on July 24, 2010
As with many people, I found this game to be wonderful, magical, fun, clever, and satisfying. And I am a grownup. Go figure. I have enjoyed the other Lego games and thanks to the dedication to the source material, this game really clicked with me.
But since I have little to say that hasn't already been said by many other glowing reviews, I wanted to offer something that might be helpful to other gamers, a tip that I myself was unable to find on the forums and therefore wanted to share the fix. I am sure I am not the only person who ran into this particular glitch, so here it is.
I am sandbox play person, someone who loves to systematically explore everything before moving on to another level, and when I began running through Hogwarts during the first level or two, I smashed and charmed everything I could find and somehow managed to enter a courtyard I may not have been expected to enter at that stage of the game. This didn't cause any problems until after I left Snape's potion lab and discovered that every time I followed the ghost's directions to get outside to what would eventually be the greenhouse area, the game would freeze up when I entered the aforementioned courtyard. EVERY time.
I tried cleaning the disk, and even tried another disk of the game, and it froze every time and broke my heart. I searched forums and while many glitches were reported and even a few suggestions, I found no description of that particular glitch, and wondered if there was something wrong with my Wii, such as limited memory or something.
This is what I stumbled upon: I erased the saved game and started fresh, which was a bit tedious considering you don't get to skip the animation sequences. This time around, instead of running amuck and exploring everything, I followed the ghosts' directions and went where the game wanted me to go. Needless to say, the levels played very quickly, but suddenly I found myself past the freezing glitch and into many more levels. After I had completed those levels, I copied the saved game file to my SD card for safekeeping, as I knew that save was a good one, and could go back into the game and free play and explore to my heart's content. And if I find another freeze glitch, I can copy the saved game file from the SD card back onto the Wii itself and continue from that point.
Bottom line: the game design somehow made it so that you might inadvertently get ahead of the game's intentions by exploring too much, and if that happens, the game gets confused when it finds you had already done something it wasn't expecting you to have done yet, and it freezes. The best way to avoid this is to go where the game tells you to, THEN free play later and explore.
Yes, this was very frustrating for me to figure out, and certainly could have been avoidable by the game designers. However, the overall pleasure I got from the game compensates for the issue, and I won't really hold it against anyone, at least not now that I solved what turned out to be the biggest unintentional puzzle of the game for me.
Hope this helps any of you who may run into the same problem! Now go enjoy this delightful game!
on June 29, 2010
We have had this in our house for a week, and I must say that there are many features in this that improve over the earlier LEGO games by this company. My son (11) and daughter (15), whom I have watched with his friends rather than played myself (on a new flatscreen TV, which admittedly adds to their excitement), are utterly mesmerized by the world and narrative that they are able to enter with this game.
When I bought it (in Europe at about 1/3 more in price), I was worried that it would only be a simple variation on the earlier LEGO video games. To summarize, the earlier games (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, all of which we have in more than one format) allow children to become part of the story. They know the films, but are able to interact in the environment and create their own versions. These are not games with an adversary to beat or at least compete against, but a collaborative journey where you try to get through a number of obstacles, more similar to a maze than, say, monopoly. This is a wonderful variation for kids, who too often seek enemies in video games or someone to conquer. In the LEGO tradition, there is also a building motif, where you collect enough parts to get to a kind of construction critical mass, so you win a level and objects are assembled and a film episode is played with LEGO characters. It has action, but is not bloodily violent, so good for little kids. Finally, it is easy to start over and keep going on a journey through the films. Just this makes these unique game concepts, but you can only get so many. There is absolutely wonderful detail and characters in a simplified LEGO version that is charming, though they don't talk.
While this is definitely in continuity with the earlier games and so reassuringly familiar as all great brands should be, I was happily impressed with this version, which I think is a quantum improvement. The environment is more complex and multi-facetted, with all of the HPotter universe to explore. The levels and tasks they have to perform are more complex than the earlier games, so it is longer lasting, and there appears to me to be more character in the powers and personalities of each figure that my kids can choose to play. There is absolutely nothing that seems derivative about this. For example, instead of hitting, whipping, or cutting with a light saber, they can cast spells that are far more varied in their effects. As a school, there are also lessons to learn at each stage, which adds a new dimension that relates to the narrative. In addition, my kids love the split screen feature - it allows them to go to more places and there are things they can do in each place that help their "mission".
Warmly recommended. This is a wonderful addition to an evolving medium.
