LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

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

On: Xbox 360PS3PCWiiDSPS2PSP

The first four books/movies told in classic LEGO style.

Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
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We had a bit of a discussion here in the office just a few days ago: what other games could translate well into a Lego title? Lego Call of Duty? Lego Twilight? How about a Lego fitness game… OK, I'll be quiet now - developers could be listening. Either way I imagine that over in Warner Bros. HQ there is a big list, surrounded by dollar symbols, with every future Lego title that can and will be made. The next one to be struck off is Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, a magical universe loved by children and adults alike, and as we have come to expect from the Lego series, it's seriously good fun.

Years 1-4, eh? Sequel confirmed, then. Here we follow the story of the world's favourite young wizard and his friends, through their first four years in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It's obvious to any Harry Potter fan that the foundations of the game are rooted in the films rather than the books - there's no appearance from Peeves the Poltergeist, and the unnecessary moving staircases are ever-present. But in terms of capturing the magic (excuse me!) of Harry Potter, developer Traveller's Tales has nailed it.

As with previous entries in the Lego series, the meat of the story is told through a number of short, light-hearted cutscenes. Again, all voice acting is conducted with grunts and nonsensical gibberish, but the often hilarious interpretations of these iconic moments mean that you generally get the idea of what's going on, and what to do next. One part that particularly tickles me is the moment when Harry and Hagrid walk into Gringotts bank for the first time so that Harry can withdraw some wizard money. They approach the desk of a menacing-looking goblin knuckled down in his paperwork, and present Harry's bank key (complete with a little Lego Harry Potter keychain). The goblin goes back to his work, obviously eager to finish it before he goes to help. As the camera pans behind him, he steps out of the way to reveal a child-like crayon drawing of a house, stick-people and an enormous yellow sun.

It's this kind of inoffensive humour that really speaks to me; just a light touch of funny without taking anything away from the story being told. You can expect to see one of these pre-rendered shorts every 15 minutes or so, neatly wrapping up the key plot points so you can get on with being a wizard, or rather a wizard in training. In order to learn Harry's full arsenal of spells you'll need to attend all of the necessary lessons. These take the form of short demonstrations followed by a simple challenge to use the new technique, after which it will be added to the spell wheel on your HUD.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 screenshot

Potion-making becomes a game in itself as you hunt down the three separate ingredients for your recipe, usually requiring you to move, build, or demolish objects before the necessary items are revealed. Gradually more and more of Hogwarts School will be opened up as you unlock the skills, charms, potions and characters required to negotiate the variety of obstacles in your way. There are layers of gameplay here; series of micro-tasks make up the pieces to larger puzzles, which in turn are the building blocks of the grand design. The school is massive once it opens up, so it's a neat way of easing you into your life as a wizard without dropping you straight in the deep end.

As with previous Lego titles the fun isn't limited to the story. Collectables are found everywhere, awarded for tasks like magically turning on all the lamps in a room, rescuing a student in peril, or simply finding all the missing Lego pieces from a broken object. Rewards come in the shape of Hogwarts crest pieces and gold bricks, and since there are a great many of both (more than 200, in the case of the bricks), completionists may find themselves in some kind of magical heaven here. Even more so than previous titles, just about everything detonates into a shower of gold and silver studs when hit with a well-aimed attack spell. You will often find yourself forgetting about the task at hand in favour of simply bulldozing through the level, sending hexes in every direction, just to collect as many of the pick-ups as possible. Collect enough studs to match a level's requirements, a number often in the hundreds of thousands, and you will be awarded True Wizard status, complete with another gold brick - phew!

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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
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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: 1,537
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