Tag - the hobbit

LEGO The Hobbit Key Art Released

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment sent out this official key art for their upcoming LEGO The Hobbit this morning – enjoy! LEGO The Hobbit, will be available this Spring for Xbox One, Xbox 360,  PlayStation 4,  PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, the Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, as well as Windows PC platforms.

Click it!

The Banner Saga Review (PC Steam)


The only thing we like better than seeing the little guy make their funding through Kickstarter is seeing them then turn out a product that is as good as hoped for, maybe even better. The Banner Saga was a project with a lot of heart and some smart payoff for investors, if you donated $50 you got to design your own crest for the game as well as getting a terrific special edition. 2,735 people went for that donation level alone (with about 1,000 more crests from higher donations) and the $100,000 target was surpassed and hit $723,886. So what made The Banner Saga such a hit before it was even funded and did it live up to the hopes of those who forked out the cash?

Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization. Every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds. Not everyone will survive, but they will be remembered.



  • Player choice that drives your own narrative – Every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds.
  • Over 25 playable characters from 2 different races, human and varl, the horned giants – embark on your epic journey with a variety of characters from 7 different classes, each with unique abilities and upgrade options to fit your play style.
  • The journey is as important as battle – Your role in building and managing your caravan as you travel the vast frozen landscape is critical to not only your own survival but the survival of an entire civilization.
  • An epic Viking saga brought to life in 2D glory – Beautifully hand drawn combat sequences and animations, accompanied by an evocative score from Grammy-nominated composer Austin Wintory, will immerse you into a fantasy realm inspired by Norse mythology.
  • Multiplayer Combat Enhanced – Sharpen your combat skills in the free multiplayer game “Factions.” As you play through the single player game you’ll also unlock new characters to use in multiplayer.
  • Not another generic fantasy: Drawing heavily from Norse culture while creating its own identity and mythology, The Banner Saga takes a low-fantasy approach to viking themes. Giants: yes. Horned helmets: no.
  • Strategic combat: Recruit a large roster of unique characters throughout the story, each with different abilities that interact in combat in a deeply tactical way and personalities of their own. The Banner Saga harkens back to classic turn-based gameplay with a strong emphasis on tactics over brute force and endless grinding. Victory or defeat and even the permanent loss of a character depends on which characters you choose to take into battle and what decisions you make afterwards.
  • Travel across gorgeous landscapes: The choices you make as events arise have a huge affect on how the story plays out- who survives, who dies, and what’s worth saving. Add people to your caravan as you travel, or lose them when tough decisions arise. You’re not just fighting to save nameless strangers, you’re fighting for your neighbors, your family and your way of life. We want you to care what happens to them.
  • An emphasis on story: Your choices in dialogue and throughout the game truly affect the story and the people around you. A mature story for adults means forming relationships and making tough decisions; not sex, violence and swearing.
  • Risk in gameplay: A lot of modern games play it safe- you know you’ll defeat the evil and save the day. In The Banner Saga you can’t take anything for granted. We want it to feel like a good tv mini-series; the world doesn’t revolve around you, it’s about how you deal with change.
  • DRM-Free, and available on PC and Mac


Additional funding allows us to give you:

  • A bigger, richer world. More characters in combat, more animation, more diverse landscapes, more music, engaging animated cutscenes, and more multiplayer options. We have a huge story we want to tell and this will let us deliver it in the most compelling, meaningful way.
  • Porting to more devices. Our first release will be on PC and Mac, but funding would allow us to convert the game to iOS, the Kindle Fire, consoles like XBLA and PSN and maybe even portable gaming devices like the Vita.
  • Localization (translation) in more places. Viking culture is huge in Europe and turn based strategy is big in Japan. We’d love to bring The Banner Saga to both of those places and anywhere else we find significant interest.
  • The game the way we think it should be. By crowdfunding this project we won’t be tied to publishers telling us to change the giants to orcs or dumbing the story down for children. We think this means a better game for everyone.


Hands On:
Okay, this sounds like a pretty lofty goal for an indie project but the team, comprised of SWTOR heavy hitters Alex Thomas, John Watson and Arnie Jorgensen (who first worked on Justice League America for DC Comics) seemed up to the task. When I started The Banner Saga up I knew I was in for something special. The opening screen harkens back to old cartoons like the Rankin and Bass film, “The Hobbit” and Ralph Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” in its gorgeous, hand-drawn beauty  – but with a soundtrack equally beautiful.

Next comes the choosing of the crest that suits you best. If you are one of the approximately 4,000 players who got to design your own crest the decision is easy, for the rest of us it was a bit tough. I found one that looked practically custom-made for me and dove into the game itself.

The beauty of the opening screen follows into the opening cinematic that has you making important decisions right away. Perma-death is always present in this game right from the beginning, as it sets you up for your first battle only minutes in. The fighting gameplay is done in an isometric, turn-based movement/action style similar to Jagged Alliance or Omerta where you first decide where to move your character in a limited distance of squares then decide which action such as attack or defense to take. This portion of the game is also hand drawn and definitely a work of art with character animations and background scenery that matches the rest of the gameplay.