First, let me say, I love all the combination of three of my favorite franchises, Harry Potter/ LEGO / NINTDNDO. Since the TRAVELER's TALES Star Wars LEGO Games came out, I've prayed to the GAMING GODS that a reissue of old ELECTRONIC ARTS PC LEGO Harry POTTER LEGO games for Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets would happen. The LEGO "Creator" software was just that, it focused on the block-building experience on a PC without adding any real gaming experience and was surprisingly difficult to actually build anything. Unfortunately, the LUCASGAMES partnering with TRAVELER's TALES Games is much more successful than the WARNER BROS GAMES partnering with TRAVELLER's TALES, BATMAN LEGO for example is good, but not great. So although these new HP LEGO games are vastly superior to the 2001-2002 EA counterparts, they aren't GREAT. The storytelling with pantomime and LEGOese is always clever and fun. Complex game puzzles maybe to hard for both young and old gamers to solve thanks to glitches and inherent problems using the Wii controllers. If you have played the Star War Sag LEGO game then you will be comfortable with Harry Potter Years 1-4, which like the Game Cube editions of the SW Lego I. and II. will combine to tell the whole story (a neat 4 movie/ 4 movie split now that the 7th book will be split into 2 movies). The game HUB in all of the LEGO games is another comforting format for players familiar with the LEGO games... here is where the REPLAY value of the LEGO games is so high, as new characters with new skills are unlocked replaying the same story segments become new experiences in FREE PLAY. From the HUBS (like the BAT CAVE or the Cantina) the Leaky Cauldron is where you can return to HOGWARTS (for new or to replay levers)or access Diagon Alley to unlock characters, spells, extras and bonus levels. The Dark Magic unlockables (represented by a red glow, like Dark Force in SW Lego games), once you get a bad wizard to control will add even more play to the stories, like Barty Crouch Jr. or other DeathEaters for example.
There are some improvements over the Star Wars / INDY / BATMAN. For example in Diagon Alley you find Madam Malkin's Robe shop, here you can purchase unlocked characters, but the classic mix-and-match allows you to customize characters to use in FREE PLAY. This in itself isn't an improvement, but thanks to the POLYJUICE POTION (a potion unlocked in year 2 ) you can transform into any character you have unlocked or customized. The POLYJUICE Cauldrons are scattered around Hogwarts, so it is almost like having early-access to FREEPLAY with your original creations.
There is a super variety of spells from the books and movies, each strikingly animated. Players have spell wheels to flip though using 1 & 2 on the remote, this becomes increasingly hard to find what you are looking for once you get more skilled. The Wii remote is used to pan the screen which responds in colors connected to the spell, this however isn't consistent unless you have the spell "on" the wheel at the time. If you buy new spells in Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment (in Diagon Alley) they will all be placed on the same part of the wheel, at around 12-1 `0' clock, later a school lesson will add another there, this really makes play difficult.
ONE MAJOR complaint I have about the new game format is that although you have new freedom to wander Hogwarts school grounds without precisely following the Story arc bits at all times, if you do not follow your ghost-guides you risk some major glitches. For example going into the transfiguration classroom to soon cause us to have to replay a level to get skills we missed. Even saving wrong seemed to block some avenues to continue story.
Overall I recommend the HP year 1-4 Lego to players 9 to ADULTS with a love for Harry and the BLOCKS. I totally intend to get 5-7 as well.
on June 30, 2010
I have all the other Lego, save for Lego Rock Band and Indiana Jones 2, and this game is a great addition to the franchise. I was worried because, of the bad reviews of Lego IJ2 and thought they are trying to change the format too much, but the changes here are positives. I do like the split screen because it allows for dual exploration much easier than previous Lego games. My five year old daughter thinks its "easy" and enjoys "leading' on the adventure with me.
I haven't gotten too far into the game yet, but what I have seen I have liked. Once I figured out how the spells were able to be changed and a few of the other new additions, I felt very comfortable with the controls. Reading the booklet would be helpful, but I like to figure things out for myself.
This game is not for everyone, but if you're into less violent games that allow for puzzling adventure. This is for you. Anyone who liked the other Lego games are sure to enjoy this one as well.
on October 7, 2010
I have now played the game twice through and love it, although neither time have I been able to reach 100% completion. THIS GAME HAS GLITCHES!
