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User reviews: Very Positive (308 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 29, 2010

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Buy LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

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$19.99
$7.99
 

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About This Game

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Helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
When the LEGO series burst onto the scene with LEGO Star Wars in 2005, it was an instant hit. The game's simple controls, fun humor, and family-friendly gameplay made it a classic among players and assured it a spot in the upper echelon of licensed games. However, as the LEGO series started branching out and extending its trademark influence across other properties, it seemed as if some of the spark had faded. The LEGO Indiana Jones games in particular were criticized for having numerous glitches and having a general lack of polish.

When I started playing LEGO: Harry Potter, I had some serious concerns. However, it looks like Traveler's Tales has gotten back to doing what they do best with LEGO Harry Potter, and the love that they put into this title definitely shows.

Right from the moment you start the game, the affection the developers have for the series as a whole is apparent. The opening cutscene features a mish-mash of humorous takes on the opening scenes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone mixed with a few nods to both the fans of the books as well as previous LEGO games. I won't spoil anything here, but it must be said that the cutscenes in LEGO Harry Potter are definitely on par with the best of the cutscenes from the LEGO: Star Wars series.

The cutscenes definitely continue the series' trademark humor, and the gameplay follows suit by providing users with more of the same puzzle-platform style of gameplay that has been featured in previous LEGO titles. Although this sounds a little disparaging, it's actually quite a boon for the game in this instance. The LEGO fanbase is one that must have some repetitious elements, especially when you consider that many of the players are quite young. Having a repetitious format may become tiresome in a game series designed for adults, but with a franchise with fans with single-digit ages, being able to hop right in and know what to do is key for success.

That's not to say, however, that there are no new elements in LEGO Harry Potter. Instead of a single action you can take with items in game, LEGO Harry Potter features more than ten special spells that you can use to achieve various effects in the game. These spells can be easily cycled through using the shoulder button, and add a new puzzle element to the game.

Although there are quite a few spells (including the always-funny Ridikkulus spell), the one you are most likely to use in 90% of situations is Wingardium Leviosa. This levitation spell is the first spell you learn and will be used to move objects around and interact with switches. The Lumos spell is also used quite a bit, along with various graduated intervals of attack-style spells including Expecto Patronus and Incendio.

And speaking of combat, there is a fair bit of magic-based fighting in LEGO Harry Potter. This is a change of pace from previous LEGO games, but it sits nicely with the overall tone of the game. The Harry Potter series of movies and books has always been well-known for its magical creatures and (at least in the beginning) fantastical battle sequences. Although boss battles generally do contain some amount of puzzling, you will be able to fire off magical spells from your wand fairly easily to overpower your opponent.

LEGO Harry Potter does a great job of refreshing and updating the LEGO series for the Harry Potter universe, but unfortunately, there are several problems that remain. One of the problems that returns from other games is the camera. Though you may not notice it if you are playing co-op and staying close to your partner, if you are playing with an adventurous partner or with a bunch of AI-controlled characters, you'll notice the camera following the wrong character or zooming out to the point of near-unplayability.

Another thing that you must know coming in is that the best way to experience LEGO Harry Potter is with a friend. Playing by yourself can be quite an exercise in frustration, and AI-controlled characters can be painfully difficult to deal with, especially when you need to get them to a certain platform or area so you can proceed. Sure, you can always use your Wingardium Leviosa spell to get them in the correct position, but this can become quite the chore and make the game feel more like Hogwarts' babysitting service than a real adventure.

A final complaint I have with this title is with the game's hub system. While hubs in previous LEGO titles have been expansive with plenty to explore, the Diagon Alley hub feels almost overwhelming. I had to search for several minutes just to find the character-purchase shop, and it felt like a chore going through the different areas, waiting for loading screens, and then tracking down who I needed to get new wardrobe choices, extra spells, or watch cutscenes. Though this may sound like a small gripe, I really relished the overall simplicity of previous games, and the complicated nature of the hub world just took away from the game's overall immersion.

Technically speaking, everything in Harry Potter maintains the status quo, which is a good thing. Cutscenes look polished, and in-game graphics maintain the signature brick-style that has become synonymous with the LEGO series. The only quibble I have with the game's visual styling (and it is a minor one) is that environments can get a little too busy at times and it can be hard to be precise with your targeting when you have dozens of interactive elements on screen. However, this only occurs in a handful of areas, and can usually be remedied by walking up to whatever element you want to interact with and targeting it directly (instead of just heading in the general direction and pressing a button.

LEGO: Harry Potter Years 1-4 is certainly the best of the post-Star Wars LEGO games. The story material is handled wonderfully (though if you've never read the books or watched the movies, prepare to be lost), and the gameplay is a great mix of familiar devices and new elements. Although the inevitable follow-up to this title may take a darker turn, I look forward to experiencing it all the same.

Recommended, 8/10!

Be sure to check out Nerd House Gaming for more reviews!
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23 of 36 people (64%) found this review helpful
32.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
While I like the Lego and Harry Potter franchises, the PC ports seemed to fall short compared to other Lego games. It plays on the same formula as all the others, with its own little additions, which isn't a bad thing. Like other people, I had technical issues with the game, as it crashed a number of times. For that reason alone, I can't recommend this installment.
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16 of 24 people (67%) found this review helpful
15.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
I was looking for a fun game to play with my wife. We are both Harry Potter fans. For the most part this game was fun to play with the exception of the crashes. We were playing with 2 Xbox 360 controllers and if you wander around into certain sections of the main lobby (The Leaky Cauldron) either one controller drops or both do. We found ourselves having to exit the game on several occasions because of this bug.

