Wizard! Lego Harry Potter Trailer

By John Walker on April 15th, 2010 at 9:58 pm.

Twat.

Look, right, I’m just going to say it: I don’t much like Harry Potter. The books, I mean. I’m sure Harry’s just lovely. But the whole thing has never done anything for me. I’m not boasting – how tiresome people are who think they’re clever for not liking something popular. I’m missing out. (Although I can always re-read His Dark Materials, I suppose.) But still. I tell you this to explain my confusion at the new video for Lego: Harry Potter Years 1-4. It’s quite a dilemma really – the Lego Star Wars games were wonderful, and even though the Lego Indys were weaker they still offered that smash-everything fun that appeals to me so. So of course a Potter game will offer the opportunity for deliberately making those characters collapse into their Lego bits over and over.

I do like the video’s opening question. “Could you imagine what it was like, being a wizard, going to a school like Hogwarts?” As if it’s something from the 17th century. So asks Tom Stone, Mr Boss Man at Traveller’s Tales. The lovely Jon Smith (he used to work at PC Gamer you know. He once gave me a Lego Bionicles toy) informs us that this is the most detailed Lego world they’ve built so far. The footage does look very much like the format is being followed, which is by no means a bad thing. And rather unlike Indy, it will make some sense that Harry and chums can rebuild Lego bits into things using magic.

My hope is that the cutscenes take a healthy amount of the piss out of Rowling’s franchise, much as the first Lego Star Wars so cheekily poked fun at Lucas’s universe. Oh, and “Hogwarts” – “warthogs” – I just got that.

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38 Comments »

  1. hydra9 says:

    Sad to say, but the alt-text for that image made me piss myself.

  2. stahlwerk says:

    “Hogwarts” – “warthogs”
    Mind = blown

    Actually, i don’t care too much for harry potter, saw one of the movies, never got around to the books.

  3. Squashua says:

    LEGO Batman is pretty good for anyone with a Wii without a system to play Batman Arkham Asylum.

  4. westyfield says:

    I had to read the first two books in school in year 5. Eeeeeh. Did not like. I’ll take a good Philip Reeve (<3 Mortal Engines) over a J.K. Rowling book any day, thanks. /unnecessaryopinionsharing

    • Rosti says:

      To continue in this vein: I’ll agree to that. I found the first 2 books a bit flat, the third sort of quite entertaining and then (wisely, I suspect) stopped on the fourth one. It’s mostly a case of finding it uninteresting, rather than actually bad in terms of narrative or writing craft (like, say, Dan Brown and Tom Clancy for example). As in, you’ve put magic in a modern setting and are content to keep it hidden? Why! I want civil unrest! DOWN WITH THE WIZARDS, etc.

      Ahem. Sorry, I’ll go to sleep now.

    • Weylund says:

      I enjoyed them all – they were occasionally formulaic (you write a seven-book series and try not to repeat yourself, please) but imaginative and fun nonetheless. I do think anyone who hasn’t given the series a fair shake (at least a couple books) is missing out.

      Anyhow, that said, the important thing here is: they’re making you read them in school!?? Good lord. That’s insane. I loved the books, but… they’re not quite school-caliber are they? I mean, I think we read Catcher in the Rye in my equivalent grade, among others books. To think that people were reading The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets instead is blankly awful.

    • Davie says:

      @westyfield, yes, to stray further off topic, every book Philip Reeve has ever written is brilliant. More so than HP for sure.

      It’s funny, I haven’t talked about Harry Potter in months; it seems like the rabid fanbase has died down a little now that the final book has come and gone. This is a good thing.

  5. Skusey says:

    John, do you fancy Lego Hermione more or less than Lego Poison Ivy?

  6. rei says:

    I rather liked the books, although I felt she tried a bit too hard to write something that people would take more seriously towards the end. The earlier books were more fun. I enjoyed the two or three of the movies I’ve seen, too. Never managed to care about any of the lego games, though, so still not interested.

  7. Pantsman says:

    I quite liked the books, shame some people don’t. Although I suppose it’s a shame that everyone doesn’t enjoy everything that was ever made, so it’s kind of a moot point, eh?

  8. Dr. Derek Doctors, DFA says:

    Don’t care much for Harry and his chums, but I’m quite fond of J.K. Rowling’s take on the Tories. Walker, I expect a post at Botherer!

  9. malkav11 says:

    The books are quite good. There are better YA books that haven’t garnered anywhere near the attention (some of them, like His Dark Materials, for somewhat evident reasons – Pullman’s a vocal atheist and it shows in the books.), but Potter’s still enjoyable.

  10. Saul says:

    The books are incredible, although the first few didn’t give me that impression. Thankfully I persisted, because it all comes together. The films are mostly lame, although they have been improving slightly.

