Let me take you back to a time before achievements, to my childhood. A simple time, when adventure games were a little less FUS-RO-DAH and a little more “Go north. Go north. GO NORTH! WHY WON’T YOU GO NORTH!?“. When Gears Of War were parts for a tank. When life was more dull, basically.
But Christmas mornings, oh the delight, when I unwrapped a brightly wrapped box to find LEGO! I loved LEGO. Of course, the rest of the day was spent in tears as my father built the kit for me and then wouldn’t let me play with it in case I broke it, but nevertheless, I loved LEGO and still do.
So, when Traveller’s Tales started cranking out the Lego video games, I jumped aboard that particular bandwagon with glee and revelled in all their blocky goodness.
For those who’ve not played any of the LEGO games, I offer you a slap in the face and a look of disgust. They are tremendous fun and absolutely amazing for achievements. At last count, I have maxed five of the games and I’m close on the others, but these little 1000 point beauties will cost you a little slice of your sanity.
Each of the games has it’s own particularly annoying achievement, or irritating little feature which makes an otherwise simple achievement slightly maddening. In the latest brick based wizarding escapade, their are two achievements called Halfway There (50% game completion) and But…I Am The Chosen One (100% game completion).
The 100% in LEGO games is always a pain in the nethers, which has you jumping through metaphorical hoops for days and often requires you to play through the game three or four times before it pops. But in this game, it’s the students in peril.
Thanks to some slightly odd aiming mechanics and that constant bane of my existence, non-player characters, these little blighters are starting to get on my last gaming nerve. There are 60 in all, one hidden away in each of the 24 levels and a further 36 scattered around Hogwarts. Generally they’re inexplicably caught in cobwebs, trapped inside suits of armour, dangling randomly from assorted ledges, that sort of thing.
You happen upon a student clinging desperately to the edge of a balcony and know that you must save him, placing yourself in the little plastic shoes of the character, what takes place should be simple.
Harry: “I’ll save you, fellow wizard in training!”
*a zap of the wand, the student drops to the floor*
Student: “OH MY GOD I’VE BROKEN MY LEGS! HARRY YOU UTTER BAS-”
Harry: “No need to thank me. Potter…AWAY!”
Yup, you save them my zapping them so they fall from the ledge that they were obviously quite keen to NOT fall from, but never mind, that’s how it works. What actually happens, is more like this…
Student: “Save me! I’m dangling from a precipice for no reason!”
Harry: “Fear not, my magical amigo! I shall zap you to safety!”
Student: “WHAT?! I’LL BREAK MY LEGS YOU BAS-”
Harry: “So, I’ll just take aim with my wand and SHAZAM!”
Other Student: “What the hell did you do that for?”
Harry: “Well, I’m trying to save that chap up there but you wandered in the way!”
Student: “Seriously, I’ll climb back up. You’re a danger to yourself and others, frankly”
Other Student: “My arm is numb! OH GOD, I CAN’T FEEL MY ARM!”
Harry: “I shall try again! ZZZZAP!”
*A suit of armour explodes*
Harry: “But…I aimed so carefully?”
Teacher: “You little brat! That was three hundred years old and worth a fortune!”
Harry: “You cannot put a price on the safety of our students, sir! Now, excuse me, I must save him!”
Student: “I’ve climbed up. Going to go grab a drink.”
Teacher: “HOLY HELL MY EYES!”
Harry: “Why did you walk in front of me?! You can see I have a loaded wand here!”
Teacher: “You’re expelled. I can’t see a thing” *staggers off*
And so on and so forth.
Characters wander back and forth in front of you, which is irritating. Non-moving scenery somehow manages to absorb your shots, despite the fact that you’ve aimed oh so carefully at the student who has, by now, wandered off and is muttering something about “having that Potter freak kicked out. Bloody liability he is”.
All of this would, of course, be naught but a minor irritation were it not for the fact that you have to do this 60 damn times.
The worst part? There’s not even an achievement for saving them all. Nada. It just works towards game completion. All in all, about as much fun as giving Dumbledore a sponge bath.
Check out Jamie’s previous Achievement Punting escapades as he puts his sanity to the test each week by clicking here.