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    LEGO: The Hobbit Review

    Over the past few years of the Vita's lifespan we have received over eight different lego games. Each of which fell substantially short of the quality that their console brethren received. It seems as if each lego game that the ps vita has received was either the same version the Nintendo DS received, or was just a rushed attempt to make a few bucks off of the fact that the Lego brand was in front of the title. Even the many Lego games that graced the PSP were much better than the versions that we receive today on the extremely more powerful PS Vita. Sadly Lego: The Hobbit does not do much to change this poor scenario. We once again were given a poorly executed Lego game. Just once I would love to see a Lego game on the Vita that lives up to its name, unfortunately I don't believe that will happen any time soon. Lego: The Hobbit is better than a few of the last Lego games we received, just not by much.

    Gameplay 6/10- Lego: The Hobbit more or less maintains the familiar gameplay mechanics that one would come to expect of a Lego game. The game has you using a Hobbit themed lego minifigure to play through levels that contain platforming and the usual stud collecting. The game doesn't progress through levels like past Vita lego games. Instead players use the world map to move from point to point. This is a nice step in the right direction when it comes to adding something slightly unique.  

    When playing, players will have the camera set at a nearly top down angle instead of a third person view like various other Lego games. This feature isn't too much to complain about until you realize that it doesn't just effect the way you view your character, but also the way you use him. The character is unable to jump into the air, unlike other Lego games. The fact that the jump ability is removed is not necessarily attributed to the camera. However, regardless of why players are unable to jump, the feature is needed and the game suffers without it. There are many instances where it feels as if the ability to jump really is needed in the game. It is replaced with powers to grab walls, thus allowing players to climb them. However it is not a good replacement, and jumping is still necessary.

    A very nice addition to this entry in the lego series is the addition of side-quests. While very limited, the side-quests add a new dimension to Lego: The Hobbit that the other Vita Lego games were missing. The side-quests can add about 3-4 hours of gameplay to an otherwise very short game, which is a nice feature. However the added gameplay time does not make up for how short this game is, and it is hard to justify the purchase of the game for just a few hours of more gameplay. Including the side-quests Lego: The Hobbit can offer approximately 8-10 hours of gameplay. The most unfortunate thing about this is, that the few hours of gameplay that exist are hardly even fun.

    The worst thing about the Lego: The Hobbit gameplay, and every other Vita lego game's gameplay, is that it could easily be played on an IOS device. The Vita is an extremely powerful device, yet we are stuck with a game that is not only extremely short but extremely downgraded from the potential AAA that it could be. The gameplay is just not a good experience, and is a very rushed game. Even with the nice new feature of side quests the game still suffers. Ultimately all the Vita Lego games downfalls are attributed to just not offering the player enough meat.

    Story 8/10- There is obviously not too much to discuss when it comes to the story of Lego: The Hobbit. The game follows the storylines of the two recent Hobbit movies, which include The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Then obviously the movies follow the storyline of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, The Hobbit. In other words this Lego game's story goes way back, and there is not anything to complain about.

    The obvious difference between lego game's stories and their respective movies would be the added humor. In the case of Lego: The Hobbit it is safe to say that the added humor is a welcome addition. It makes for a slightly more enjoyable game and also adds to the appeal towards children, which is obviously where Lego games are mainly marketed towards. The humor also helps to create a sense of not having already heard the story before in the books or movies.

    The one downfall of Lego: The Hobbit's story is that it is just too short. The game follows the story of two long movies, yet it feels as if the story is a tad rushed when playing the game. Other than the slightly shorter than expected story, Lego: The Hobbit's story is not anything to really complain about. It encompasses the story of The Hobbit while blending the lovely humor that has come to be expected of Lego games. Lastly I would also like to point out that the characters do in fact actually speak in Lego: The Hobbit which of course helps move the story along better than the Lego games where characters do not speak.

    Replay 2/10- Quite frankly the replay value in Lego: The Hobbit should be ranked even lower than I have it listed here. The only reason it gained the 2/10 instead of a 0 is because of the potential to return to the game in an attempt to platinum it. So unless you are a trophy junkie the replay value here is fairly non-existent.

    Lego: The Hobbit should also be given a little credit for the potential replay value that adding side-quests brings to the game. If you didn't take part in the side-quests during the first playthrough you can always go back to do this. However it is extremely unlikely that players would not take part in the side quests during the first playthrough. Especially since without them the first playthrough would only be about five hours long. 

    Lego: The Hobbit is way too linear to allow for a second playthrough. This Lego game makes a small step in the right direction of allowing replayibility by adding side-quests. However there are not enough side-quests or a long enough(or good enough) story to make players want to play through the game twice.

    Graphics/Sound 4/10- The graphics within Lego: The Hobbit are not terrible. However they aren't good either. When playing the game the colors look ok, not very vibrant, but they are ok. However, if you play the console counterpart you will realize just how steep of a difference the games graphics are. Now I am not fully judging the games graphics by comparing them to the console versions. However with the Vita's OLED screen and amazing capability, much is left to be wanted from the game graphically.

    The cutscenes are fairly decent as well. They seem to be the same from the console version, with slight downgrading having been done. The animations are smooth and flawless as well. These two features are possibly Lego: The Hobbit's best assets. The fact that the game is actually playable with little lag and the cutscenes are enjoyable, help to give players the nudge they need to actually complete the game.

    Overall Lego: The Hobbit is another disappointment. The lego games continue to be pumped out onto the Vita, but the value and quality of the games are left at the door. It is hard not to say that each of these lego games are just a way to make fast money off of young Vita owners and those who just enjoy the Lego brand. It is disappointing to think that these games are just "get rich quick schemes", however they sure feel like it. The gameplay is okay and not too glitch, but it only lasts a few hours. With practically no replay value, and poor visual quality it is safe to say you should stick away from Lego: The Hobbit. Its one good quality is the fact that it has a decent story, but the story is just taken from a classic novel and movie. So how much credit can be given to the developers for that. I cannot recommend buying this game, it is just another Lego game on the Vita that doesn't live up to its name.

    Gameplay- 6/10
    Story- 8/10
    Replay- 2/10
    Graphics/Sound- 4/10
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    Item Reviewed: LEGO: The Hobbit Review Rating: 5 Reviewed By: TheAuburnMan
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