Tara, as LEGO Hermione, was running around Fred and George’s newly opened joke shop Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, blasting things apart for studs and solving yet another extremely cryptic puzzle. It took her at least five minutes to realize that I wasn’t with her, let alone moving LEGO Harry around the map.
Where was I? On the store’s ground floor, right in front of a Quibbler dispenser, reading. Laughing and reading. Well, LEGO Harry was doing that–in truth, I was just mindlessly mashing the B button to earn this little zinger:
Avid Reader (25G): Use a Quibbler dispenser 25 times
The Achievement’s description is displayed just above, but it could totally say “Press the B button 25 times” and call it a day. Because that’s all I did. You press B, LEGO Harry pulls an issue of The Quibbler out of the dispenser, glances at it, chuckles, and tosses it into some invisible void where it disappears completely. Then you press B and start it again. Do that 25 times total, and you “earn” an Achievement.
The Quibbler, for those that don’t know, is a tabloid within the Harry Potter universe. It’s published and edited by Xenophilius Lovegood, Luna’s father, and is often considered odd and full of rubbish. Many don’t take it seriously. However, I’m now imagining an alternate time and place where, like in L.A. Noire, picking up a newspaper/The Quibbler kicks off a mini cutscene that fills in some plot exposition without slowing the pace down during the main missions. Given The Quibbler‘s love of strange, random stuff, which is in line with the LEGO videogames, the developers could have done something similar to this. Maybe not 25 times, but 10 or less, and it would make picking up The Quibbler so much more special. Alas…
The LEGO videogames do have moments of genius when it comes to their Achievements, but more or less, they fall into generic tropes of do X action Y times. Those are never exciting. I loved hiding in a barrel as Professor Snape and unlocking Solid Snape in the previous title. Doing five backflips in a row in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is a feat worthy of Try Wearing a Corset. The Achievement Shot to the Goon (defeat 8 goons in 8 seconds) from LEGO Batman at least makes doing X a test of skill and not simply a test of mindless endurance.
I guess the thing that bothers me so much about this Achievement is that it takes the place of the what-could-have-been. Like, give us something for falling to our deaths a lot when navigating the moving staircases within Hogwarts. Or how about a slice of Gamerscore for enlarging Hermione’s head with the Engorgio Skullus spell? See, it’s really not that hard, and unaware gamers can earn just plenty from playing the story levels and so on. That said, if you are reading this and work for Traveller’s Tales and need helping designing the Achievements for LEGO Harry Potter 3: Out of Retirement, I’m available for hire.