Upon entering the LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 video game launch party, I was promptly stopped at the front door to be sorted by the infamous Harry Potter sorting hat. Once the hat sorted me into Ravenclaw (hey, at least it wasn’t Hufflepuff!) I entered the party to see wizards walking around in full length robes and the flags of the Hogwarts houses streaming from the ceiling. I even saw a bowl of jelly beans that I decided to avoid in case I came across an ear wax flavored Bott’s Every Flavor Bean (thanks for the tip Dumbledore). What made this version of Hogwarts even cooler than the real thing was the fact that there were TVs set up throughout the space with a sneak peak of the LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4.
The newest Lego game to hit the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation3, Nintendo DS, PSP (PlayStation Portable) and Games for Windows PC is LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4. This LEGO game takes the Harry Potter characters you know and love on a totally new, LEGO inspired adventure from Diagon Alley to Hogwarts Castle. What’s cool about the game is that much like the books it starts at the beginning, where Harry has no powers or skills. Blasted off to Dragon Alley with his trusted companion Hagrid, you work with the few skills that you and Hagrid have to get coins and move onto the next scenario. As you navigate through the game, you attend lessons, interact with the professors, mix potions, fly on broomsticks and complete tasks to collect LEGO studs. There’s even a Quidditch game or two.
What’s great about the game is that it doesn’t follow the Harry Potter storyline exactly, but rather, takes elements and details from the movies and lets you navigate through the scenarios as you move through the game. So even if you’ve read the books and seen the movie, you don’t really know what’s going to happen. The other cool thing is that you can be over 100 different players featured in the Harry Potter series; everyone from Harry, to Voldemort, to the Milkman and Madame Rosemerta. You can even switch up your players while you’re playing the game by drinking the Polyjuice potion, which fans of the movie know allows you to transform into a different character. Different characters have different powers and will help you get to your final goal. For example, you can choose to be Professor Lupin and transform into a werewolf during the game. Or you could be Voldemort, and shatter your LEGO counterparts as you pass them by. The fact that you can be over 100 different characters and navigate through places from the movie like the Forbidden Forest, the village of Hogsmeade, and Hogwarts itself, you won’t get sick of the game fast.
The game is slated to be released in June 2010.