Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Lego Harry Potter for Xbox 360

Guess what, folks? I’ve finished a video game! Which means I need to blog about it!

Well… I say finished. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

The game I’m talking about today is the Lego Harry Potter video game for the Xbox 360. I received this game as a gift from my parents for Christmas and have been steadily working through this game for a while now. I took a break for a couple of months to play another game, but I decided to finally try for the 100% on this one this past week.

I have a system when I play Lego games and I’m going to go through my impressions of the game via my system. I don’t know if anyone else plays Lego games like this, but I’m a Lego game nut and this works best for me. And there will be a little glossary at the bottom of this entry so you know what the hell I’m talking about.

I first played this game straight through the Story Mode for the first four Harry Potter stories. I had a great time going through story mode. I liked the balance and use of the different characters and True Wizard was a fun, achievable challenge. I have to admit, though, that having the Hogwarts halls and classes separate from the individual story levels confused me. I’m used to Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones where you do not have story elements outside of the levels themselves.

After story mode, I usually go through the levels again on free play to find as many of the unlockables as I can. This is the run of the mill style Lego play and a hell of a lot of fun because the randomization of characters throne into your “party” to use can make some hilarious situations and you get to learn how to use different character abilities.

Usually, when you get back to the interactive menu area (The Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley), there are only a few things outside of the levels to explore or unlock for gold bricks or money. However, in this game, Hogwarts is its own area to explore for unlockables. This is the part of the game that I struggled with the most. It was hard for me to navigate the castle and figure out where new unlockables were and you cannot have the choice of characters the way you do with free play. In order to use different characters for different abilities, you have to find a cauldron and make a polyjuice potion. That particular potion doesn’t run out at Hogwarts, but it’s a pain to have to go find those cauldrons when you need to switch characters.

This is also where I had a glitch. From what I’ve seen in forums and on walkthroughs, this game is pretty glitchy. Most of them are harmless or something that you can easily fix, but I managed to land one that will not go away. Beneath the second charms classroom is the last Student in Peril I needed to get the last Gold Brick that I needed to unlock Voldemort as a character to get 100% of this game, but I cannot Lumos the Devil’s Snare to get at the student. So technically I have only finished 98.2% of the game, but there is no way for me to get this last student without restarting the entire game.

So I’m a bit peeved at this game. SO CLOSE to finishing it and it decides to glitch out on me. Blarg.

But I’d still recommend the game. I imagine most folks intent on 100%-ing games aren’t Lego gamers, so I don’t think most people would have a problem with one little glitch like that. It’s still a really fun game and I really enjoyed playing the story levels, so if you’re a fan of Harry Potter, Legos, and simple video games where you can pick them up whenever and still feel like you’re connecting to the story, I’d recommend it.

True Wizard – Collecting a set amount of money studs per level. I think there’s a different amount depending on the level, but there is a status bar at the top of the screen when you’re working towards earning this.

Red Bricks – Once found, you can purchase special abilities or enhancements.
Characters – New characters to use during free play.
Student in Peril – Find them all and you get a gold brick.
Gold Brick – Status markers that indicate how much of the game you have finished. Typically, if you have all of the gold bricks, you have 100%-ed the game.

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