LEGO: Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC | Wii | PSP | DS
LEGO: Harry Potter: Years 1-4 box art
System: PS3, PC, X360, Wii, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Traveller's Tales 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 29, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Progress in the game is incremental. You unlock items you will need to solve puzzles to gain access to places where you can find more items and continue the process. New characters will also be added to your party. There are plenty of them, but they are basically one-trick ponies. Think of them as power-ups to be used in specific situations. Spells including fire, levitation, and transfiguration will be acquired one at a time as they are handed down to you by more powerful sorcerers. In real life, another friend can join you in co-op mode. It’s an ad hoc mode where another gamer can enter into the game at any time, and leave without making too much of a mess. This mode is more of a novelty as most of the fun will be extracted alone.

LEGO: Harry Potter: Years 1-4 screenshot

Unlike the console versions, the locations aren’t rendered to “wow” status. We will visit Hogwarts School, Diagon Alley, and the Forbidden Forest. All locations employ the key landmark features that make them distinguishable, and even though they are in the LEGO universe, the graphics are too boxy and pixilated even by LEGO standards. We’re cheated out of a lot of good visuals due to the top-down perspective we’re forced to play at. This is standard for classic RPGs, but for a game like this, it’s a cop out. An over-the-shoulder view would likely improve the control system as well as the overall feel of the game as you are immersed in the world at eye level.

There’s seldom a dull moment in the audio realm. Even though the music is repetitive, it’s classic movie music that’s designed to enhance the scene. The soundtrack elicits emotions of fright, anger and humor. Even the characters get in on the act with some grunts, groans, and winces.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1 – 4 could certainly use an infusion of magic. It’s functional and even fun, but it’s not reached its full potential. The storyline is little more than a walk through the various movie scenes and locations. For a game that casts a lot of spells, it certainly lacks magic.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

Too pixilated and blocky even for LEGO.
Good use of the stylus, but there are some command issues.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Good music and sound effects, though repetitive.

Play Value
The younger and more inexperienced you are, the more you’ll like this game.

Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Build the adventure from Privet Drive to the Triwizard Tournament and experience the magic of the first four Harry Potter stories – Lego style!
  • Explore Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learn spells, brew potions, and relive the adventures like never before with tongue-in-cheek humor and creative customization that is unique to LEGO videogames!
  • Play as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, as well as other favorite characters; over 100 playable characters.
  • Attend lessons, cast spells, mix potions, fly on broomsticks, and complete tasks to earn house points.
  • New look and feel with stylus-based movement and spell-casting.
  • 2-player ad hoc co-op.

  • Screenshots / Images
    LEGO: Harry Potter: Years 1-4 screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO: Harry Potter: Years 1-4 screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO: Harry Potter: Years 1-4 screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO: Harry Potter: Years 1-4 screenshot - click to enlarge

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