|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. Its 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.
Unlike the console versions, the locations arent 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. Were cheated out of a lot of good visuals due to the top-down perspective were forced to play at. This is standard for classic RPGs, but for a game like this, its 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.
Theres seldom a dull moment in the audio realm. Even though the music is repetitive, its classic movie music thats 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. Its functional and even fun, but its 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.
CCC Senior Writer