Reviews for the Lazy Gamer Flashback Edition: The Hobbit
With the new Hobbit movie out, I thought I'd look back on a classic that never got its due. Still easily available for $1.50 and up!
Game: The Hobbit
Platform: PS2, Game Boy Advance, Windows, GameCube, Xbox
Publisher/Developer: Inevitable Entertainment/Vivendi Universal
Describe This Game in Three Words: A Grand Adventure
Plot Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins is a mild-mannered Hobbit, but when he is recruited by the wizard Gandalf to aid Thorin Oakenshield and his band of dwarves to recover their lost treasure from the dragon Smaug.
Up Up: The Hobbit was actually the first game I got with my PS2, because I have a very good wife. It's part Legend of Zelda, part Legacy of Kain and just in general a roaring good game that sort of got lost in the shuffle before Peter Jackson brought the Tolkien universe back front and center.
The Hobbit proves that you can make a good licensed game as long as you don't have a bunch of Hollywood producers breathing down your neck to rush the tie-in out for merchandising. Its setup is a simple set of linear dungeons that are nonetheless grand enough in scope that you don't feel as if you're being led along. The game does use a lot of fetch quests and such to pad its length, but it does so with a very deep knowledge of the more esoteric parts of the mythology so that you spend more time being impressed than annoyed.
The voice acting in particular is very good, and for early PS2, the graphics more than get the job done. They seem a little rough up against PS3 stuff, but not overwhelmingly so. If you're the kind of gamer who has missed a simple story mixed with solid progressive gameplay, then this is definitely the game for you.