LEGO: THE HOBBIT
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on April 14, 2014
I recently bought a PS Vita, which makes me as happy as a lamb in the meadow. Double fun for me when I received the review copy of Lego The Hobbit, which was for my brand new handheld.
I always enjoy playing Lego games. They're funny, joyful and I love the jokes and humor. The story of The Hobbit takes place before the adventures of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, all Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien. This game lets you play through the events of the first two movies of The Hobbit trilogy. The third and final part will be added as a DLC later.
The story is told by Bilbo Baggins. It's a tale about how he was chosen for this journey, accompanied by Gandalf and the dwarves: Thorin, Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Dwalin, Balin Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori and Ori. They're on a quest to seek for a fabled treasure, guarded by the dragon Smaug. As you progress through the story, you will collect more and more playable characters. This is not only fun, but necessary at the same time, because you'll need all their special powers and skills.
Your party may consist of a maximum of 16 characters. By pushing the L-button you can switch between the playable characters in your party. You can also push and hold the L-button, which shows you a overview of your entire party. That way you can immediately choose the right character. This was something I really liked, because switching between 16 characters one at a time can take a while. Working with a large party is fun, although it can be a little tricky to remember which character has which special power or skill. Luckily, the points of interest within the game are marked by a certain color. Green means that you already playing with the right character. Orange means you will have to find out who's the right character for the job.
The PS Vita has already surprised me a couple of time with the quality of its graphics. They're really good for a handheld. In terms of graphics this game really holds its own. The cutscenes and the environments are beautiful. I especially liked the scenery of the mission in which I had to rescue the dwarves out of a tree with spiders and spider webs. Or another one when I was walking in a setting in which I was surrounded by gold. The combination of realistic background and Lego parts is really great.
There is much more to collect then playable characters. You can, for instance, collect gold, crafting material and earn bonus points by completing various challenges. These challenges arise at the beginning of each mission. After you played your mission, you can see which challenges you have completed. You can replay the mission or go on with the story, it's up to you. You can also replay the missions and levels at a later time through the means of fast travel. Sometimes the only way to complete all challenges is to play through other levels until you've acquired the right character for that particular challenge. The more characters you collect, the more challenges you can complete.
There are some moments in the game where you'll have to build something with Lego parts. I don't know how other platforms make this work (presumably by repeatedly pushing a button), but when you play it on the PS Vita it means you have to slide your finger on the touchscreen in the right direction. That was fun! You can basically play the entire game with your touchscreen as a controller. Make your character walk in a specific direction, hit, aim and interact just by tapping on or sliding across your screen. The best part is, it's all optional. There's always the possibility to use buttons instead, if you like the more standard controls.
I really enjoyed playing this game on the Playstation Vita. Lego games are always funny and have excellent gameplay. Lego: The Hobbit is no different in that respect.