LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Goodness... I have not
had this much LEGO fun since LEGO Star Wars and best of all, the game
has more Harry Potter references than you could poke a want at. Although
the game is aimed at the younger player, older fans of Harry Potter will
still enjoy this current LEGO instalment as you visit a variety of
destinations, meet familiar faces and explore this magical universe in
true LEGO fashion.
Of course, what made the
LEGO games so enjoyable was the simplicity of the gameplay merged with
popular universes such as Star Wars, Batman and Indiana Jones. The two
aforementioned games worked quite well, however Indiana Jones failed to
meet the familiarly of Star Wars or Batman.
Based on the first four books, the game
looks, sounds and feels like a Harry Potter game. Seeing all the
wonderful LEGO incarnations of these Harry Potter characters is
brilliant such as Harry, Hagrid, Ron and Hermione to name a few. Like
the LEGO games before it, there's plenty of comedy throughout the game,
especially with some of the exaggerated LEGO talk conversations and body
Incorporating a variety of elements from the novels and films, LEGO
Harry Potter is more of puzzle adventure game as opposed to an action
game. Whether playing solo or with other gamers, you need navigate the
Harry Potter characters through the LEGO world in order to solve
puzzles, explore and of course fight.
Thankfully you have some
spells that come in handy but for the majority of the game, you spend
the time finding out how to solve your current puzzle predicament and
many of these require other LEGO characters to help. You even have to go
through school, just like the books to learn spells and lore which
increases your spells artillery. The gameplay is pretty much identical
to the previous LEGO games and although it works as a single-player
title, it is much more entertaining when you are playing with friends.
The gang is all there
The combat in the game is basically a one
or two button smasher and there are some great boss fights along the way
which do provide some challenges for the more experienced gamer. In
terms of combat, I love how the developers have included various spells
from the novels which work great against both your enemies and the
As you defeat enemies,
smash LEGO blocks apart, you also need to collect coins which allows you
to purchase additional items before and after missions. This is done at
Diagon Alley and it even allows for some fun addons for your characters,
such as costumes and spells. At Diagon Alley or The Leaky Cauldron, this
is also used as a store to purchase things and access other gameplay
modes such as "Free Play", "Bonus Stages" and "Level Builder".
If you feel like a
break, between missions, you can explore other parts of Hogwarts and
there are so many secrets and secret areas in this game, you can easily
get another play or two out of this game. The world is almost too big
for its own good... except if your a Potter fan.
This is the cutest gaming moment ever!
The biggest issue with this game however is
the AI and when you're playing in single-player, sometimes they just
stand around when your trying to get them to stand on a lever or do some
other key puzzle interaction. It's a little frustrating and it's a bit
of a shame that the developers have not resolved this issue from
In terms of online, it
would also be nice if there was online multiplayer as well because this
would bring this franchise to the next level. Thankfully local co-op is
just as fun because friends can pop into the game anytime they like
which is great if your AI friends are giving you grief.
Graphically, this is a very impressive looking LEGO title and dare I
say, easily one of the best due to the amount of Harry Potter
references. From Hogwarts to the various student houses and even outside
of Hogwarts such as Diagon alley, everything has been flawlessly
implemented into this LEGO world. The characters, albeit simplistic look
like their movie or book counterparts and when you see Harry or Draco
Malfoy, they are quite distinguishable. The sound effects and LEGO talk
is fun as is the ambient and forever changing soundtrack which goes hand
in hand with this universe of spells and wonder.
Don't mess with Mr. Potter
Finally, a Harry Potter game that really
gives J.K. Rowling fan service! The game may not have changed much since
other LEGO games and the AI is at times buggy but when it comes to a
creative world, this game has it all. It's definitely aimed at the
younger player but older gamers will still get a kick or two out of it.
Recommended for the entire family!