  11. Bassism says:

    I loved Lego as a kid, and did actually enjoy the books (never finished the series though and only seen one or two movies)

    I’m pretty sold on this game though.

    “The two things we’re looking for are fun and immersion and that’s kind of what we achieved.”

    How can you argue with that?

  12. RogB says:

    His Dark Materials trilogy = fabulous. that is all. (shame about the film mess though.. )

    • Auspex says:

      I loved the first 2 Dark Materials books when I was a wee boy and tried to read the 3rd a few years but found that first, however many, pages about that daft woman with all the weird creatures utterly tedious and I never bothered to finish it…

      I saw the theatre production of the whole thing though and that really was excellent. I highly recommend it if they ever do it on that clever spinny stage again.

    • Mr_Day says:

      The motorbike creatures, you mean? I managed to finish the book, but that whole world and that woman’s adventure in it never sat very well with me.

      That said, i don’t recall much of it now. Might go back and read them again.

      Lyra’s Oxford was good, though.

    • amishmonster says:

      Yeah I just wanted to chime in with agreement that His Dark Materials is vastly better young adult fiction than HP ever will be, and I didn’t even find it until I was 20. AND I don’t mind Harry Potter.

  13. drewski says:

    Harry Potter occupies the same space as stuff like John Grisham for me, and I suspect Dan Brown for others – it passes the time, keeps you mildly entertained and is vaguely interesting.

    Quidditch really is a moronic sport, though.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Quidditch would have benefitted from having Rollerball influences.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Or if the players were juggers.

    • Mr_Day says:

      With the exception of the golden snitch, which is a fairly dumb addition (so whoever catches it wins? What is the point of the rest of it?*), the rest of the game is about using clubs to bat balls at the opponents, and throwing a ball through scoring hoops for differing sets of points.

      In short, it is Speedball with broomsticks, and we all love Speedball.

      * Whilst it is mentioned that you can score enough points normally so that the opposing team doesn’t win even if they catch the thing, the amount of scoring you would have to do is pointlessly** high considering the average score of a game commented on in the books.
      ** Hah!

  14. Malcolm says:

    I’m quite looking forward to this – the Harry Potter world should lend itself quite well to Lego fun.

  15. Wulf says:

    I enjoyed the books and movies up until the point where they started turning all serious and moody, which was a huge disappointment, since I preferred the lighter tone of the earlier books. The main problem I have with that is that it took the Dragon Age approach to maturity, in that maturity wasn’t brought about by thinky characters and adult responsibilities, but rather simply killing people.

    “I’ve killed a bunch of my characters, I can be adult book now plz?”

    It all felt very forced, and like Rowling was moving away from what she was respectable at writing to what she thought might have sold more books. I’m sure it did sell more books, too, because that sort of pseudo-maturity (darkness, violence, and emo) does sell, especially to the mid-teen bracket, but it certainly didn’t make for a very enjoyable read for me. The earlier books have a greater sense of imagination and fun, the latter books were just Harry’s puberty into emodom. Blech.

    • Weylund says:

      Meh. You wouldn’t believe the hoops that people leap through to make fiction salable. Rowling not only pulled it off but managed a believable story across seven volumes as well. Considering the theme of loss that ran throughout the series, I wasn’t at all surprised when her primary “adult” steps were death-based, and I would hesitate to criticize the wisdom of the choice. That’s like criticizing “Are you there God, it’s me, Margaret” for moralizing around the issues of adolescent girls.

  16. Pew says:

    Is it just me, or could you just put the audio from this trailer under any Harry Potter game trailer without any need for editing?

    “We had to create Hogwarts in the same style as the movies, the movies don’t show all of Hogwarts”
    “Make Hogwarts a believable environment”

    Blablabla, that is what your job is when you make a HP game, bloody hell! I mean, it’s not like they turned Quidditch into an FPS with a strong narrative style and called it HarryPotter.

  17. Fraser says:

    That trailer was pretty obnoxious (“The reason that gamers are so engaged with playing our games is because they’re so much fun.”) but I’m optimistic about the game. The movie tie-in games are pretty decent for licensed games, and the best part about them was the way they conveyed the setting of the books; the gameplay was predictably mediocre.

    Confession time: I’m a reformed Harry Potter snob. I made fun of them in ignorance early on, and when I finally read the first book I was only mildly entertained, but eventually I got hooked. I’d rate it above His Dark Materials, though that’s a good series too, but for different reasons. JK Rowling’s strength is drawing strong, convincing characters; not for nothing do fans always talk about wanting to live at Hogwarts and hang out with all the characters. Pullman to me is more of a grand, paranoid ideas man.

  18. Irish Al says:

    Never read any of the books due to not being 14, but have loved all the LEGO games so looking forward to this.

  19. Wizards says:

    This is really a nice blog i like to read this blog daily it has got all the informative stuff that i want to know about. i want to subscribe it so can tell me when your blog gets updated.

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