The Hobbit for the PS2

The Hobbit for the PS2
The Lord of the Rings trilogy has been getting quite popular in the past few years. It was inevitable that the original story - of Bilbo Baggins finding the ring - would become a new computer game.

Bilbo Baggins is enlisted by Gandalf to go along with a group of dwarves to explore and steal back a treasure from the dragon Smaug. As you go you gain skill with your sword and courage for your hobbit brain.

The game is on the cutesy side and bears no resemblance to the movie hobbits. It's more based on the infamous cartoon version of the Hobbit by Arthur Rankin Jr, with round-bellied short creatures that refuse to talk of adventure. The game involves a lot of jumping from pillar to pillar and going on eternal quests fetching needles and hammers and nails. Yes, there's bashing involved too, mostly of the jump-and-slash, jump-and-slash, jump-and-slash kind.

Don't get me wrong - I *love* Lord of the Rings and will eagerly buy any game based on the series. But I also love great gameplay. I would play Zelda for months and months, and the games based on the movies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy were superb. This one is on the cute side and is more about running through bushes and shrubs gathering up "courage gems" than any actual real thought. You could easily win this game in a few hours. Sure, you can then go back and find "every last gem" ... but really, running around every square inch of ground hoping mysterious gems pop out of the ground isn't my idea of fun.

I'd recommend renting this one and playing it for a weekend. You'll easily win the game several times in that period. If you still find the game fun, buy yourself a copy and enjoy! But if you've tired of the incessant repetitive music, jumping platform areas and tediously long speeches by then, you'll be quite happy to trade the game back in and get something else. I recommend Return of the King - now there's a game I love playing over and over!

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