(R) Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4

July 8th, 2010 -

Another Lego game means that I’m happy in my pants area, and with it being based on one of my favorite properties… I think my room just got painted a different color. Let me tell you… well, maybe you don’t wanna know. Hit the jump for more.

Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 tells the story of Harry’s first four years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a way that only a Lego game can. The cute characters, funny cutscenes, and massive amounts of content are all present in this game, just like all the previous title’s in the series. But you’re not here to listen to the setup; you want to know about the game, right? Well Okay! I’ll tell you, but only cause you’re reading this.

Pros:

The World Retained:
One of the best things about Lego Harry Potter is the fact that so much from the world’s fiction is present here. Places like The Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, and Hogsmeade can all be visited within in the game’s story and free roam levels. It’s all there at your disposal.

Ever Evolving:
While the world of Harry Potter is present in this game, what happens to that world is even more impressive. While playing through the main story of the game, the world changes with the events that unfold. I use this example when describing it. When you’re playing the Sorcerer’s Stone (Year One), you will not have access to the Chamber of Secrets (Year Two).

Spell Casting Has Never Been Easier:
Spell casting in this game has been made even easier thanks to the “Spell Wheel”. In Harry Potter games of the past, you needed to equip your spells or perform the casting motion on an analog stick. Thanks to the “Spell Wheel”, you can have several spells at your arsenal, while keeping casting simple. Switching spells is as easy as tapping a shoulder button. Little colored dots line your characters portrait whenever you learn a new spell, and as mentioned above, your characters evolve through the story. They learn as they go and retain that knowledge throughout the game.

Massive Amount of Content:
Lego Harry Potter is a massive game. While I have beaten the main story, I have yet to get 100%. As of right now I have played for 20 hours, 15 minutes and I am only 84.6% done with the game. 167 Characters to unlock, 200 gold bricks, 20 red bricks, 50 students in peril, and 24 house crests are what await those wanting to tackle this game.

Cons:

I Have No Clue What’s Happening in the Story:
While I loved the game, I didn’t know what was going on. You see, the Lego games have no dialog. The characters within the game basically act out scenes by gesturing and grunting. If you’re new to Harry Potter and have not read the books or seen the films, you may find it hard to keep up with the plot. While I think Traveler’s Tales did an awesome job with the adaptation of the story, it may flow a little too fast at times.

Glitches and Screen Tearing:
While the Lego games are some of my personal favorites in my collection, they have always been plagued by screen tearing. It’s gotten better with newer releases, but it’s definitely a noticeable flaw. Glitches sometimes run abound in the Lego games as well. In the case of this game, it’s a room in which you cannot get out. Beware of the trap door in Flitwick’s classroom people – you may not come out. The fact that the game shipped with this glitch is the saddest part. No worries though! There’s a patch incoming!

167 Characters My Ass:
This kind of stems from a question we read on a recent podcast about boasting the number of things within a game. Lego Harry Potter is the most double dipped character game in the entire Lego series. You read the back of this box and say “Holy crap! Over 160 characters to collect? That’s a lot!”. While it may be a lot, it’s also a trap. Don’t buy into the lies! I did the count and realistically there are only 112 characters in the game. Which is still a lot of characters, but that’s still 55 duplicate/alternate costume characters in the game. Not that big of a deal, but that is still a lot.

Final Thoughts:
While Lego Harry Potter has a lot going for it, it has its disadvantages. In terms of content and epic scope, it has enough to make any fan of Harry Potter buy it right out. In terms of long lasting appeal on a casual player though, I’d give it a rent first. You know, test the waters before you buy the boat. (Doesn’t make any sense!)

Score:
Rent

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