LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Box Art
System: 3DS, DS, PC, PS3, PSP, Vita, Wii, Xbox 360
Dev: Traveller's Tales
Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Release: November 11, 2011
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief

Duels, on the other hand, are good fun later in the game, since they actually demand some strategy with the shielding system and quick spell selection under a time limit. Just enough pressure to feel good when you win, not so much to be frustrating.

Not like some of the boss battles. Most boss battles follow a regular formula. Catch object with magic, throw it back, maybe fire a spell or have a quick duel. Others, though, try to mix things up. One, in particular, requires you to build an object to beat the boss. Building it requires three steps, but the boss chases you with a tornado that immediately destroys the device if it's complete. It must then be rebuilt from scratch. The set pieces, too, are often visually exciting, but ultimately boring. There are a couple of exceptions, such as stomping about on the back of a dragon and defending Dumbledore from a horde of creeping, ghoulish things, but so many are just rails sequences with shoddy control and zero challenge.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot

There are also some things that I'm ambivalent toward. For one, while the whimsy of LEGO is an incredibly good fit for the Potter universe, the parts of the story that this game covers are those where the books really started to get dark. The game largely does well with this, telling the story in its own way with added humor and LEGO-isms, but there are some baffling decisions surrounding the deaths of some major characters. Rather than glossing over them or treating them with decorum… Well, let's just say that one particularly sad event involves the villains in party hats immediately after, and the poor corpse stuck head-first in the ground, feet sticking up. Seriously, a dead house elf gets more respect from the developers.

Then we have the world. It's not really a LEGO world; most of the environments appear to have been ripped directly from the movies, with mini-figs and LEGO objects occupying them. This generally isn't jarring, but I sometimes caught myself thinking I'd like to see the world itself use more LEGOs in its construction. Between this and some of the humorous touches that pepper the game, I got the distinct impression that these aren't so much LEGO versions of the Harry Potter cast as they are LEGO mini-figs putting on a performance, a retelling of the movies in their own, abbreviated fashion with their own, satirical interpretation.

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LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 is a game that almost makes me wish I had kids, not so that I could pawn it off on them, but because I imagine it's much more fun to play with a partner who will be entirely enamored with the aesthetic and won't be so turned off by the less engaging gameplay elements. There's certainly plenty to do, with 200 gold bricks to collect, a couple dozen bonus spells to unlock, cheats to purchase, the ability to free play levels one has already completed, and countless characters to collect, many with unique abilities. The game's pacing, though, is completely out of whack and makes trudging through the first parts of the game a trying experience at best. Funny, that's how I felt about the fifth book, too.

By Shelby Reiches
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.6
Graphics
Simple is good, here. It animates smoothly, has expressive character designs, and captures both the LEGO and Harry Potter aesthetics to the letter.
3.2
Control
Loose and inaccurate. They generally don't get in the way since this is such a forgiving game, but there's really no excuse for them.
4.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The movie soundtrack is in full effect, and the sounds are satisfying, making collection addictive.
2.8
Play Value
It's not that there isn't a lot to do. It's that there isn't a whole lot of reason to do most of it, and what is worth doing is locked behind hours of dull, introductory gameplay.
3.4
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Master advanced dueling skills to defeat Voldemort's Death Eaters as you battle toward the ultimate showdown with the Dark Lord himself.
  • Discover and unlock over 80 characters including Fenrir Greyback, Bellatrix Lestrange, and Professor Horace Slughorn.
  • Play through 24 story events and return to Hogwarts where there are 16 different lessons to attend.

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 - Launch Trailer - click to enlarge
    Launch Trailer
    LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 - Trailer #1 - click to enlarge
    Trailer #1

    Screenshots / Images
    LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Screenshot - click to enlarge

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