Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (360): COMPLETED!

Well, that was an anticlimax. The end of game sequence was a rather rubbish level with a virtually non-existent fight with Voldemort. At least other fights in the game required you to fling things at the baddie, or do a wand duel or something – in this you just wander round as other characters doing normal Lego things, and then it flicks back to Harry and Hairless and you just hammer A or X. You don’t even have to select the spell.

In fact, it was such a simple final level that I didn’t even realise it was the final level, being certain something more suitably epic was just around the corner. After all, Little Boy Scarface has just spent the entirety of his formative years building up to this point – you’d have thought some massive battle would ensue or something. But no. Hammer A, Win, Credits. Tch!

Not that it matters, of course. I didn’t play for the story (and none of it makes any sense to me anyway) – I played for the Lego and smashing things. Which I got right back on, going back and doing the first few levels in Free Play as well as wander round Hogwarts and Diagon Alley unlocking some more characters and red bricks. Now the real game begins!

The Irregular Lazy Catch Up Post

Yep. Another one of those. You love them really. So, here are things I’ve been playing recently:

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (360)

I’m now, I dunno, half way into the first of the two year 7 films? I have no idea. Things seem to have hit the fan though, as the beardyman has died and the moon has turned into a Lego skull and everything was on fire.

Literally no idea.

Skylanders (360)

My daughter is able to play this really well now, so we play in co-op and she pretty much manages by herself without me needing to control her or anything. She even goes and collects keys and things, and knows to hang back when there’s a load of baddies to dispatch. Awesome. We’ve done a few more levels, and redone some earlier ones again, but I’m not sure how far from the end we are now.

Batman: Arkham City (Wii U)

It’s fantastic. I’m now almost 9 hours in, and have just completed the Demon Trials bit, which is how far I got on the PC version before giving the PC version up because it’s the PC version and who plays PC games? Eh? I’m surprised I’d played it for that long on the PC though. In fact, I probably played it a lot longer, as I recall a lot of aimless wandering, side quests, and Riddler Trophy hunting – none of which I’ve really done in the Wii U version yet.

The Wii U Game Pad makes it a lot easier to manage gadgets and stuff too, and it doesn’t look any worse than the PC version did on my machine, so it’s better overall. Nice.

The Cave (Wii U)

Still on my first runthrough. I don’t know how long the game is, but I’m now doing the third “individual” puzzle section – for the Time Traveller – having already done the Hillbilly and the Twins bits. The Twins one was hilarious. And dark. The controls have clicked now too, which is great. It’s a shame there’s no Game Pad Only mode, though.

Zen Pinball 2 (Wii U)

I still only have the Marvel Infinity Pack of tables (I think that’s what it’s called, anyway – Avengers, Infinity Gauntlet, World War Hulk and Fear Itself), but they’re all great. I’m at the top of my friends list on all the high score tables now, and have broken the top 50 in the world on a couple of them – and 5th in the UK on one!

F-Zero (Wii U)

The SNES game for 30p. I’m not a fan of F-Zero (and never really have been, actually), but at that price, you can’t say no. So I didn’t say no.

It’s as good (or “average”) as I remember it. Quite good fun, but the tracks with the 90 degree “square” corners are too hard, the “cars” are too floaty, and the collision detection, particularly with walls, too ropey, to really enjoy properly. At least it’s in 60Hz. Miiverse would explode if it wasn’t…

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Demo) (Wii U)

It’s Monster Hunter Tri, only in HD. And with more bits. But basically, that. It looks utterly fantastic, plays well, and I really want it, but… the controls! Oh my!

They were terrible on the Wii, but you’dathunk on the Wii U, with more buttons and a touch screen for easy item access, they’re be easier? Right? Wrong. You still have to hold L and press Y and A to cycle through your inventory. Why?! Madness.

Tank! Tank! Tank! (Wii U)

This is now free. At least, being able to play one of the multiplayer game modes up to three times a day is free. Rude not to download it, really.

It plays like EDF 2017, only with big happy cartoon graphics, Japanese photobooth style silly photo avatars, and tanks. It’s fun, but it’s Story Mode I think I’d get most out of, and that’s not free. Sure, it’s only £7.99, but I’ve a lot of other games on at the moment and it’s likely the disc version will be nearer that price (with all the other content included) soon. I’ve seen it for £15 so it’s only a matter of time.

2 Fast 4 Gnomz (Demo) (3DS)

I played another game in this series on the Wii U. It was terrible. This, however, is… good? It’s a simple autorunning platformer, but it was fun. Fun enough to buy when there are a billion similar cheaper-or-free alternatives? Not so sure.