But the gameplay and the humor (really need to have seen the movies) kept us going. That is until the dreaded year 3 glitch. It takes place on the roof during your attempt to free Sirius Black. Every time the game crashes as soon as you activate the first gargoyle. We tried the work around (see the steam forum) but every time it failed we would have to force quit the game. This left us bitter and raging as we have limited gaming time and no one wants to waste it on a game this buggy. I can't recommend this game at all even if it were free. I expected more from a LEGO branded game.
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7 of 10 people (70%) found this review helpful
16.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
It's a Lego game, need I say more? Ok, it's Harry--freaking--Potter! Blimey! You're still reading this? Put it in your cart and checkout right now!

Ok, if you're still here reading this, seriously, you should get this game. Lego games are amazing, they keep the siblings happy and you yourself can still have a good time too. Chances are if I'm playing this, I have my sister with me, we both use 360 controllers and controller support is great with this game as with all lego games.

Years 1 through 4 will shoot through sibling bonding like it was no trouble at all.

This game gets a "Yes, Yes!" from Awesome Weegee.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
25.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
it is a good lego game that supports controllers although its old enough to not have steam achivements wich is good or bad depends on how you look at things
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
52.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
This is a very fun Lego game. I love most of the Lego games and I love how interactive the in-between level zones are. However there is a bug in story three I think it is called the dark tower that made it to where I could not finish the story. I have heard that the only way to bypass this bug is to start over.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
I have no clue what people are talking about with the bugs and crashes etc. Runs damn perfect for me and it's fun and enjoyable and I probably will never be bored with this and the 5-7 series also. If you get bored of playing the campaign theres always bonus things you can do like lego build games and bonus levels and just walking around diagon ally and such. Try this game out, I love it. Great game!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
This game is quite fun. I played a lot of Lego games on PS2 and Nintendo DS (mainly star wars) and this game brought back a lot of memory's. The game looks good for a lego game and actully has some settings (like resolution) something i didn't think it would have. Not a game i would play much though. There is a lot to do and unlock just like all lego games. I think 19,99€ is a little to much but i think that is mainly because i'm not a big lego fan anymore. If you like lego and Harry Potter i would recommend this game. If you are not sure yet wait for it to get on sale (since it gets pretty cheap). I heard some people is having crashes but the game never crashed for me maybe it has been fixed?
I would give this game 7,5/10
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
A hilariously enjoyable take on the series. It's based mostly off of the movies rather than the books, but the game loves to poke fun at everything. Gameplay is LEGO standard and it's surprisingly long.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
Love it
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
I do and don't recommend this verison of the game. I Always crash at year 3 and when you fall off the hypnogriffin while in the air by demantors. After that Yuo get to the point where you have to burn down ice blocking a doorbut then I always crash there.
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
18.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
For a lego game it is what you expect, a fun time with Lego and lots of mini puzzles and things to find to proceed.

Good game overall, with some problem solving to make potions and open doors to proceed.

Lego games are not for everyone, but if you like them then I recommend picking up this (if you're a Harry Potter fan) or another series which you may like.

Warning: On year 3 Level 6, there is a troublesome glitch which will CONSTANTLY stop you from proceeding, but you can look up a way to get around it easily... A little frustrating but you're able to pass it.
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
At least this LEGO game works on a Haswell i5 LE Custom Gaming rig using AMD Graphics cards connected to a 1080p Tv.

The following LEGO games (if you have i5 Haswell & AMD Graphics cards) dont work and just dont begin to launch.

1) Lego The Movie.
2) Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
3) Lego The Hobbit.

A quick flash of a box indicating `the game is about to launch` then DEAD & back to Steam.

The other 7 or 8 Lego games do work; but not the 3 listed.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 23
This game has absolutely no voice-over feature which makes it dull and boring. I didn't even bother continuing to play through
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4 of 13 people (31%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
Unfixable crashes simulator years 1-4

11/10
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2 of 9 people (22%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
The most ♥♥♥♥ty recap of the best book series of all time.
Now dont get me wrong, I LOVE lego games. (The star wars ones are of extremely high replayability and fun, maybe even challenging?)

This game is just holding a button.
Also, there's no dialogue, actually, there is. What Im saying is, MMHMMHMHMH

MMHMHMHM
AHAHAHAH
AYYY
AHHHHHH...
ahhhh...
AAHAHAHHA
YAYAYAYYA
LOLXDXD
Seriously, the jokes in this game are beyond horrid.
The gameplay is TERRIBLE.
The secrets are easy, and the plot isnt even right.
Years 5-7 aren't any better.

Why can't we ever get a good harry potter game? Like, the last one that wasn't a lego one was back on the super nintendo.

yeah.

Ive proved my point, it's a bad game.
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17.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
Excellent gameplay just a shame about the terrible PC port. Constant bugs and crashes. Controllers randomly stopping working until I quit and go to the main menu. Makes me glad I payed next to nothing for the game.
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7.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
its a good game
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19.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
A standard Lego game so obviously it's pretty good. Not the best of them, but it's Harry friggin Potter so who are you to complain? The whole gd score is in the game. It's beautiful.
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36.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
This Game is awesome.
There is so much to do in it its unbelievable and if it can keep a 20 year old girl amused im pretty sure this would be perfect for your kids, i really like how you can complete all the levels but need to come back to unlock certain things to fully complete it so when you have the right character it is exciting to go back and see what else there is, i play this with my brother and it is so much fun i am really impressed with all of the lego games.
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