition to this long standing and popular franchise is Harry Potter’s final three books (or four films if you are more cinema goer than book reader). This is of course the finality of one of the worlds most popular kids books and movie going expereinces, which culminates in an all out battle with Lord Voldemort.
If you are like me you have probably been too busy to experience the tales of the boy wizard, only occasionally glancing references that pop into popular culture (why the heck are kids playing quidditch?)
So armed with as little knowledge as one could muster to a game, i took on the Potter Lego challenge, on the PS Vita none the less. After a reasonably quick download period (this is no small game) we were away and laughing. The PS Vita’s screen certainly does not cause any problems trying to make out detail in the game, so that was a major plus. Infact apart from the small size of the screen there seemed to be no major discerable difference to playing a similar Lego game on a major console.
The game offers a HUGE range of locations including places from Privet Drive to Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, Hogwarts and some new locatons like Grimmauld Place, the Ministry of Magic and Godric’s Hollow. They are not huge locations, but they do offer a very good feel in terms of being easily identifiable, even for a muggle such as myself.
In the same frame of previous Lego games we have about 65 Bazillion Lego studs to collect, for points. The only really annoying aspect was that one of the primary tasks to collect studs was by cleaning up Books all over the show, then systematically decimating these books. It was almost like Hogwarts librarian hated books.
There are also Wizard hats to collect for rewards and Character tokens to obtain, which will help build the playable characters list for free play mode.
The general play is Harry running around with assorted helpers, working his way thru the general storyline. Armed with an increasing number of learnt spells he is faced with increasingly difficult challenges of building, destroying or puzzle solutions. This is classic Lego gaming fare with a heavy Potter theme. Its good… It works.. And like the rest of the franchise it works.
Now while the PS Vita is small in stature it is in no way a light weight in the franchise. I enjoyed playing Lego Potter on this device as i have other versions on the big console. There are a few moments of pause while the next scene loads, but its not the end of the world. The cut scenes make this game for sure, funny witty and with typical Lego humour. I suspect the game developers opted to save on size by reducing the foot print of these cut scene videos, as they were on the slightly soft side. This did not detract from the experience though.
In terms of PS Vita and Lego Potter, i real felt the developers have struck a good balance between game play, entertainment and functionality on a portable gaming device. If your a Potter fan and a PS Vita owner this is one for your library.