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LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 - PC
Format: Video GameChange
Price:$8.79+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2010
I'm trying to divide my review into two parts: 1) The game. 2) The bugs.

1) The game. The game is an innovative take on the standard Lego game engine (which I have been used to from the Star Wars versions), with a much more fluid game interface and transition giving it a stronger feel of a cohesive world. I'm not that familiar with the Harry Potter story, but my son (the game player) finds that it fits right in with the story line. I did notice that the Lego tradition of no dialog (only grunting) in the video transitions completely breaks down. If you don't know the movies (or at least the book) they make no sense. It took my son over 8 hours to play the game through to the end (just to get to the levels, not to do the free play). Overall it is a fun game for those who like Harry Potter and the general Lego take on these things in its games. Just on that basis I would give it a 4 star rating.

2) The bugs. Their technical support tells me that Windows 7 is not supported. I have a laptop with Windows 7 and better graphics which would crash. There were two types of crashes. Random crashes that just didn't repeat if you replayed the level, and then there were two specific points in the game which crashed 100% of the time. I was able to get around those crashes by lowering the graphics setting in one place, and raising it back up in the other. I moved it to an older Vista machine, and it works (it crashes on exit, but who cares?). That older Vista machine has a lousy graphics card and to the credit of the game makers, they adjust the graphics down to compensate, so the game works fine. I have to say that first of all Amazon is incorrectly listing this game as compatible with Windows 7, so beware, and second of all it is not acceptable to release a game incompatible with Windows 7 8 months after it is released to the general public. Who do they think are buying these games with sophisticated graphics? Exclusively people with year-old machines? Unacceptable.

I have asked Amazon for what their resolution to this matter will be. I expect them to refund customers even with open boxes. Although I got the game to work because I happen to have an older Vista machine, most won't, and the game simply doesn't work as advertised.

EDIT: Just heard back from Amazon customer service - they are indeed refunding it even if the product was opened. Since I found a way to get the game to work, I probably will not be returning it, but good for Amazon for making it right.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2010
Best (and simplest) LEGO game yet and suitable for all ages.

Excellent tech support (and you most likely will need it). Be sure your machine WELL EXCEEDS the basic hardware requirements required for the game to function properly. I would even recommend that it surpasses recommended hardware specs for a trouble-free gaming experience as this game makes some serious demands on your system if run with all options enabled.

I had many issues and challenges with this game the first weeks after release but have since resolved all challenges I faced both with TT Games support and through personal trial and error. Now it's back to fun and am looking to complete it this weekend.

Incidentally, I am running this on Windows 7 32-bit with 4 GB of RAM on an Intel Dual-Core 1.86 GHz machine. Just make sure that you have a VERY good video card with sufficient power to run this game. Some of the later levels are very graphics intensive and will bog your machine down to crash mode if you do not have sufficient resources.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2010
Playing LEGO Harry Potter for the PC has been an exercise in fun sprinkled with a few bouts of frustration.

First off, the gameplay is just about flawless but I do have a nitpick or two:

PROS:

- If you can think of any character in the Harry Potter Universe, you can pretty much play as that character in the LEGO Game. My wife was especially excited when she realized she could play as a plasticised version of Robert Pattinson (He's SOOO DREAMY!! Could LEGO Twilight be next?!).
- One of the bonus extras that shows up early in the game prevents characters from constantly falling to their doom, which was a *huge* problem with previous games. Sure, it's a 3D game, but it's also on a 2D screen and thus the lack of depth perception makes the location of some objects difficult to figure out in relation to other objects. Perhaps this isn't an issue if you have a 3D screen?
- While playing with two players, the screen "splits" in order to allow individuals to explore without needing their companion to tag along. It's a weird effect that does take some time to get used to, but it makes 2-player multitasking so much easier and much more fun.
- The idea of having the characters use the Wingardium Leviosa spell to build objects is genius and extremely fun to watch.
- Like the other LEGO games, the surprises, creativity, and slightly dark humor put into the game are just a joy to behold. It must be a lot of fun working for Traveler's Tales!
- Music from the scores for the first four films -- including Patrick Doyle's -- is a nice touch.
- The game is huge! My wife and I are spending a lot more time getting to the 100% level than other LEGO games.

CONS:

- NOT having Wingardium Leviosa as the default spell when beginning a level is silly. The "joke" spells are fun but since they add nothing to the gameplay, they shouldn't be the default spells.
- A few scenarios require you to use Wingardium Leviosa to stack LEGO bricks (instead of automatically build) in order to reach certain objects. Trying to stack bricks is nothing short of frustrating and has NO fun factor.

Now, a lot of complaints have been brought against the PC version of this game but I think a lot of it's overblown, IMO. I have Windows 7 32 bit and haven't encountered any situations where I couldn't get past a certain level -- my wife and I are just about at the 100% level. And in terms of stability, I haven't found anything that makes me throw my hands up and give up. Nevertheless, it's not perfect like it has been with past LEGO games.

PROS of PC Version:

- The resolution/video settings can be as high as you want and you can still get a fantastic framerate. Of course, you're limited by your hardware, but most PC sold these days should handle this game easily.
- The PC version is $10 cheaper than the console versions (right?).

