Lord of the Rings Games

illlllll review some lotr gaymes here get some pix and fix that later bro im tired and im dying. just writing some notes for now...

The Hobbit

6/10: Like Breath of the Wild, But Better

not-terrible platformer/adventure with a nice comfy art style

idk if i can recommend it without an emulator's save states. the platforming isn't difficult, but there's enough of it so that you're going to end up dying. also the combat is sometimes overwhelming. it's never frustratingly-difficult, but enemies hit hard enough to easily kill you if you're not careful, and the saving/loading times are pretty cruel. Am I just impatient now?

Tries to be Zelda, and it kind of works.

Storyyyyy... demonstrating as always how reliable it is, Wikipedia claims "The game sticks very closely to the plot of the novel", which is of course completely untrue. No-one should ever expect a perfect adaptation of any Hobbit/LOTR books--especially for a game, there NEEDS to be padding (like having you fight Goblins throughout the entire game) but some of the changes are just BAFFLING and serve no purpose whatsoever. Things like Bilbo naming Sting by himsself, or naming certain enemies as minions of the Necromancer as if he could possibly know that. The game LOOSELY follow the plot of the book, covering many major events, but probably at least half of the game's story and characters are completely new. It's not bad though.

the cover art makes Bilbo look like an asshole, but he's pretty cool

The Fellowship of the Ring

one of the greatest adventure games ever made. well it's ok lol. really only for fans of the book. 3 playable characters- Frodo, Aragorn, Gandalf. Combat is servicable for all of them, except any more than 1 enemy at a time with Frodo. But you can literally run by basically all the enemies in the game so who cares. Aragorn can kick and stab stuff to knock them down for finishers and it's beautiful. Gandalf has like a gorillion different spells, and they all work well against enemies. The game's very generous with mana potions for him, too so you can really go off king.

MAJOR CON: Gandalf's stupid cape clips through his back and it looks absolutely ridiculous.

Game-Ending glitch: for the ps2, in the Mines of Moria, when you walk into a certain room, the game will continue to load forever. You can get by this by pressing start right as the game starts to fade and pressing X. You might have to try it several times. If you got it, it'll load a cutscene after a while, after it you'll have control for about a second before another cutscene starts showing Gollum. Save before that. It'll probably load forever again. Restart, the game should load fine after the Gollum cutscene. Maybe in 1000 years someone will use this information.

The Two Towers

that "I GET KNOCKED DOWN" song

level-based action game. pretty good combat except you get knocked down constantly and it's kind of ridiculous. Fixed-camera also allows enemies to jump at you from offscreen. Late levels can be cruelly difficult and waste a lot of time with mission failures. Pretty short game, but pretty sweet.

three playable characters-- Gimli for melee, Legolas for ranged, and Aragorn who's decent at both. There's a """SECRET CHARACTER""" who is really just the first character you played as, Isildur. He's good at everything. Everyone who played the game rightly expected the secret character to be Gandalf, and it's a shame that it wasn't.

Return of the King

The Southern Gate? More like the Southern farm. Fixes most of the problems from Two Towers and introduces some new ones. Pretty great game though overall. More characters (and your first character is even Gandalf), more abilities, more levels, more everything, and not in a crappy bloated way like Shadow of War. The extra "Palantir" stages are hot garbage, and I refuse to believe they were play tested without chea-- oh no, i just saw a video of someone doing it as Frodo without any cheats. Have I gotten old?

The Third Age

Final Fantasy X but it's LOTR.

the story is kinda like a bad fanfiction, but somehow not as bad as Shadow of War's. you're just some Gondorian soldier guy. and then you meet an Elf mage chick. And then you meet a Ranger archer. And then you meet a Dwarf tanky-melee-kinda guy. And thenlmao -- i mean, you get it. You basically follow the original story but from the perspective of these new characters. Sometimes you'll meet up with characters like Gandalf or Aragorn, and you'll fight with them. It's full of lines from the original story. it's not awful, but there's some pretty silly twists.

