Five years ago developer studio Traveller’s Tales launched their LEGO adaptation of the Star wars saga – a first in what was to be become one of the most successful range of games targeted for a younger audience. Since then Traveller’s Tales has tried their hand at rethinking Indiana Jones and Batman, and the time has finally come to re-create every ones favourite sorcerer, Harry Potter, in bright and shiny plastic blocks.
In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 you get to take the guise of Harry himself explore the winding halls of sorcerer school Hogwarts, and help enact Traveller’s Tales’ irreverent interpretation of the four first movies.
Compared to prior LEGO games Harry Potter: Years 1-4 manage to both stay true to form, and bring much needed evolution to the somewhat tired template. High speed platforming is replaced with more measured adventuring, and action extravagance is tempered with increased exploration and puzzle solving.
The Potter movies successfully portray a sense of wonder and adventure, a feeling that’s been capture elegantly by Traveller’s Tales’ game offering; you’ll get to learn powerful magical spells, escape from the claws of towering trolls, brew fuming potions, and fight animated statues as well as flying books. You’ll have to use stealth and learn guard’s patrol routes be hearth, timing your movements if you’re to avoid being caught outside your dorm at night.
Practice makes perfect
Alongside Harry you control co-stars like Hermione and Ron, using the friend’s combined skills to escape tricky mazes and solve various tasks. Controls are quickly assimilated, and younger players are taught the varying tricks of a magician’s trade trough easy to understand tutorials and training sessions.
The designers at Traveller’s Tales have crated an accomplished and polished game world for LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4. Levels vary deftly between puzzle sections, spell learning classes, exploration and action intertwined with slapstick cut scenes re-telling the Harry Potter tales with a twinkle in the eye psp games.
A fountain of plastic fun
Once through the sizeable storyline, which should take you some 8-10 hours, you’re nowhere near closing the book on the game’s offering. Hogwarts and the surrounding countryside is a veritable goldmine, designed to keep kids coming back to scrounged for extras, long after the sheen has worn off for adult gamers on psp games.
While LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 doesn’t push Sony’s powerful little handheld anywhere close to its limits, you’re treated to pleasing scenery, well animated models and plenty of fireworks as you let loose with your magical armoury. The orchestral soundtrack is well chosen and technically strong, while sound effects tend towards the strangely tinny and scratchy – somewhat marring the audio impression.
A perfect fit
Harry Potter: Years 1-4 is a refreshing new take on Traveller’s Tales LEGO formula, and will appeal to fans of the previous LEGO games and the diminutive, bespeckled magician. Fans of Sony’s PSP should feel pleased, that their preferred handheld finally houses an almost flawless Harry Potter experience, that should be enjoyed by children in all ages.