Fractured Soul (Demo) (3DS)

Erm. I’m pretty sure I’ve played an almost identical game to this before. Maybe on the Wii. It’s a “two planes” game, where you swap from one to the other (one on each screen) to progress – as enemies, switches, platforms and lasers only appear on one or the other. It’s a bit like Mighty Switch Force, but not even one tenth as good. I won’t be buying this.

escapeVektor (3DS)

Another few levels into this. Still great.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate: Demo of Game: Sub of Title (3DS)

It’s a 2.5D Castlevania, that looks like the 360 “reboot” graphically, plays a bit like it in terms of combat, but have the classic Metroidvania blue-map-filling thing going on. I hated the 360 game (it just wasn’t Castlevania), but this… this is awesome. It’s now on the list!

Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (360)

Lego games are awesome. All of them. Awesome. AWE. SOME. And Harry Potter is awful. All of it. AW. FUL.

Who will win?

Lego. Obviously. Just like the previous game. I’ve said this all before. In fact, Years 5-7 is very much the same. Sure, you get one new spell (water jet thing), and new levels, but Hogwarts is the same place and the assets are all copied across. It feels more like DLC than a new game. I suppose that’s to be expected.

Not that it matters, as despite my hatred for all things Harry Potter, it’s still fun. Just like every other Lego game. At the moment I’m part way through Film #6. I don’t know what it’s called, or even what I’m supposed to be doing, as I’m just completing the levels and following the ghost round the school. Plot is irrelevant.

Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (360)

100%ed! That means everything done, collected, found, and achieved, with 1000/1000 gamer score and everything. Yay!

Now I have to give it a verdict. I said at the start that I wasn’t a fan of Harry Potter. I’m still not, but somehow I now hate the series less. The game, despite the painful not-knowing-which-house issues, was excellent. And huge. MASSIVELY huge. Aside from the Star Wars Complete Saga “two-games-in-one” title, this is by far the biggest Lego game I’ve played. Finding everything took ages. In fact, finding the last Gold Brick took almost two hours by itself!

In the end, Lego won out over Harry Potter, and I really enjoyed it. And guess what turned up in the post for me today from my wife? Lego Pirates of the Caribbean! Yay!

Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (360): COMPLETED

Completed, but just 48% done.

Well, actually 72% done now, but 48% when I completed it. But that’s normal for Lego games – the bulk is done after you complete the game. And what have I done? I’ve been scouring the levels and hub for a character who can do Dark Magic (turns out someone called Lucius can) and then going everywhere in Hogwarts to open up and access things I couldn’t before I got a dark magic character or the ability to zap metal items.

Did the same in Diagon Alley too (which I realised was “Diagonally” – facepalm.jpg – see also: Knock Turn Alley), and then went and completed all of the remaining bonus levels. I’ve got 145-ish gold bricks (out of 200), 16 red bricks (20) and just ONE house crest (out of 24). I also have about 30 more characters to unlock as well!

Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (360)

I hate Harry Potter.

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again. I’m not a fan at all. It doesn’t appeal, I don’t like how it steals ideas from so many other things then claims them as its own, and I can’t stand J K Rowling’s stupid smug face.

I love Lego games.

I’ve said this before, but it’s worth saying again. They’re simple, sure, but they’re huge, funny and tick all the OCD boxes that make me go a bit gooey and warm. And, just 6 months after release, they’re incredibly cheap.

So there you have it: unstoppable force/immovable object. Fight?

This game is, as the title suggests, based on the first four books of the series. Like Lego games before, each of these is then split into 6 levels, making 24 levels in total. Then, also like other Lego games, there’s a “hub world” of sorts in the form of Hogwarts – which is way bigger than any previous Lego game hub. In addition, there are also some minor story sections (which don’t count to the level total), and quite a few magic lessons too, as well as the usual bonus levels, making the game probably the biggest Lego title of all, bar perhaps the really-two-games Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.

Mind you, the levels in Harry Potter are often massive, and seemingly more so than previous Lego titles, so it feels even longer.

This evening, I completed the first level of Year 4, meaning I have 5 of 24 levels left. Of course, that’s barely half the game – there’s still all the OCD red and gold brick collecting, the saving all the “students in peril”, the finding the school crests, doing the bonus levels (I’ve only done 5, for reasons I’ll mention in a minute) and unlocking everything. Which may take some time.

So far, so Lego. What upsets things somewhat is the Harry Potterness of it all. OK, so I don’t know enough about the Harry Potter universe for it to completely sicken me, but this also causes problems. In Lego Star Wars, at no point did it matter that I’d not seen the first three films, here I can’t complete certain bonus levels or do certain things in the hub simply because I don’t know which colour corresponds to which house, or (worse) which characters are in each house. Or even who anyone is.

I was stuck for an hour on a 3 minute bonus level because I needed to wave my arms in front of a green and white flag for a door to open. I guessed it wanted a character from a particular house, but I didn’t know which was green and white, so tried every single one of my 43 unlocked characters (you have to traverse the entire level to change to the next character, then walk to the flag, then back, each time) on the door only to find it didn’t open for anyone at all. Rubbish.

In summary: it’s a great game but better without the wizards.