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Lunch » Tags » Video Games » Reviews » LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 » User review

An OK Family game

  • Jul 14, 2010
  • by
Recently, I got Harry Potter Lego's because a long time ago I enjoyed Lego Star Wars and was interested in reliving some of the fun that series provided. I purchased the Wii version of the complete Star Wars Lego saga along side this one, and a lot of my review will be comparing this game to the original Lego game that started it all.

Story: Naturally, the story of Lego Harry Potter follows the story of the first 4 movies. From what i can tell so far, the game seems to be based more off the movies than the books. So if you were interested in learning more about the differences between the two without actually reading the books, I regret this will not provide it. As the story progresses, your lego characters do not speak. However, through elaborate movements and creativity, the story is still told with a couple of amusing twists. The story often makes several small jokes to many of the scenes in the movie. For example, in the bank scene, the goblin opens one of the vaults to reveal a goblin party complete with Harry Potter dance music, which he slams shut to his embarrassment. You probably know the story already, and the small parody's are enough that you probably won't mind watching it again.

Gameplay: Compared with the Star Wars, the action has definitely been toned down a lot. For those that feared Lego Star Wars was too violent, this game is definitely a lot more friendly. You don't blow up or destroy other students if you hit them. You can still do a lot of environmental damage and collecting Lego points to unlock stuff, which is 90% of the point of the game. Still, there is definitely a lot less action. The puzzles are creative, and make a lot more use of your intellect and skills. Where in Star Wars you basically just used your force power and everything snapped into place, in Harry Potter, you often have to move things and use control over them. For example, Wingardium Leviosa is the first spell you learn, and you will often need to build or stack things using it, but it gives you control over where you move things, adding to puzzle complexity.

Coop: Most people would prefer to play this game as a coop, as that is how it seems to be designed. It has a very unique split screen, which is far superior to the lack of split screen in Star Wars (you had to simply follow the leader or the screen wouldn't move). However, it can be very disorientating at times. The split screen moves relative to the characters, and then blends back together when they get close enough. This may lead to various points in which you confuse yourself for your friend, and die a couple times as a result. There are plenty of puzzles that require you to move several teammates into the right positions, which is still easier to do with coop, but the split screen gets pretty trippy at times.

Controls: The wii does the best it can with the controls it gives you. I could be wrong, but I have not gotten it to work with the classic controller, which I really wish it would do. Personally, I never use the point at the screen aiming options that it gives you unless I have to. It is actually rather frustrating, and so far, I have yet to meet a scene where I really had to have it.

Game Atmosphere: The loading time between rooms is alright, and I haven't experienced any video game slow down. I have kind of felt that the game is a little too dark and a little too busy for my tastes. It is often frustratingly difficult to see the puzzles and understand what to do because the screen is too busy with stuff and the screen doesn't zoom right. It suffers from some gameplay issues as a result. In one puzzle, I couldn't see what to do because the screen was too zoomed out, and that was on a 50 inch screen I use. I also don't like the format of Diagon alley (your hub between levels to repeat levels or unlock stuff). Overall, this is my biggest complaint. I am hoping upgrading to a component cable will fix some of the issues I am suffering from regarding the details and seeing what is what. However, it should be noted that the viewing angles of a lot of the stuff is incredibly frustrating, often putting you behind stuff and rendering you unable to see a clear picture of your environment. This is, of course, compared to Star Wars, which had much cleaner environments where you knew what was what, and very rarely where you forced into a "window view", that seems to encompass a lot of Harry Potter.

Overall: To keep it short, the game is the same kind of fun that you expect from the Lego's game franchise. For those of you who don't know what kind of game this is. The easiest way to describe it is a puzzle / platform game. You run around in a third person 3D environment and move from room to room. You blow up or trigger your environment to solve puzzles and earn credits, which are used to purchase new characters, unlockables, and other extras. The game is good, clean, repetitive fun for all ages. And is great for parent's who want to play a game with their kids, or guys who want a game to play with their girlfriends. The viewing angle and level design are often confusing and difficult to see, and the game loses a star for that reason. I take another star for the coop and control problems. I personally would have preferred more action, but I won't knock a star off for that. I do like the game, but it just didn't make my must have list. If you want to try a Lego game, I would still direct you to Star Wars first unless you want something very pg, and worry about the violence of lightsabering droids and aliens.

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More LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 reviews
review by . August 02, 2010
I've been a fan of Zelda and Mario RPG games for years but I have never played a LEGO game even though I know they are very popular. I was looking for a game my six-year-old (just beginning to read) could play on her own so I picked this up.     Let's just say that she has played it for about three hours and I'm just about finished with the whole game. I started playing it so that I could help her when she got stuck but once I started...    It is fun but the …
About the reviewer
Brian Stogsdill ()
Ranked #1322
I like writing reviews and hearing people's opinions. I am a biologist at a local college in Milwaukee. I have a wife. I have 1 son who is currently two and another son who recently passed away from … more
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About this video game


LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 brings the action, adventure and fun of the first 4 stories in the Harry Potter catalog to the video game screen in the way only the LEGO franchise can. Featuring all your favorite characters and story environments, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 lets players play as the wizard of their choice, combining them piece by piece as is only possible in the LEGO franchise of games. Play options include single player story mode, free-play and two-player co-op.

Harry Potter: Years 1-4 game logo

Harry in LEGO form from LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Relive adventures 1-4 LEGO style.
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Relive the Adventures
Connect the bricks from Privet Drive to the Triwizard Tournament and experience the magic of the first four Harry Potter stories, LEGO style in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4. Explore Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learn spells, brew potions, and relive the adventures like never before with tongue-in-cheek humor and creative customization that is unique to LEGO video games.

Key Game Features

  • Explore Interactive Environments - Explore iconic settings from the wizarding world including Hogwarts castle, Diagon Alley, the Forbidden Forest and the village of Hogsmeade. LEGO Hogwarts castle is a grand, immersive 3-D environment and the largest, most detailed LEGO game location ever built.
  • Your Favorite Characters - Play as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger as well as other favorite characters with over 100 possible options.
  • Be a Wizard - Attend lessons, cast spells, mix potions, fly on broomsticks, and ...
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ESRB: E10+
Number of Players: Single-player, multi-player
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Traveller's Tales
Console: Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: June 29, 2010
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"An OK Family game"
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