- Game: Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Format: Xbox 360
- Other Formats: Everything, everywhere, ever.
- Developer: Traveller's Tales
- Publisher: Warner Bros. Games
- Genre: Platformer
This is to be the first in a series of articles regarding Lego Harry Potter on the Xbox 360. As you can probably guess from the title, I have never read any of the Harry Potter books. Nor have I seen the movies, played any of the previous licenced games, visited the Harry Potter-themed area of Universal Studios or bought the T-shirt. It actually seems like the sort of thing I would enjoy, but through a mixture of hype aversion, missing the start and not being willing to catch up, and general Discworld fanboyism the series has more or less completely passed me by.
A typical review would therefore be fairly pointless, since I would not be getting the intended experience. The Lego crossover games are all about in-jokes and parodies of famous scenes from the series, 99% of which would fly right over my head. The silent movie style of the game also means that simply trying to follow the plot will be difficult, even by the standards of licenced games which have a notorious tendency of making no attempt to explain things for non-fans.
This does however offer an opportunity to look at the games from an unusual perspective. In the style of John Durbin's Never Seen LOST, the upcoming articles will catalogue my attempts to understand the plot of four books based on a number of silent comedy sketches starring plastic toys. Before we begin, let's set out a few rules about how this will work:
- The game covers the first four books split into six chapters each. For each book I will post an article explaining what I think was going on.
- No looking things up - there are about a million sites on which I could get plot synopses and character lists to make this easier, but that would defeat the point of this series. If the game doesn't spell something out then I will make a guess at it, this includes character names so expect to meet the likes of Red Hat Guy and Lord Evilwizardington XLII.
- Following on from the previous rule, I will not be reading comments so as to avoid seeing the inevitable corrections.
- By the very nature of this series there will be untagged spoilers for the first four Harry Potter books, and for the game Lego Harry Potter. Most of these spoilers will be utterly wrong, but if you really don't want to hear anything then avoid reading the articles.
And finally, a list of the main things I know going in:
- Harry Potter and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron IDon'tKnowWhatHisSurnameIs are students at the Hogwarts school for wizards. Each book covers one year at the school.
- Harry is some kind of chosen one who was prophecised to defeat the evil wizard Lord Voldemort.
- Harry plays a broomstick-based sport called Quiddich in which about 90% of the points are scored by the guy in his role, thus making the rest of the team totally irrelevant.
- I think that Dumbledore is the headmaster, but I'm not 100% sure about this. Anyway, Snape (whoever that is) kills him.
So now onto the main articles: