LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Review

By on January 17, 2011

The best Harry Potter game Yet?


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First Impressions
My reaction is

LEGO:Harry Potter Years 1-4 is the latest offering from the developer Travellers Tales famous for their CSI and LEGO games.It, as the game’s title suggests follows our favorite boy-wizard through the first four years at Hogwarts.The question here is whether it offers something different or if it follows into the footsteps of previous Harry Potter games i.e dull and boring.

The game although might seem as a title you probably won’t ever be caught playing, it is, regardless of popular conception about the HP and LEGO video games – Fun.The whole story has been re-worked so that even without words you are able to keep a grasp on the basic outline of the story.The game, as the first movie, starts with Professor McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore waiting for Hagrid who comes screeching and whining on his Harley and finally places Harry Potter on the door of Harry’s obnoxious kins-’The Dursleys’.All of this is beautifully executed without a single word being spoken other than the grunting,etc.Some, who are avid readers of the book may feel slightly disappointed as the game borrows more from the movies than the books themselves and sometimes tweaks the story to induce a comedic effect on the player.

G ameplay is fairly simple with the usual walk,run,jump method mixed with trademark Harry Potter magic,platforming and simple environmental puzzles.But the difference with the other Harry Potter games lies in the fact that you can become one of the secondary characters in the game as and when possible, for example Ron’s rat.This gives you a little more freedom than offered in the previous games.Your coveted wand will be given to you after a few minutes into the game, following which you can keep upgrading your spells and characters from the Diagon Alley.At first you will be able to cast simple spells such as ‘Leviation’(Wingardium Leviosa) progressing on to advanced ones as the game progresses.A point to be noted is that, without upgrading certain spells you cannot progress further as they are required to solve the plethora of environmen tal challenges presented to you.Elementary,really.As you can see, the game keeps it fairly simple without any complex puzzles. But at places where character co-op is required, the non-intelligent AI spoils the fun, which is why it is much more fun to play with two players in co-op mode.If you are a fan of re-playable games, this one is for you. The reason is, even after playing the game over 12 hours, I clocked at hardly 50% completion even though I thought I had unlocked almost all special areas and spells of the game.Thus, you will keep coming back for more.

I would have liked to dedicate a whole section of the review to the environment of the game.Why?Simply put, it is one of the biggest areas that a Harry Potter or LEGO game has ever p rovided .Being a sandbox mostly everything is destructible, with the exception of walls.Each destruction will offer you LEGO bits which can be used for purchasing items.The whole of Hogwarts has been recreated for your endless entertainment without skipping out on its glitz and glamor including the revolving staircases, the living portraits and see through ghosts.Diagon Alley, from where you purchase upgrades is also well made giving it the look of a Witch and Wizard flea market complete with bubbling cauldrons and cackling witches, although a little more attention to the shops in it would have added to the experience.

As expected from a LEGO game, there is not even a single dialogue in the game, which may leave people new to the LEGO games frustrated. But rest assured you are in good hands.The game successfully eradicates the need for speech with it’s charming and funny so und effects.At places where there is danger or a new character is being introduced, you will hear the OST from the Harry Potter movies which needless to say creates a great effect and sets the mood for the mission.

All I have to say now is that this is THE best Harry Potter game to date.A lot of effort has been put into this in comparison with the poor quality Harry Potter games that release with each HP movie.Even though HP-Deathly Hallow’s game looks promising this will still be one of the Top 3 HP games.Pleasant and polished graphics, funny sound effects and casual gameplay makes this one a must-buy for any HP reader or someone looking for a casual yet fun gaming experience.


The Scorecard
GAMEPLAY
8.5
Fun and non-intense puzzle-solving and platforming adventures give rise to solid gameplay with minor flaws.
GRAPHICS
8
Funny cartoonish graphics stay true to the LEGO franchise along with a perfectly LEGO-fied HP world.
SOUND
9
Making a game without speech is tough, but this one like the other LEGO games pulls it off with amazing ease.
VALUE
7.5
Fairly big storyline keeps you engaged for a good number of hours and tons more if you are keen on exploring.
FUN FACTOR
8.5
The tongue-in-cheek humor keeps you smiling
OVERALL
8
LEGO-Harry Potter Years 1-4 is an amazing game that takes you down the memory lane and an effective timepass agent between major releases.

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Avid PS3 Fan.Find him on PSN Saad_Godfather

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