Firstly I would like to say that if you want to understand this game then you need to have read the books or watched the films. Preferably both!! As there is no way that anyone could understand what is going on or what the objective is otherwise!
This game is quite different in format when compared to Lego Harry Potter Years 1 to 4. The touch screen is used a lot less. The game is shown on the top screen and the touch screen is used to display which spell is currently selected. The spells are no longer cast by scrawling symbols on the touch screen you simply have to press the Y button to cast your chosen spell. I would have to compare the format of this game to that of Lego Batman as when things require building you need only press a button whereas in years 1 to 4 you had to arrange the bricks into the right position.
I have completed the game in a relatively short space of time compared to how long Years 1 and 4 lasted me but there are many features in this game which help to make up for that. For example the characters appear bigger on the screen and they can jump using the B button which I was thrilled to discover. The characters can even swim and there are certain points in the game where they can ride a tricycle. Certain characters can also transform into their pets or animagus and you can run around as Lupin the werewolf! There is also the addition of a duelling club where you can fire spells at other wizards from the series outside of the main story. I like this feature as it gives a welcome break from the story and helps prevent you from progressing through the game too quickly.
However there are also features from Years 1 to 4 that I miss such as potion making where you could prepare the ingredients. In this game you can only collect the ingredients.
The quality of the videos on the game is very poor which I think is a great shame as I enjoyed watching the videos on Years 1 to 4 but on this game I end up skipping them because the quality is so bad. I have also found that this game has quite a few programming errors in it several times the game has frozen on me and I have had to turn my DS off and on again. Characters also get stuck in places or doing actions. For example Hermione fell into a fiery lake and just kept on breaking into pieces and I could not get her out of the lake no matter how hard I tried and had to exit the level. Also I am unable to use the Sirius Black character because his animagus gets stuck running and the only buttons that work are the arrow keys which is a real shame because if it this was not the case he would be the character I used most often.
I gave this game 3 stars because despite the faults I have got a lot of enjoyment from it. On the first level I was screaming in amusement because Harry could play on a swing and trampoline and slide. However the glitches in the programming of this game ruin the experience for me and I was disappointed because my Years 1 to 4 game runs without any problem and I had not expected to see this in a Lego game.