One of the first games I downloaded on to my original iPad was LEGO Harry Potter 1-4. I loved the game, and got completely sucked in to the game play. I loved the various interactions with different characters, objects and places. Building, zapping, levitating, killing; it had it all. The second game in the same series had a lot to live up to. Like the first, there’s a central location with access to all the various chapters, along with some extras: dueling practice, shop, and character creation tool.
First thing I have to say: years 5-7 seems a lot more complicated. The right hand side is festooned with different “buttons”. Use them to change characters, cast spells, jump or use magic. On the left is the floating D-pad. It took some time to get in to the game, as it felt like every single level was just another tutorial. After a little while, you should just be left to figure it out for yourself, but, with so much needing to be learned: casting spells, using your pet, duelling etc, that’s probably unrealistic. I guess I just don’t enjoy being told what to do.
In true LEGO style, none of the characters actually speak. Instead, the levels are joined together with short video clips where Harry and his crew grunt, point and portray obvious facial expressions. It’s one part of the game I really enjoyed. I like that the story isn’t being blatantly spelled out for the player with dull dialogue. You have to use some observational skills. If you haven’t seen the films – like me – it’s an interesting watch.
Visually, it doesn’t look too hot on the Retina display of the new iPad. And, as much as I’d like to see it take advantage of every single one of the 3rd gen tablet’s 3.15 million pixels, it’s most likely never going to happen. The game is already a hefty 466MB. Doubling the resolution would significantly increase the size of the program, and take an absolute age to download.
Overall, I’m not as enamored with it as I was with the years 1-4 game. There’s not been any real sense of intrigue, or excitement. Everything plays out in a rather predictable fashion, and the controls are not enjoyable to use. Sadly, I can’t see that I’m going to be playing this as much as the first version. Technically, there’s not a lot wrong, it’s just not impressive. $4.99 worth it? Only if you don’t have the first game, or if you’re a massive Harry Potter fan boy like Jake…