Apologies for the lack of content over the last few days. It’s summer, it’s the holidays, and it’s just not fun for me to update a silly blog when I’m spending time with loved ones, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about you Muggles reading this drivel. Oh, I certainly do. You’re the best, even if you’re extremely quiet and reserved. Anyways…
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4. I can has it. I left work last Tuesday and immediately headed to my local GameStop. Walked in, eyed the clerk, and cast my spell. “Avada Kedavra!” I shouted, throwing my wallet into his face. He fell over dead, heavy as a bag of rocks, faster than Edward Cedric Diggory could say, “Cho.” Another clerk came out, and this time I thought about what I really wanted.
“Um, do you have LEGO Harry Potter for the Xbox 360?” I asked.
“Sure.” He rung me up, almost in a daze, and then before he could call the cops on me for taking out one of his own, I threw a Stupefy in his face and hurried home. Alas, I had some other stuff to do, so the game just sat on my desk like a letter from Hogwarts, begging to be enjoyed. Finally, after some coffee and Clarkesworld slushing, it was time.
I played the first hour of the game and then, in some sort of crazy fever rush, wrote about it for The First Hour in the very same evening. No idea how that happened. Usually, it takes me a day or two to clean up my notes. Add in how lazy I can get and well…this is a miracle and should be looked upon as such. You can check out my review of the first hour of gameplay for LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 by clicking this very sentence. I know, just like magic.
After that, I had to wait for Tara to come over so we could experience Hogwarts co-op style. We played the first hour again together and have, as of now, gotten to the middle of Book Two. Our next mission is most likely following the spiders into the woods to deal with Aragog. You’d think with an entire weekend we’d have gotten farther in the game, but the castle itself is almost like a never-ending level, with so much to explore and a Metroid-like progression to it. This means you’ll come across lots of spots you can’t access until you have a new ability, such as speaking Parseltongue to get by a snake or the right kind of spell to take out a specific obstacle. It makes retracing familiar ground a treat, and there’s always something new to see or experience or collect.
By far, it’s the best LEGO game I’ve played yet. LEGO Star Wars comes in a close second, but the simple fact that everything you see or interact with is magical allows for a much more fun–and surprising–environment. Hitting a couch in say LEGO Batman might just have it explode into a bunch of studs. Hitting a couch in LEGO Harry Potter could mean anything: seriously, so far, couches alone have done backflips, jumped high into the air, disappeared entirely, swallowed students, and shrunk down to the size of a dustball. That’s what I’m talking about.
Co-op is pretty fun. The camera occasionally still goes wonky, especially during lessons where you’re stuck in a small room, but otherwise it works well when splitting up. One thing Tara and I both really don’t like is that certain spells are lumped together under one spot, meaning if you want to cast a certain one, like where you shrink an opponent’s head or tie him up with rope, you have to wait for it to cycle through to it. Annoying and unnecessary. And since co-op is fun, I’ve decided that’s how I want to play the rest of the game. So, until I see Tara again over the weekend, no LEGO Harry Potter for me. That’s okay. I might go find a cheap game to fill in the gap until then since I’m mostly done with everything else in my collection, save for blowing up an endless stream of white dots in The Saboteur.