The game is definitely worth buying, but before playing it I would suggest reading about the glitches in the game online so that you can avoid making the same mistakes I have made. The first time through I lost my entrance circle to the Griffindor Common Room. After some searching online, I was not the only person to have this happen. Apparently, if a non-Griffindor character attempts to enter the common room, the lighted circle will disappear and the portrait will just sing, never opening the door. The way to avoid this glitch is make sure you always use a Griffindor character AND get all the red bricks, gold bricks, and characters pieces, out of the dorm as soon as possible in case you loose the circle. I avoided this the second time around by playing the game straight through the story line and not playing the free play until after completing all 24 story lines. The second time around at this game, I followed my own advice and got to 99.9% done. Unfortunately I still need one character stud in order to 100% complete the game. That character stud is in Hogwarts castle, unfortunately what I didn't know was that when you build the last bonus level after finding all 200 gold bricks, if you immediately play the level, once you obtain Voldemort, you can no longer reenter the castle. Prior to building the last level I had 2 characters to find at 98.8% complete. When I realized I needed to go back to Knockturn Alley to find a character I did just that and built and played the level. Unfortunately the game does not warn you that once you play this level you are unable to go back to the castle. So, the game as it stands is complete at 99.9%. At first I thought maybe I was doing something wrong or once you have voldemort you need to enter the castle a different way, I did a search online and found many players ran into this issue.
I really enjoy playing the game, these were 2 of the glitches I have encountered as well as the game freezing up on me a few times, but overall it is well worth the buy. I do have all the previous released Lego games with the exception of Lego Rock Band (which didn't interest me), I would definitely rank this game as high as Star Wars the original trilogy game. Star Wars being first and this being tied with Batman for second. It is definitely worth the buy and it will keep you entertained for hours, just read about the glitches first in order to avoid them.
on August 30, 2010
Our family has enjoyed all of the Lego games on Wii and being fans of the Harry Potter stories we were really looking forward to this game.
The gameplay is excellent and a nice improvement over what was becoming very formulaic in the Lego series. The adherence to the stories is admirable, the environments spot on and the bits of humor inserted are very welcome. All in all, the design, writing and gameplay are all excellent. The split screen carry over from Indy 2 was a really nice touch. It's too bad that the great work of all of those writers, designers and programmers was wasted.
This game was shipped long before it was ready. Travellers Tales apparently fired their QA dept. before this game shipped, or else they just didn't bother giving the game to them. We've had multiple instances of saved games being lost, characters stuck in endless loops requiring losing a level, freezes requiring reboots and some levels that become unplayable upon beginning them. You can't restart the level because they've been auto-saved at a bug.
I can picture the scene in a conference room: "The game isn't ready." "I don't care, we have to ship." "It's buggy." "I don't care, we have to ship."
Well, TT, I do care. I spent my $50 for something you knew was defective.
Fool me once, shame on you.
There won't be a second time. I will never purchase another title from your company.
on July 20, 2010
I am a huge fan of the Lego series, especially Lego Star Wars, and I really love Harry Potter so I just had to buy this game. I wish I had not! I've already run across 2 awful glitches which made us have to start the game over WAY back from where we were. Because of the way the game autosaves, if you are stacking bricks or snake pieces a certain way and you run into a glitch, you can't just play that small part again - you may have to go well back. Returning to Hogsmeade and going back in does NOT solve the one problem (the snake pieces wouldn't levitate correctly when I first tried to enter the Slytherin room), and the second problem (arches got stuck in the wrong positions when trying to levitate them to allow access to a balcony) was even worse. When I returned to Hogsmeade and then tried to return to where I was - it skipped the ENTIRE section where Harry is in Tom Riddle's diary. HORRIBLE! This game is so buggy there's no WAY it should have been released. It's a shame as it can be really cool otherwise. A bit repetitive, but otherwise it had a lot of possibilities. I wish I could return this piece of junk. :( Also please be careful in book four - read about known glitches and prepare yourself for what players are calling the "basement of doom" - you may get stuck in the room and never be able to get out. :(
If you enjoy Harry Potter and have a Wii, this is a must have game! Harry Potter Years 1-4 is a total delight on the Wii. The graphics are wonderful, the music is astounding and the game itself is very, very fun. I enjoy playing games but I usually get stuck somewhere and usually not too far in, but with lots of help on the internet I can figure out what do to in this game if I need to, that or my 11 year old daughter is a whiz on it and can help me sufficiently when she plays too. The two player feature is very fun. We can play this game for hours. The cut scenes are excellent and the storyline follows the books in a refreshing, wonderful way.
