LEGO Harry Potter Collection (Xbox One) Review

By Gabriel Jones 05.01.2019

Review for LEGO Harry Potter Collection on Xbox One

LEGO Harry Potter makes his return in LEGO Harry Potter Collection. In this remastered two-pack, fans the world over can revisit their favourite School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Filled with hundreds of playable characters, many hours of content, and oodles of LEGOs, this is bound to offer plenty of fun. Read the Cubed3 review to learn all about it.

As one gets older and takes on the responsibilities of adulthood, "comfort gaming" becomes increasingly appealing. For those out there who aren't in the know, picture sitting down and playing a game that doesn't have expectations or demands. The scenarios it presents do not cause heart rates to rise and expletives to fly. One is able to experience all sorts of adventures without any of the stress. In short, it's nice to not have to worry about failing, even if it is for just an hour or two - and when it comes to comfort gaming, there are few franchises as consistent as the LEGO videogames.

In worlds constructed with the company's trademark bricks, death is merely a minor inconvenience. Though situations can sometimes get intense, it's usually just to serve the narrative. There are no time limits or game overs. In most cases, the goal of each stage is to reach the end, while collecting as many goodies as the playable characters' toolset allows. There's usually some minor puzzle-solving to engage in, and combat boils down to mashing the attack button until all of the baddies are gone. The long-term value is in discovering every secret and acquiring a boatload of unlockable treats. It's the carrot and stick approach… minus the stick.

Screenshot for LEGO Harry Potter Collection on Xbox One

This formula tends to be really shallow, and yet there is still a lot of joy to be had in playing these titles. Why is that exactly? It probably has something to do with Traveller's Tales and their attention to detail. Every scene, no matter how mundane its purpose, is chock-full of clever little moments; the many interactions players will have with the worlds they explore tend to be quite amusing; cut-scenes are well-directed and show a lot of respect for the source material; fan-service, the kind that isn't found in ridiculously short skirts or boob-windows, is never in short supply either; and the references are plentiful but never overbearing and there's never an ounce of cynicism. It's remarkable how each entry gets its target audience.

Recently, the LEGO Harry Potter games were re-released in a collection for current generation consoles. Appropriately titled LEGO Harry Potter Collection, this set allows fans to revisit their favourite wizarding school, albeit with an especially shiny coat of paint. Alongside the expected resolution bump is an increased framerate. The lighting and environments have also been overhauled. When compared to the Xbox 360 version, the difference is startling. All of these enhancements make for one gorgeous adventure. The art-direction really gets its chance to shine here. Every background detail is on full display and it's wondrous to behold.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 chronicles the many misadventures of young Potter as he learns the ins and outs of being a wizard. Each year consists of six stages, though there are plenty of opportunities to explore the school, and discover its hidden treasures. At various points throughout the story, players will also visit classrooms in order to master spells or potions. Employing these abilities will open up more areas to explore. There's also a large number of hexes, though they don't serve much of a purpose, aside from bullying hapless classmates. Perhaps that's part of the reason why Draco Malfoy and his goons are present in most scenes. Since they're always taunting Harry, it only seems fair to slap them with a 'Slugulus Erecto' spell. They can't boo and hiss if they're busy throwing up slugs, after all...

Screenshot for LEGO Harry Potter Collection on Xbox One

Since each year is based on their respective book & film, you can expect to take an active role in almost all of the memorable scenes. Where this differentiates itself is in the steps taken towards resolving whatever problem befalls the heroes. For example, in the second stage of year 1, Harry will have to put a stop to the toilet Troll. However he can't simply barge into the ladies washroom like he did in the movie. First he and Ron have to find a proper disguise. The way forward isn't exactly straightforward or obvious, but anyone who takes time to explore will find a solution. Expect to cast 'wingardium leviosa' quite often, as it's used to build the necessary tools for solving whatever problems that Potter and his chums run into.

All in all, this does exactly what it set out to do: it makes full use of the LEGO trappings to transport players into the wizarding world. There is some repetitiveness however. Consider taking everything in a session at a time. Be sure to check out all of the unique touches in every area. There are a handful of completely optional rooms as well. It's really impressive how much care went into creating them, even if all they offer are a few collectibles.

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 covers the latter half of the young wizard's story. This is essentially a direct continuation of the previous title with a few changes and additions. The most notable of the bunch is duelling. Basically the hero or heroine engages in a one-on-one battle with an evil wizard, with winning simply a matter of choosing the spell that can break the opponent's defences. Every spell is colour-coded, which makes the right choice pretty obvious. If need be, the player can bring up a shield to deflect attacks, though whoever they're facing is capable of the same. Duelling is a neat idea and works well enough, but it's not really that exciting. On the bright side, duels don't occur very often.

Screenshot for LEGO Harry Potter Collection on Xbox One

This entry is leaner and more refined than its predecessor; spellcasting has been streamlined a little, so less time is spent switching between spells; underutilized and annoying charms such as 'immobilus' have been dropped entirely. The new areas are also pretty fun to explore. One of them is the campsite from Deathly Hallows, and the developer did a fine job of dressing it up and making it look interesting. It's not just a humdrum tent in the woods any more. There are less fantastical elements than before, but Traveller's Tales makes the most of what they have to work with, and the results are quite stunning. However, the frame-rate does seem to struggle more often than before.

Both games are sure to take quite a while to complete. As is common for the franchise, finished stages can be replayed with all of the unlocked characters. This feature allows one to collect rewards they couldn't get to earlier. Gathering every last bit of treasure is actually a relatively painless affair, thanks to the prevalence of cheats. Inputting a few passwords is all it takes to unlock arrows that point out the location of every collectible. Yes, even completionists out there don't have to deal with the frustration of missing one or two items.

Screenshot for LEGO Harry Potter Collection on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

For anyone out there who is a fan of Harry Potter, LEGO, and videogames, LEGO Harry Potter Collection just might be the safest bet imaginable. Both titles within are overflowing with Traveller's Tales' affection for charming production values and easily-accessible gameplay, and Xbox One's enhanced frame-rate and resolution breathes new life into what was already a lovingly-crafted world. The formula does wear itself thin at times, and players might even feel like they're just going through the motions, yet it's doubtful that they'll ever regret their days spent at LEGO Hogwarts.

Developer

Warner Bros

Publisher

Warner Bros

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Gabriel PVJ Jones

There are 1 members online at the moment.