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Game ReviewsThe Hobbit by Eonwe-(Valar)

The Hobbit

July 21st, 2006
System: Gamecube
Developer: Sierra
Publisher: -

The Hobbit is an adventure game released by Sierra in 2003 and is as far as I know the only official game on this particular book released.

The Hobbit takes the adventurer through all the fun of the book, from Bilbo’s “Unexpected Party” to the Battle of Five Armies. Parts of the story are left to cut-scenes done in the fashion of pictures drawn on parchment, but there is much of the books still open to exploration by our favorite Hobbit, from quests in the Shire to rescuing the Dwarves from Thranduil’s prison cells. Once you get the Ring, you are permitted to use it, but not freely. If you wear it for too long (as indicated by a meter next to the ring icon) it will slip from your finger. The bar does replentish, so you are permitted multiple uses.

The Hobbit does feature leveling, upgrades(in weapons) and a “store” at the end of each round which lets you replentish your supplies. You level by gaining enough courage points, which are gained from defeating enemies, completing tasks, opening some chests, or even just found around the world. Combat is not required in many situations.. There are some situations in which stealth and discretion are better choices, and at some parts, you are forbidden contact with your enemies at the penalty of losing (and having to restart at your last save point, fortunately). There are many puzzles to figure out, and plenty of breathtaking moments as you jump from one place to try and reach the other. Fortunately, there are plenty of save points, especially when there are difficult situations coming up.

The combat system is not complicated, but it does offer choices. You can (eventually) use your sword to attack with more power, or your staff (right from the beginning) to get a wider reach. You can also use your staff to pole vault over spaces. You are also able to throw rocks at enemies that may not be wise to confront, or to distract them so you can sneak past.

The artwork for the game (characters, scenery etc) has a cartoony appearance, but it suits the game well. Almost all of the characters look good (the Elves look off) and the game is quite challenging. The music is good (You can find the complete soundtrack on Sierra’s The Hobbit Website) and the story holds well to the books. The deviations from the story are only to add more chances for adventure, and overall make the game a joy to play. Some of the puzzles are not as evident to solve as the others, but that only adds to the overall sense of accomplishment once you’ve figured them out.

Overall, this is a fun game. This game has pretty much every good part of the book, and adds to it only to improve the experience. The quests given in The Hobbit do not leave one screaming “That didn’t happen!” but rather enjoying the quests themselves.

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