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LEGO Harry Potter game review

The legend continues! While there will be no more Harry Potter books, the series lives on in movies and more important, in games you control.

LEGO HARRY POTTER: YEARS 1-4
WBIE for PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, PSP, PC. Rated E10+ for Everyone 10 and Older

Graphics: 8.0
Gameplay: 9.0
Sound: 8.5
Replay Value: 8.5
Overall Score: 8.5
Official Web Site
Pros: It’s LEGO! Lots of characters to play; really captures the feel of Potter movies and books.
Cons: No online multiplayer; can’t bring in your avatar to play as a character.

So what’s the deal with LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4? If you’ve played LEGO Star Wars, Batman or Indiana Jones, you’ll have a good idea of what’s in store for you.

And it’s all good. Traveller’s Tales, the guys who make the LEGO games based on movies and books, have refined their formula over the years. That means you’re in for another game full of the magic, humor and feeling, this time with Harry Potter and a ton of studs to collect.

GO WIZARDING

Once you get the controller in your hands, you’re ready for wizardry from moment one. While you don’t have wizard’s power until toward the end of the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley level, Hagrid does, and he’ll help you change blocks into springboards and pull heavy chains to open doors. You’ll find strange devices that are only there because they’re cool to ride around on as a diversion, like a street-sweeping thing on stilts with two brooms.

There’s a ton of collecting studs along the way, which help to unlock new characters. In fact, there are about 170 characters, all of whom are playable—when you need them. Early on, you can choose to play as Harry, Hermione or Ron.

If you get enough studs, you’ll become a True Wizard before the end of a level. This rewards you with a gold brick. And gold bricks are cool because they unlock bonus content.

MOVING THROUGH THE LEVELS

I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed Harry’s world even though I already know it pretty well. In the first level, I wanted to stay in that world until I uncovered everything.

While the game doesn’t break much new ground, the way the environments are presented is really alluring. Candlelit rooms, slightly creepy characters such as goblins, nooks and crannies to explore—all these abound. And the level design seems flawless. The camera angles never mess up.

While there’s beauty in the detailed backgrounds everywhere, I like the sometimes creepy outdoor levels the best. If you do somehow get lost, a ghost trail of studs will appear to lead you back to familiar territory.

Of course, in a LEGO videogame, even when you finish the level, there’s more gameplay in Free Play mode. Here, you can use any character you’ve unlocked to find secret areas.

As you move through the levels, you’ll collect pieces of Hogwarts crests many times along the way. Each completed crest will give you a Super Kit piece. Collect all 24 for a special Super Kit achievement.

QUESTS, SPELLS AND MUCH MORE

There’s a lot more here because the game covers the first four J.K. Rowling books. Check out the Student in Peril missions. These quests require you to save an unfortunate pupil. If you do, you’ll get a gold brick.

You also have the opportunity to create spells when you see Nearly Headless Nick. Take the spell lesson and collect the token to use the new spell, perhaps in the mountain-troll battle in the girls’ restroom. Plus, you can mix potions, which will help if you’re turned into some strange animal. But be careful. If you put the wrong ingredients together, something weird and unexpected might happen.

Some characters have Dig Ability, which lets you look underground for all sorts of stuff. And the Cloak of Invisibility helps you in the direst of situations. Watch out for fire-breathing dragons (who just might burn Harry in the butt)!

Play and fight underwater, compete in the TriWizard Tournament and lock horns with Lord Voldemort in a tombstone-filled graveyard. Slide through giant tunnels and battle massive spiders. Rediscover the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets. And you can use the characters’ pets to play during certain times, like Ron’s rat, Scabbers.

There are thrills every minute. It’s kind of like a jack-in-the-box popping out to delight you constantly.

A TREASURE

The one thing I don’t care about is Madame Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions. Here, you can customize your character. I’d rather be able to use my Xbox Live avatar instead because it looks a little like me.

Also, there’s no online multiplayer access, which is something that gamemakers should have been doing for years now. There’s no excuse for not adding it. [EDITOR’S NOTE: According to the LEGO Harry Potter folks, online multiplayer for Xbox 360 and PS3 is expected to be available as a patch in the coming months.]

But overall, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 is a fine game. It’s a great way to relive the movies and books and get ready for The Deathly Hallows movie this fall. With all of its bells and whistles, it’s a small treasure. And you know what J.K. Rowling wrote about treasure, right? She wrote, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

155 Comments on LEGO Harry Potter game review

  1. Very cool. :P

  2. Chess Master // July 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm // Reply

    There are cheats.

  3. i love it

  4. pizza face who beats you all // July 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm // Reply

    Is there a wii review. cause there may be diffferent material on the different systems. and in lego star wars there are ship levels.are there any stuff like that on this game?

  5. they is so cool u got to have thes game

  6. there’s no cheats.

  7. I was addicted to the books. The movies are amazing, even though the plot is sorta messed up.
    They probably aren’t going to be making anything more for ps2. :-(
    I have ps2/psp/xbox 360

  8. spellcaster 451 // July 19, 2010 at 5:31 pm // Reply

    This is the coolest lego game yet!

