LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Review for Xbox 360

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LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 screenshot
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 screenshot

Sadly, I'm one such sucker that isn't satisfied until I have checked every last corner of a level for collectables (it's a curse, I know). Thankfully there will always be one of the Hogwarts ghosts patrolling the school's corridors, heading in the direction of your next objective. As an added bonus, these characters drop special ghost studs that rack up for extra achievements. So if you want to just get on with the story, or your memory of what happens next in the book is a little hazy, these supernatural citizens become more than a little useful.

You'll usually play as Harry, with the likes of Hermione, Ron, Hagrid and even Madame Pomfrey available to switch over to at the touch of a button, depending on the party. The various characters carry unique items and abilities, such as Harry's invisibility cloak, or Ron's pet rat, Scabbers, who can negotiate small tunnels to collect objects and unlock sealed entrances. At the very least it encourages you to use someone other than Harry each time, and it's always amusing to see how the different students react to given situations: Hermione, for example, can barely stay on a broom as it bucks and turns in an attempt to boot her off, while Harry is naturally something of a pro. Don’t be surprised when you get to the end of the game and find that you're only around 50 per cent complete. If you really want to find every last item then you'll need to replay levels in Free Play mode, using the unique talents of the unlockable characters to reach previously inaccessible areas.

Upon completing each level you are given the option to continue straight on with the story or to head back to the Leaky Cauldron, with access to the famous Diagon Alley. Here you can spend your studs on bonus material such as new spells and characters. I personally recommend purchasing the big head hex and then firing it at your friends, resulting in their ballooned bonces hitting the ground, temporarily anchoring them to the spot.

It's things like the big head hex that make the two player co-op mode so much fun. It's a tried and tested element of the series, something that any Lego game would feel incomplete without, and perfect for the Harry Potter universe. Many of the collectables require a bit of teamwork, perhaps with one person on a floating platform while the other charms it to move around the level. In short, it's nothing that we haven't seen before in the Lego titles, but it remains a vital part of the gameplay. If you have the opportunity of playing with a Potter-savvy friend, you should absolutely take it - this is an experience that needs to be shared.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 screenshot

Sadly, the slightly bizarre split-screen format returns from the more recent Lego games. Here the screen's dividing line rotates to accommodate you and your friend, depending on where you both are within a level. While the constant shifting is rather jarring at first you will find yourself warming to it, but it would be nice to have the option to switch it off, requiring you and your buddy to stick together - that's what friends do, right? Regardless, this is the kind of co-op game that will have you forever shouting and laughing with your mates as you help one another out, or screw each other with bulbous heads and trip jinxes.

Everything is a challenge, everything does something, and there's never a moment when you can't interact with the world around you in some way. Objects will come crashing down as you freeze and shatter troublesome Doxies, opening up yet more tasks for you to complete. Jumping on a sofa might spit out a student stuck inside it, or perhaps reveal a character stud, unlocking another of the 160 playable students, teachers, Death Eaters and much more. Not only has Harry Potter and Hogwarts School been perfectly captured and recreated in Lego form, but four entire novels of adventure are contained within its walls. It's been boiled down to a potent, magical concentrate - one that will entrance children and adults alike. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 proudly lifts the trophy as the best in the Lego series... until you smash it for more precious studs, that is.

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Highest Rated Comment

joe7's Avatar

joe7

Aha! So Years 1-4 is not the targeted audience, cool :P
Posted 16:24 on 06 July 2010

User Comments

Endless's Avatar

Endless@ guyderman

Heh there are definiteily cupboards as you describe that Hermione has to open. But they're not the ear muff ones, i think they're mainly just extra studs and character unlocks etc.
Posted 11:43 on 03 August 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ Endless

I'm probably wrong about the ear muff cupboards - it's been a month and about 10 games since I've played it so it's all a blur now. Old age makes the mind go cloudy - LOL!
Posted 11:11 on 03 August 2010
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ guyderman

I don't remember any of the earmuff cupboards requiring Hermione to open them. Once you've done the section with sprout to open the first cupboard in the greenhouses you can open any of them with anyone.

