Lego Dimensions: Fun With Fun Packs: Hermione Granger and Tina Goldstein
I am wrapping up my coverage of Lego Dimension’s take on J.K. Rowling with a look at two Fun Packs featuring female supporting characters from Harry Potter lore; Hermione Granger and Tina Goldstein. These packs feature characters who have a lot of overlap with their male costars in terms of powers and abilities. So what do they bring to the table? Two things: gender equality and relatively low prices.
Now is as good a time as any to talk about the fact that Lego Dimensions has skewed towards male characters. The game’s Starter Pack features two men (Batman and Gandalf) and one woman (Wild Style) and it was all downhill from there. For example, the Simpsons were represented by Homer and Bart with Marge and Lisa appearing only as non-playable characters. Aside from Wild Style, the only other female characters in the game’s first year were Wonder Woman, the Wicked Witch of the West, Harley Quinn, Chell and Unikitty.
The second year offerings have improved on this ratio a bit, but there are still a lot more male characters then there are females. When characters like Tina and Hermione do make the cut, they tend to be copies of the male characters who headline their respective franchises. If you already have Harry and Newt, these Fun Packs won’t bring anything new to the table in terms of gameplay. But there are other reasons to pick up these packs. One of which is offering girls a chance to play as a character who shares their gender. Or you may just want to complete your Harry Potter collection within the game. For these reasons, Hermione Granger was absolutely essential to our game even if she didn’t do anything new.
There are certain abilities that are shared by all of the Rowling characters in Dimensions. They all have the Magic ability obviously. They can also cast specific spells that duplicate Illumination, Water Spray, Targeting, Growth, Laser Deflections, Hazard Cleaning and the ability to blow up silver Legos. They also have Magic Shields and the unique Diffindo and Apparate Access spells.
For the most part, Hermione has the same skill set as Harry with a few differences. She has acrobatics instead of flight and intelligence instead of stealth. Hermione also lacks Parseltongue, but that makes sense for story reasons.
If you have read my Dimensions write-ups, then you know that the vehicles that come in Fun Packs usually offer more flavor than utility. That is the case with Buckbeak. Buckbeak is a beloved creature from Harry Potter lore, but he doesn’t do much in the game. At his base level, he can fly and destroy silver bricks. He can be upgraded to use electricity and to perform a sonar smash. But mostly, his value lies in being Buckbeak.
Tina Goldstein has a lot of the same abilities as the other magic-users from the Potterverse. In fact, she has the exact same skills as Hermione except instead of Intelligence she has Stealth. Also, she can turn into her sister Queenie. Queenie has fewer abilities than her sister, but she does have Mind Control.
As is appropriate for a character from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Tina comes with a creature. Unfortunately, the Swooping Evil isn’t in the same class as Buckbeak. He can fly. With upgrades he can be transformed into other creatures that can tow, dig or use electricity.
The big selling point of these two Fun Packs is that they offer less expensive means of accessing the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts worlds. Previously, these worlds were only available by purchasing a Team Pack or Story Pack. The Tina Goldstein Pack is a bargain at approximately one-fifth the price of the Fantastic Beasts Story Pack.
If you are just looking at game mechanics, these packs are skippable. But many Harry Potter fans will consider them essential to their Dimensions collection and they can provide a cheap alternative to some expensive packs.