  9. hairy potter // July 17, 2010 at 12:05 pm // Reply

    how do you get passed the red door/carpet thing with the statues ? please help me i have been stuck for two weeks !!!!!

  10. I beat this game already!!!!! I love it!!!!!

  11. PokeGameGuide // July 11, 2010 at 4:34 pm // Reply

    Looks like a pretty solid game.

  12. cool is right

  13. the game looks awesome. i cant wait till i have enough money saved

  14. what about lego iron man?

  15. lego harry potter dude // July 7, 2010 at 8:03 pm // Reply

    lego harry potter is so awsome

  16. lego harry potter dude // July 7, 2010 at 8:02 pm // Reply

    I love it you shoul really buy it.

  17. It’s so cool.

  18. Need to tell my sister

  19. I got it when it came out

    • i agree, its pretty good. does anyone know how to get into the chamber of secrets?

      • D.J. Membanga // July 19, 2010 at 10:43 am //

        once you make the plunger ride it to the plugged up toilet then you can build the sink to the chamber of secrets

      • indy freac // July 24, 2010 at 4:06 am //

        i foget

      • you take the jumpingchair and take it to 1 of the toilets.

      • potterfan1 // August 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm //

        all you do is cast wingardium-leviosa on the loose grate while standing on it. cast repairo on the parsletounge plynth. speak parsletounge to it & bingo, stairs open up & you’re in.

  20. What about a Nintendo DS version?

  21. harry9936 // July 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm // Reply

    cool i am going to get it!!!

  22. mega-addicted Harry Potter fan // July 5, 2010 at 12:07 pm // Reply

    I need this game!:)

  23. I wish I could get this, but its a little to expensive, plus, I’m saving up for scout camp!

    Life Scout, going to Bear Paw…

  24. harry potter // July 4, 2010 at 12:57 pm // Reply

    i am the ALL-TIME Harry potter fan!!!!!! i cant wait to get this game! it sounds WAY better than any other lego game(for wii)(i have them all).

  25. Beastly2010 // July 4, 2010 at 10:23 am // Reply

    I got the game yesterday and its not all that good. you have to buy every character, even if you played as them

  26. master sword // July 4, 2010 at 9:20 am // Reply

    This game is somewhat excellent is a good lego game but it could have been better. A suggestion is that some times there is to much or to little to cast on.

  27. I pre ordered it for wii and there are some glitches so you shoud buy it later because maybye it woud be fixed by then

  28. crazygecko // July 3, 2010 at 6:30 am // Reply

    I have it, and it is very fun. You should definately get it.

  29. ALMOST FIRST CLASS- the harry movie makers finally wisened up and decided that J.K. Rowlings books were getting too big for one movie, I mean, have you SEEN Half-Blood Prince? They really messed it up, now the Hallows plot is all messed up.

  30. bunchster OMG // July 2, 2010 at 8:09 pm // Reply

    i’m in the chamber of secrets! oh harry rules cant wait til’ LEGO hHARRY POTTER 2 years 5-7

  31. Lightbulbhead // July 2, 2010 at 7:12 pm // Reply

    I`m on “year”3 already!

  32. I love lego games I have every one but I only have PS2 why can’t they make it for PS2 poor PS2 :(

    • lego headmaster // July 5, 2010 at 9:47 am // Reply

      I heard alot about lego Harry Potter.Just by reading the books and watching the lego Harry potter preveiws I think it’s alot different. I mean a trumpet I thought it was a harp to calm down that beast.

      • no, Ron tried the trumpet, but it didnt work, Herminie swated it away. they did use the harp. it’s pretty funny. ;)

  33. Almost First Class: They’re going to make two parts for the Deathly Hallows…

  34. I read the books so I know what will be going on.

  35. delgado2487 // July 2, 2010 at 9:11 am // Reply

    who Knows? They might be making transformers… It would take like 7 years… Just like the movie!!!

  36. I sure hope they make it 4 wii 2. i got goblet of fire 4 ds and its great. but this looks even better!!! cant wait!

  37. super lego addicted fan // July 2, 2010 at 9:02 am // Reply

    i own this game for wii it is so awesome it rocks I love tripping people with the tripping hex especialy to my sister

  38. Do they make it for Wii?

  39. gramerman // July 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm // Reply

    im totaly getting it

  40. gramerman // July 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm // Reply

    this game seems awesome

  41. gramerman // July 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm // Reply

    rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  42. flamethr4 // July 1, 2010 at 7:05 pm // Reply

    why didn’t hey make a version for the PS2?

  43. joe,I agree with you

  44. can’t wait-me want bad

  45. Me WANT this game

  46. I can’t wait to get it. You can get symals and lego studs too.

  47. lego starwars,lego batman,lego indiana jones,and now lego harry potter?what next??lego transformers???

  48. says says says says says // June 30, 2010 at 8:05 pm // Reply

    I love Harry Potter! I cant wait to get this game!!!

  49. chessmaster // June 30, 2010 at 4:45 pm // Reply

    Sounds cool, if you’re a major Harry Potter fan. I wonder if they’ll come out with a game for ALL the books after Deathly Hallows Part 2 comes out.

  50. falcon 5.0 // June 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm // Reply

    I just got this game today. Its ok

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