When this game was announced, I couldn't help but sigh. Here we go, I thought, a cheap and rushed game released only due to the popularity of the recent Lord of the Rings films. As such, I didn't choose to buy it but when I was given it as a gift a was extremely pleasantly surprised.
The game has all the typical features of a platformer, you know jumping from this bit to that, but also has innovation with clever puzzles and (considering this game is primarily marketed at a younger audience) challenging fights, particularly at boss level.
The graphics at the time were so-so which means that nowadays they are at best...charmingly quaint, but it doesn't really detract from the game. The levels themselves are so well-designed one doesn't notice the imperfections. The chapter of the game called 'gathering of the clouds' is particularly magnificent, with a grand open arena to explore lots of different ways.
Where the game is let down however is combat and because there's quite a lot of it, it's a real shame. In essence you have three attacks - melee, jump then melee or throw rocks. As you can imagine, this gets somewhat repetitive after a couple of hours.
I think the very best thing about the game though is the outstanding voice-acting. Having read the book a few times, I think they got the characters just about right. Sure, some characters like the goblins and the trolls have cartoonish monster voices, but both the book and the game are for a younger audience. And inevitably, some of the dwarfs sound suspiciously similar to one another, but it never really matters.
All in all, 'The Hobbit' is truly a very under-rated, high quality, old school platformer.
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