I don't remember the Knight section you're talking about but (as mentioned) pictures usually just require a certain spell firing at them for them to do something.
Posted 10:35 on 03 August 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ chilover

If it's the knight that I'm thinking off when you cast a spell at him he jumps on the chandalier and then lands in the fountain which causes some blocks to drop which allows you to continue past the large Mer-Man statue.

To open a lot of the cupboards with the earmuffs in you will either need to use Hermione to 'Read' the puzzle or if they have a Silver chain and lock around them you will need another spell that you get later in the game.

Hope it helps - sorry the answers are a bit vague but it's been a while since I've played it now.
If you get too stuck you could try using this link below:
http://www.videogamesblogger.com/201...ps3-pc-psp.htm
Posted 09:11 on 03 August 2010
chilover's Avatar

chilover

Can anyone tell me how to put out the flames on the knight's bottom? Right before the girls bathroom fight with the ogre? Also how to open the cupboard, to access the ear muffs, to be able to pick up the screaming plant! Hubby and I are stumped and frustrated! lol
Posted 02:38 on 03 August 2010
chilover's Avatar

chilover@ guyderman

I'm taking my time, detailing as I go. I was wondering if you figured out how to put out the flames on the knight's bottom, just before you go into the girls bathroom and fight the ogre? Also there is a bonus level where I can't open the castle doors, to access the ear muff cupboard, to pick up the screamin' plant! My hubby and I were stumped. I"m sure it's simple! lol
Posted 02:37 on 03 August 2010
chilover's Avatar

chilover@ guyderman

a couple of questions. How do you put out the flames on the knight in the bathroom with the ogre? And I'm struggling to open the castle doors to access the cupboard with the ear muffs on one of the bonus levels. I'm sure it's something simple but I'm stumped. Appreciate your help, in advance! :)
Posted 02:34 on 03 August 2010
stiliom's Avatar

stiliom

Have you seen this?
http://www.gladriel.com/videoFull/co...-Gladriel-com/
Posted 15:24 on 14 July 2010
omfg-bbq's Avatar

omfg-bbq@ SebVG

Do you have a water bottle and a 360 if not we will have have to call the rspcs(Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sebs)and get you adopted by IGN
Posted 21:25 on 11 July 2010
Get2DaChoppa's Avatar

Get2DaChoppa

I have to admit I am a fan of the Lego series of games, Star Wars probably being my favourite, and Harry Potter is a favourite of mine too, but after some of Seb's comments in his review and BOTcast, i'm just not sure.
Posted 16:33 on 07 July 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ Endless

I must admit that my initial thoughts when I heard about it only being years 1-4 was that it was a bit of a cash in & may actually be a short game. I was a bit unsure if it needed to be split - but they certainly haven't held back on the content in the game.
I actually think the split is quite good and am interested in seeing what direction they take years 5-7 as the story takes a darker path from the end of GoF and you can even see a slight change in tone on the later levels of Year 4.
Posted 17:04 on 06 July 2010
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ guyderman

Oh yeah she, myself too, always tries to do as much as possible first time round before going back for collectibles. She was still surprised it was as low as 46%!! Most of the previous games you can get to 60-70% without too much trouble.
Posted 16:51 on 06 July 2010
joe7's Avatar

joe7

Aha! So Years 1-4 is not the targeted audience, cool :P
Posted 16:24 on 06 July 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ Endless

I take it she did some bonus levels, free play and bought some characters and the likes. I just ran straight through the story modes to begin with - didn't spend a single stud apart from the collect Ghost Studs as it was way too valuable not too and have gone back now to do my collecting and spending. Managed to rack up a good 5 mill studs just doing the story modes and having the collect ghost studs active :) need to find the multipliers now to start making a serious dent on the game!
Posted 15:08 on 06 July 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

Asked for this as my MOTM, so hopefully I'll be playing it soon.
Posted 14:55 on 06 July 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
8
Out of 10
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  • Tons and tons to collect
  • Brilliant fun in co-op
  • Hilarious cutscenes
  • Story can be hard to follow
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 28/05/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , Wii , DS , PS2 , PSP
Developer: Traveller's Tales
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Genre: Adventure
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 1,357 47
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