LEGO Harry Potter Collection Review
The grunting is back, and the voices are gone, but that’s perfectly fine with us! LEGO Harry Potter Collection recently launched on the Nintendo Switch, and we are loving our time with it so far. While some will argue that this is purely a money grab, I have a different take on it which I will outline below.
If you haven’t played the original two Harry Potter titles recently, the graphical changes probably won’t hit you over the head. Let’s face it – LEGO games have always looked relatively good, and since the majority of the the environments you play in are made of LEGO blocks, there is definitely a ceiling to what “remastered” really means.
That being said, LEGO Harry Potter looks fantastic on the Nintendo Switch! Characters and environments are very well detailed, and all of the subtle things you think you would see in Hogwarts should you visit it now are there. From the moving paintings and stair cases, to the banners hanging from the walls, no detail was over looked when it was originally released, and nothing was overlooked today.
Audibly, Travelers Tales has obviously maintained the grunting and miming of the original run of LEGO games; I was a huge fan of adding voice actors to the LEGO franchise, but going back to see how it was done was equally as exciting. Many jokes come across a lot better in these older titles as the grunts and mimes enhance what you see visually on the screen. It would have been cool to get new voice overs done – which really would have turned this into a remastered collection – but it really isn’t built as a remastered; its a collection, and one I’m glad I own.
Some of the old problems from the original Harry Potter games are still evident here, especially the annoying camera. Far too often during my adventure, I had to fight the camera within levels trying to get it to sit where I wanted it to. Often, I failed in this endeavor and completed some tasks ‘blind.’
Outside of the minor glitches Travellers Tales fixed for this release – notably the problem with missing ingredients for potions that often happened when the game originally launched many moons ago – the mapping of the controls over to the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con and Pro Controller seems to be done fairly well. Whether playing in handheld mode, or with the Joy-Con detached, I never felt like anything was mapped poorly.
Talking to the detractors…
Listen, I understand that many people are scoring this game incredibly low and calling it a money grab, but that could not be further from the truth. Since these games launched, the Harry Potter universe has taken off with new books, merchandise, and yes, even a new string of movies set before the events of Harry Potter. Along the way, new fans have been joining the wizarding world at an alarming rate, and hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of these new fans have never played LEGO Harry Potter before.
Travelers Tales did an excellent job modernizing this title for 2018, and while it still shows its age in certain aspects – especially when held up next to LEGO DC Super-Villains or LEGO The Incredible – it’s great to have this collection on modern consoles again, for all to enjoy.
LEGO Harry Potter Collection is an outstanding nostalgic journey for those who played the games many years ago, and is an excellent experience for those that haven’t had the chance. Trust me, a collection is much cheaper to purchase than an old Xbox 360 or PS3. If you love Harry Potter, give this a go. Granted, it’s not perfect, but it is still a lot of fun!