LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Reader Review
Lego Harry Potter is the next instalment in the Lego franchise developed by Travellerís Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
In Lego Harry Potter, the player is put into the shoes of characters from the Harry Potter world in Lego form and if you have played previous Lego games then you will know what to expect.
The storyline follows the first four books and movies and if you have not seen or read them then you may have trouble following the storyline. After seeing some of the cutscenes, it will seem obvious that you would probably have to have seen the movies or read the books in order to understand what is going on however if you have indeed not seen them but have enjoyed previous Lego games then you will probably have as much fun as you did with the previous Lego games.
The gameplay is very similar to previous Lego games where you can run around, destroy almost anything, build things with pieces of lego and collect lots of lego stubs which serve as the currency for buying unlockables. Of course just as you can collect stubs, you can also lose stubs by dying which can happen in boss battles or even by falling off narrow ledges which you may come across during your travels around Hogwarts.
There is a bigger focus on exploration and puzzle solving in this Lego game compared to previous entries in the series along with less focus on the fighting aspect. You get plenty of spells as you progress throughout the game and you can also unlock spells from the shop. Using these spells, you can explore Hogwarts and use the spells to solve many puzzles throughout the game.
The exploration aspect of the game is pretty big as I mentioned, in each level you can explore Hogwarts although you canít get to some places without the correct spells but you donít need to continue on with the story until you feel ready to and when you do, just follow the house ghost who will be there to guide you with his ghost stubs. You also get the free roam mode as usual in the Lego games allowing you to explore each level after you complete it.
A few other things that players can look forward to is helping Students in Peril which youíll find at least one or more in each level, making potions which are very important for many things such as solving puzzles and looking for hidden extras in each level and a bonus level allowing you to customize the level as you wish.
Inbetween each levels is a hub which you are introduced to at the start of the game, The Leaky Cauldron. This is where you are taken to after each levels and leads to diagon alley where the shops are that you can go to in order to buy the unlockables. You can also go to Gringotts bank where you can unlock safes there with the Golden Bricks that you earn in game and is also the place where you can unlock the bonus level creator.
The Leaky Cauldron also allows you to replay levels in free roam mode or move onto the next level. This is also the place where you are taken to after each year and just like you can move onto the next level, you can move onto the next year from this area.
Players can also get help from their friends with multiplayer mode however the drawback here is that there is no online multiplayer, only local multiplayer. This is a drawback for quite a few people as Iím sure many would enjoy playing online with people however I know a lot of people will be happy that multiplayer was included anyway, even if itís only local multiplayer.
Multiplayer in Lego Harry Potter employs a pretty nice split screen technique where if another player goes off to the other side of the room, the screen will automatically split in two so you donít need to worry about the camera stretching out so youíre both in the picture like you may have seen with some games.
When you wish to go into multiplayer mode, all you need to do is press start on the second controller at any time during play and subsequently, you can just hit drop out from the pause menu when the second player wishs to stop playing. No need to wait til the end of the level for a player to drop in or out of the session which Iím sure will please a lot of people.
The graphics are as you would expect from the Lego games, it is filled with Lego looking pieces from the Harry Potter universe. The graphics havenít changed much from previous games but since itís a game about Lego, they really donít need to change if they look just like Lego do.
The game has plenty of replayability because of all the hidden extras, from students in peril to finding unlockable characters and finding all the shortcuts in the castle, there is no end to the amount of fun anyone can have with this Lego game.