In so many games if your character falls in battle they are fine or just need healing afterwards. In this game your multiple choice decisions can get one of your best characters killed and if they fall on the battleground you have a really strong chance of never seeing them again. It stings the first time you get a scene where another member of your party tells you that the town chieftain died because of one of your choices or that your favorite warrior won’t be joining you on any more battlefields. Heck it stings all the times after that but it also makes you think very carefully about your next move.

Without giving anything away about the storyline, it is very epic in scale while at the same time feeling very personal since your choices decide the ending. This alone adds to re-playability then you add on multiplayer in which you get more playable characters by unlocking them in single player storyline choices and battles and you will definitely get your money’s worth out of this first chapter. The plan is to make the Banner Saga a trilogy which brings up my only real question, since they got seven times the funding they needed, do they consider the other games funded now or are we going to see another Kickstarter in Stoic’s future? Whatever their decision they have already announced that your decisions in this chapter will carry over to the next.


Last Call:
The Banner Saga with it’s beautiful hand drawn art and great storyline harken back to epic hand drawn cartoon movies from over the years while giving a modern take on the turn based strategic fighting game. The story will pull you in, your decisions will weigh on you and your choices in combat will literally mean life or death for the characters. The only complaint about The Banner Saga is not knowing how long it will be for the next chapter.

[easyreview title=”The Banner Saga Review Score” cat1title=”Overall Score (out of 5)” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”5″ ] [button target=”_blank” style=”” link=”http://gamingshogun.com/gamingshogun-rating-system/”]Learn About Our Rating System[/button]

LEGO The Hobbit Announced


Burbank, Calif. – November 25, 2013 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group today announced LEGO® The Hobbit™, the latest addition to the popular LEGO videogame series thatbrings to life the enthralling and legendary  stories from Oscar®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit Trilogy.  The game will be available in 2014 for the Xbox One all-in-one games and entertainment system and Xbox 360 games and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems and PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system., the Wii U™ system from Nintendo, the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system, as well as Windows PC and Mac.

LEGO The Hobbit will be based on the first two films of The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the upcoming The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), opening worldwide beginning December 13, 2013.  Following the storyline of the first two films, LEGO The Hobbit will take players on quests throughout Middle-earth, joining Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey, and Thorin Oakenshield and Company in their exciting adventures toward the Dwarven Kingdom of Erebor.

“We are thrilled to depict the characters and environments of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth in LEGO form with the LEGO The Hobbit videogame,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “Our family-friendly take on these thrilling adventures will have kids and parents playing and laughing together as they build and explore in LEGO Middle-earth.”

In LEGO The Hobbit, kids and families will be able to take on the form of their favorite Hobbit characters, including Bilbo, Gandalf, and all of the Dwarves: Thorin, Fíli, Kíli, Óin, Glóin, Dwalin, Balin Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori and Ori.  Each has his own special – and quite hilarious – ability: For instance, Bombur can be used as a trampoline that enables his companions “belly-bounce” out of danger!

Players will visit key locations from the films, including Bag End, Bilbo’s Hobbit-hole in Hobbiton, trek through the treacherous High Pass over The Misty Mountains, and explore the depths of Goblin-town, Mirkwood and Rivendell. Along the way, players will solve countless puzzles, partake in Treasure Quests and battle with Orcs, Trolls and fouler things.  They will also be able to mine for gems, discover loot from enemies, and craft powerful magical items or build immense new LEGO structures.

LEGO The Hobbit is currently being developed by TT Games and expands on the play themes introduced in the brand new LEGO® The Hobbit toy collection.  For more information, please visit: http://thehobbit.LEGO.com.

Guardians of Middle-earth MOBA Game Announced

Burbank, Calif. – May 30, 2012 – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announces Guardians of Middle-earth, a new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by Monolith Productions, set to debut in fall 2012 exclusively for Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®Network. The game will feature tie-ins to the upcoming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey motion picture, directed by Peter Jackson and a production of New Line Cinema and MGM.

Guardians of Middle-earth brings up to 10 players together in five versus five competitive multiplayer battle arenas in the epic setting of Middle-earth. The game offers more than 20 iconic guardians, including Gandalf, Sauron, Gollum, Thráin and many more, for players to control in player versus player (PVP) matches. Gamers will have the ability to connect with other players via an in-game voice communication system, as well as access to a comprehensive online stat and leader board system where they can track friends’ victories and defeats, and more.

“The MOBA genre is wildly popular with PC players and we are excited to bring it to consoles through the lore of Middle-earth,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Production and Development at WBIE. “The heroes and villains of Middle-earth are crafted in a way that perfectly intersects with MOBA game features, allowing the development team to create guardians with deep skills and abilities for gamers to master.”

Leading up to and beyond the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey motion picture, fans can look forward to several new playable guardians releasing in conjunction with the film, to allow gamers to actively participate in Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle-earth.

For more information about Guardians of Middle-earth, please visit the website at www.guardiansofmiddleearth.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GuardiansofMiddleearth or on Twitter @GuardiansMe