Some games I have tried, I get stuck and even if I look up help on the internet, I can't make it through certain parts. This game is very fun and if you get stuck somewhere you can still play and make it through, you don't get stuck forever and you can continue game play. The snatching up of studs is a lot of fun and you can go blasting around with your wand and get hearts and studs galore. Once you master a certain spell, you can have it in your spell lot and use it as you need to and switch between different spells and you can play as different characters.
This is just a fun game and it's huge. You wander around Diagon Alley and Hogwarts and all of the places from the books and interact with lots of characters. This game has a lot to offer game players of all ages. You can also set goals of different sorts such as collecting all the gold bricks and unlock all the different characters.
I think WB put a great effort into this game to make it live up to the magic of the Harry Potter name and all of the enchantment that comes with it. This is a keeper game that you can play for a long time again and again, at least in our family anyway, we totally are enjoying it.
on July 2, 2010
My 10-year-old son is utterly engrossed in this game right now. I asked him how he would rate it and initially he said "five out of five stars." Then he though for a moment and amended his rating: "A million out of a million stars." I guess he loves it.
on July 12, 2010
Long time fan of the Lego Games by Traveler's Tales. I loved Lego Star Wars, Indy was good. Batman was my favorite. I must confess, I never played Lego Indy 2. Though, a disclaimer, I do not like the inspirational subject matter of this one near as much as the others, so it was already at a disadvantage. However, this game is so poor that I felt the need to tell everyone.
This game is just too buggy and repetitive for me. Perhaps its the subject matter, but the lack of character depth and variety in this one is just disappointing. Just basically the three main guys (Harry, Ron, and whats her name) with an occasional other guy.
That aside, it might still be a decent title. The huge problem with this one is the finicky controls and bugs (and I'm not talking about spiders crawling through the woods). The point and shoot interface of the Wii seems to be a little moody, especially when there is a clump of stuff you want to shoot. Once you lock on to one target, though you can add additional targets, you still have to shoot. That means if you accidentally lock on to another Hogwarts classmate, but you wanted to shoot a potted plant, you have to just shoot the classmate. Most of the time this doesn't matter, however, if they have been shot already, and they are provoked, this makes for an unneeded attack.
Also, if you are in a level where the game is counting towards "True Wizard," if you shoot a bunch of stuff at once because you are already locked on, you will not have time to grab everything before the studs disappear.
The next issue I have with this game is the purple floating spell. On multiple times, this has happened. Sometimes you have to levitate an object, and float it to another spot on the screen. Sometimes, it gets stuck, and you have no choice but to restart the level because you cant even float it out of wherever it is stuck. For example, in the level where Ron and the girl are chasing Dobbie in the Quiddich stadium, there comes a point you have to levitate a heavy ball, and connect it to a hanging rope to cause the gate to go up. Well, if you (either accidentally or mistakenly) put the ball into the ladder hole you climbed up on, the ball gets stuck. It is not stuck in a physical sense, because the spell is obviously trying to move it and when your character climbs on it, the ball spins in place, however, you cannot attach the ball to the place where it needs to go to advance. Guess what? You just wasted 10 minutes of your life getting to that point. There is no way to reset the ball. You must just restart the level. This also happened to me on the level where you fight the giant spider at the end. There is a rain cloud near the beginning you must form. I didnt move the rain cloud high enough into the sky, and tried to move it over to the statue. It got stuck, so I had to restart the level, as you cannot advance without doing it properly.
My next big issue with this game is the save feature. Several times, I have finished levels, watched the outtro video, and turned it off, only to find that I have to replay the level the next time I come back. Why? Because not only must you watch the end of level cutscene to save it, but you must then either select to go back to the Leaky Cauldron or on to the next level. Then, and only then does the game save your progress. This is counter intuitive to me. When I turn off at the end of a level, I dont want to go to the next chapter OR go to the Leaky Cauldron. I just want to turn it off. But I get to go back and play again.
The last gripe I've got is the parts where you have to lift something, spin it, and send it flying again. There are two that come to mind. First, when Harry gets to Ron's house and you have to flip the gnomes (or elves, or whatever) and then again when you fight the giant spider. This is so confusing and counter intuitive the way this is done, you will die many times (on the spider, not the gnomes) before you luck into hitting it 3 times. It is just frustrating.
Dont get me wrong, the level layouts are great. The music is great, and the graphics are great. To me, when a game has so many problems, it frustrates you to play it, that means its time to put it down, dust off the old Lego Star Wars or something, and play a game that is not so problematic.
For a die hard fan of Harry Potter, it might be worth it. However, if you are just a die hard Lego _______ (insert movie franchise here) fan like me, I would pass on this one.