Game Review – Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 – Traveller’s Tales (Nintendo DS, PC, Playstation 3, Wii, XBox360)

Harry Potter

If you’ve played any of the other Traveller’s Tales Lego games, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s in store for you for Lego Harry POtter: Years 1-4. The game follows the first four books/films takes you through the story, learning spells, taking challenges, collecting studs and causing mayhem.

Traveller’s Tales have clearly thought hard about how best to show off the Potter-verse. For the first time in the Lego game franchise, the action is pretty much confined to one environment, that of Hogwarts. As you move through the many rooms, a very many times, the gameplay allows you to unlock more and more, so that the travel isn’t a chore. The breadth of the game is staggering, completing the first story on basic play through means you’ve completed around 10% of it. The smart thing is that unless you’re going for achivements or 100% completion, you don’t need to complete the game in free play mode. It is tailored to play as much or as little as you like.

The upshot of this is, that not only is it a great game for kids, there’s enough of a challenge here for adults to play this through. With an insane number of gold bricks, red post boxes, and students in peril to find, this is without doubt the most detailed Lego game yet. There are more extra levels than ever before, some related to the story, some not, all excellent.

The minifigs are cute and the grunts, squeals, snarls and titters that emanate from them conjure perfectly the characters they represent. The story telling is condensed as you’d expect but loses little. Sadly, I have to report that Peeves the Poltergeist has not made it into the game.

A couple of down sides, all of which you could level at the other LEGO games – the save points are erratic, the AI is occasionally dumber than a box of rocks and jumping is sometimes incredibly frustrating, if you don’t get it exactly right, you will slide off. Occasionally it’s glitchy, screens freeze, characters get stuck, items get lost. Most frustratingly, you still can’t play multiplayer online. The fact that none of this has been rectified in this version makes me think it’s supposed to be part of the charm of the game. Newsflash, it’s not charming.

However, this really is a minor niggle. As ever, this is a very playable, enjoyable game aimed at both children and adults. Here at Casa Moviegrrl we’ve played little else all week, with still plenty to do. Worth your cash.

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~ by moviegrrlreviews on July 6, 2010.

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