CONS:

- 2-Player Free mode is a mess. The game *does* randomly crash for no reason that my wife and I can figure out. Luckily, we are given a "warning" when the game is about to crash - the audio pops in and out - and thus we're able to save our game before catastrophe strikes.
- With the Logitech Rumblepad 2 controller in 2-player mode, one of the controllers will drop out unexpectedly in multiple locations throughout the game. This is a serious enough problem that it warrants a reprimand against the QA dept. I'm not sure if it's specific to the Rumblepad 2 and/or if it affects the XBox 360 Controller for PC, but it really is aggravating.
- I have *never* successfully been able to close out the game without getting a "Crash" notice in Windows 7.

So, in essence, when the game works, it's fantastic and comes highly recommended; I just wish that it would work 100% of the time. I guess if you're willing to go with lower resolution/graphics quality but with more stability, then go with one of the console versions. If you're willing to take a chance on the PC version, by all means do so as I still was able to do everything I wanted with it in the end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2011
My desktop's CPU is an AMD 6000+ with 4GB RAM a Radeon HD 5750 1GB graphics card and 1TB of disk space (I built it myself). It handled the graphics without problems and I was able to finish the game, but the game was pretty buggy and I had to restart it almost after every chapter. Be aware that it's graphics intensive, so you need a good graphics card to play it. I doubt the default desktops from Best Buy would be able to play it.

The game hangs very often. If it had no bugs, it would be the best LEGO game of them all. The characters can cast different spells and potions, fly in brooms, etc. Hogwarts is huge with many places to explore. The graphics are beautiful and detailed and the different actions each character can do are numerous.

The worst bug was in the part with Fluffy (the 3-headed dog). It didn't behave correctly, so that the solution to the puzzle didn't work. Restarting the game didn't help either. I had to create a new save point and play the game all over again. The second time it worked well.

Hanging around the Leaky Cauldron would cause the game to hang every time, so I would try to leave it as soon as possible. Sometimes, one of the Xbox controllers would work and not the other (I played it with the controllers plugged to my PC).

I noticed if I completed a chapter and waited until the new chapter started before quitting the game, most of the time the game would not hang. This could be psychological because I have only played the story game once (no free play).

My recommendation is to wait until the game drops in price to $10 and then buy it. That way you won't feel so bad putting up with the bugs and restarting the chapters. I was able to finish the game, but I'm not going to try free play. It's just too buggy. I deleted it from my hard drive and am now playing the Pirates of the Caribbean Lego game. So far that one has no bugs (Crossing my fingers).

UPDATE June 10,2011: I forgot to mention that another bug was that the only characters I could play were Harry, Hermione, Ron, and some Hufflepuff boy. None of the characters I bought or got in the story were added to the list so some areas that required characters from other houses remained off limits.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2012
This is a great game and a lot of fun, but that's not what I'm here to talk about.

I'm here to say that the PC port of this game is terrible. It is buggy and the developers have abandoned it. You can't play it in windows 7 without going into your system settings and downgrading your system sound. If you don't do that, the game will crash at start. It's that bad. The forums are full of people complaining about this issue but the developers don't care, they have abandoned their users.

Don't buy this game, don't support lazy ports, if you really want to play it you can find a way matey, yarrr!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2010
Our family owns most of the LEGO games for the PC so we've come to expect some minor tech issues but LEGO Harry Potter is ridiculously bug-ridden. I can't recommend this game because of the lack of quality control and TT's categorical refusal to issue any patches. The game was released nearly half a year ago and they don't even address the issue on their site much less offer any fixes. If you plan to play this game to completion, expect to spend at least 3 times longer than necessary due to the number of times you'll have to restart the program after encountering the many (entirely fixable if TT cared) bugs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
I've managed to get to Year 03 - Level 04: The Shrieking Shack when the program stops and the message given is: Lego Harry Potter Main Executable has stopped working

A problem caused the program to stop working correctly. Windows will close the program and notify you if a solution is available.

Obviously this is not the first time that this has happened and upon researching the problem I have found this: I read some reviews for the PC version of Lego Harry Potter on amazon, and apparently a lot of people had complaints. Apparently it crashes and locks up a lot on Windows 7, and people had to dumb their PCs down to get it to stop being so crashy. Of the 6 reviews, 5 gave it 1 star and 1 gave it 2 stars. It looks like TT games did not do a good job for the PC. The game supposedly only works well on Vista or XP.

I would tell people do not bother to buy the program if it's not going to work properly and there are no fixes.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2010
I have both the Windows version and the Wii version of this game and have not been able to complete the game with either version. Both my son and I have tried several times from the beginning to play the game through and have always run into some sort of glitch or crash the prevents us from completing the game. The developers have not patched or updated these games to fix the problems. Its sad because it is a fun game. But when a crash stops you from getting past the 3rd year you just give up. At least on the Wii version we could get through the 4 years. But due to bugs and glitches we still couldn't collect all the items need to fully complete the game.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2010
I hate paying full price to beta test software, and you should too. It is unfortunate, since this is clearly the best of the LEGO games so far in gameplay, but the bugs make it very frustrating. There is a fatal bug in the third year which makes the game impossible. Due to a glitch, your game will freeze at the same point every time and you will not be able to go on. As a result, this is only Harry Potter years 1-3 1/2. There is no year four, since there is no way to get there.

As usual with the LEGO games, great concept, but they might want to invest in beta testers before releaseing this junk on the unsuspecting public!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2010
My 6 year old son has been into Legos for 2 years, and he likes the first few Harry Potter games, so I decided to try this one. The keyboard controls aren't that difficult for an adult, but they are a little hard for a 6 year old. No matter, he loves watching the game and following along.
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