Advantages good game play, fun to play with your child, longevity
Disadvantages None unless you get stressed like me and throw your remote when you are stuck
|Value for Money|
|Difficulty & Complexity|
|Longevity||Very good longevity|
Let it be said straight away that I am not a gamer by any means. I enjoy having a go on the wii and things but I soon become frustrated with game play and so I much prefer to play on dancing games where I am at least pretty good at them! However, my son loves to play on the wii and so when I purchase games for him I am often looking for games which we will be able to play together and this is how I came to purchase Lego Harry Potter years 1-4.The game loads in the same way as any other wii game loads in that once the game is inserted in to the wii you need to click on the game icon with the wii remote and allow it to load. With this Lego game once you have started a new game the sequence is quite impressive as you are shown Harry’s arrival at number 4 Privet Drive as a baby and so of course meet Dumbledore, Professor Mc Gonegal and Hagrid all as Lego characters which is nice.
You begin the game in the leaky cauldron where you have the options to go to Hogwarts to continue your game, replay a level, play free play or go through to Diagon Alley. I have to say that initially my son and I did get quite confused about where we were meant to go and how we would play the game but after a few plays we became more familiar with what things led where. In Diagon Alley there are various shops in which you can buy wizarding supplies and characters once you have found their token in the game using Lego studs which you earn through the game.The game basically follows the principles of the Harry Potter films in that you follow the story in order of the films picking up on key events as you go along and so you will have to battle the troll in year one, the snake in year two, rescue Sirius Black in year three and complete the maze and battle Voldemort in year four. My son and I found that as the story of the game followed these patterns that we had a bit of an idea of what to expect and what might be coming next but this was not always the case. On many occasions my son and I would get lost within the game, especially as we first began to play, and so we would have to head upstairs and have a look on you tube as a guide to find out what we needed to do. It is handy though that for the most part there are arrows pointing the way in Hogwarts and so you can usually find where you need to go with a bit of practice.
As you go through the game you will find that there are different characters in which you can play certain levels with and that you will sometimes need to use their characters to get past a certain part of a level, for example in year one to follow the troll you need to turn in to Ron’s rat who will crawl through some pipes and then release a wall for the other players to go through. You will also find that much like within the films the characters need to complete tasks in order to learn certain spells which are required in the levels. All of the spells obviously are used for a different purpose and it can be tricky at first to remember what spell is required when but the game only gives a few spells at once and you will usually find that the latest spell you are learned is the one required. I have to say my son was much better than me at remembering which spells did what and he would sometimes get frustrated with me as I forgot or pressed the wrong button to scroll through all of the spells at our disposal!You can play this game as a solo player or as a multi player and my son and I more often than not played it together as it was a bit of fun family time (lets pretend here that I didn’t get frustrated on more than one occasion and throw my wii remote across the room!) What is really good about this Lego game in comparison to some others is when the game is being played with two players the screen splits in two. Now with other Lego games prior to this the screen would split but if one player was lagging behind the other player could not continue but with Harry Potter you can just go off and do your own thing without feeling stuck. Of course my son and I tried to stay together for the most part and it was usually him waiting around for me to catch up!
Obviously the aim of the game is to defeat all of the baddies at the level ends but this isn’t all there is to it at all. As you go through levels I have explained already that you learn new spells and with these spells as you go through Hogwarts you can use them to fire magic at items which will then release Lego studs which you can then save to purchase new characters in Diagon Alley. However, you cannot purchase characters until you have found them hidden in the game and so there is a lot of scopes to go back and replay levels even after you have beaten all of the baddies in the game. My son and I have not found or bought all of the characters as yet even though we have completed all of the levels and so there is a lot of playability left in the game for us as we try and find lots more studs, characters and other bonuses which may be lurking around. During each level you are also encouraged to collect as many studs as possible so that you can achieve true wizard status at the end of that level and if you get this you will be rewarded with a gold brick which can be used to unlock bonus content and rewards.My son and I found that some level ends were much trickier than others and to be honest I was expecting that the end level where you battle with Voldemort after he has killed Cedric would be the hardest but this is not really the case. I wasn’t allowed to play this level under orders from my son and he played it on his own and beat Voldemort with ease to be honest! Despite this he was absolutely made up that he had managed it on his own and so he got a real sense of achievement despite it not being as difficult as we had anticipated.
The graphics in the game are wonderful as far as I am concerned. I love the fact that key things from the films are recreated using Lego animation throughout the levels and I think it really adds a lot to the game play as you go along. The fact that it will pause too at key moments to show this just allows you a few seconds break from game play which I think is a good thing too. The music used in the game is very similar to that used in the films too.The controls to play the game can be tricky at times because you need the nunchuck accessory to control the characters movement whilst the buttons on the main wii remote are used to swap characters and cast spells and such like and I would often forget and press the wrong buttons but I don’t think this really hinders the game and for a more experienced game player I am sure this wouldn’t be an issue at all. My son had no issues with the controls at all apart from when we hadn’t played for a while and his memory would just need refreshing.
This game can actually be purchased from just £11.00 now because later on this month the Lego Harry Potter years 5-7 will be released! The new game is already on my son’s Christmas list and to be honest I am looking forward to playing it with him! I would certainly recommend picking up this game on the wii because I do think it is a fun game which you can play with your children.Thank you for reading my review!
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