The gameplay's actually preddy great. Instead of random encounters, you see the Eye of Sauron or a Palantir to let you know when a battle is coming up, so you can plan appropriately. Once you're in a battle, it's just a turn-based rpg. plenty of different abilities to use, and to be used against you. You're constantly given cool new equipment for the characters, all of which the characters actually wear in-game, so you start out looking like punks and end up looking like kings. it's actually great, and something I remember WISHING Final Fantasy X had. the leveling is pretty constant, so you don't *really* need to grind if you dont want to, but if you do want to, you can make your characters absurdly powerful. It takes a while to grind out abilities you want, though, so that'll be boring. Thankfully, you can make grinding extremely easy, at least. Say you need to use an ability 50 times to unlock one you want. Just single out a single, non-threatening orc. Even put him to sleep if you can. Then just take as many turns as you want-- he won't wake up until you attack him. Doesn't work for damaging abilities, but lets you unlock extremely useful spells.

by the end of the game, my elf chick was essentially invincible, so that's neato. the game can really bust your balls at a few sections, so it's good that it also allows you to pump yourself up as well.

fighting the Witch King took me about half an hour, and it was the most fun boss I can even remember in a game. he had me up against the ropes for like ten minutes, then I figured him out and spent 20 minutes dominating him. it was a really satisfying experience that i havent had in a game for a while. again, there's a few parts in the game that can be kinda cruel, but there's always a way for you to trivialize it, you just need to figure out what abilities to use.

War in the North

so close to perfect that it hurts. satisfying combat, good loot system. late-game levels can be too difficult if you didn't spec your characters well. 3 playable characters: Useless Ranger, Tank Dwarf, and Healer Elf. Both the Elf and the Dwarf are actually better at dealing damage than the Ranger and their special attacks are more useful than his.

AI companions are useless, so you'll need to carry them. late-game this means the Elf(who can heal) and Dwarf(who can instantly-rez)--and who both have high-damage AoE attacks-- are ALWAYS superior choices to the Ranger. Game would have been a lot better if the companions couldn't be downed or you could spec them yourself to complement you. There's way too many suicide-bomber goblins that will down the entire team at once. Playing with humans it's not a big deal, but the AI just cannot avoid them.

game has different performance issues across platforms. poor framerates, crappy audio sync. when it's actually working, it's a fantastic game.

Shadow of Mordor

pretty much perfect. Arkham combat with Assassin's Creed stealth. "It just works". It's a story of revenge and the "meh" parts are the ones when you're helping side characters. There's a "Nemesis System" where Orcs you fight will "remember" you, and it can be pretty neat. But it's actually quite rare when it works like that. Most of the orcs you'll face once and never again unless they kill you. (Can't relate, i never die). you can "dominate" orcs to make them your slaves and it's pretty neat. if i like someone's attitude, ill let them live. if not, they die. that's cool.

Shadow of War

bloated trash. the Nemesis System of the first game worked decently because there were 2 maps, and not that many orcs to remember. Now there's... 5 or 6? It's impossible to keep track of anyone. An orc will attack you and say "HA, I BET YOU THOUGHT I WAS DEAD, WELL I SURVIVED!" and you WILL NOT remember who the hell he was. to be fair, that can actually be funny, but i dont think it was intended to be that way. Orcs are given a lot more... personality. What that means is that unlike in the first game, where they'll say something like "Manswine! I'm gonna kill you!" Now they'll give you their entire life story. If you're fighting more than one, you get to enjoy multiple monologues before actually starting the fight. (this is actually even worse than the first game, because if someone spends like 10 seconds telling you how much they love pain, you WILL remember when a different orc gives you that EXACT same speech)

This kind of "pause in the action" is all over the game. There's a new "loot" system and an ability tree that you need to switch abilites on unlike in the first game where you could just unlock everything. So you'll be pausing the game at least once every few minutes to mess around with new gear or switch an ability so you can damage some Orc who for some reason is "IMMUNE" to being burned. And it's kind of crappy.

the game is actually pretty addictive. it was definitely designed like a mobile game. there's "gems" to collect that can be turned into better gems, that you can use for buffs or to power up orcs you dominate. Orcs have WAY more stats now then the previous game, and you can even customize their abilities. It's kind of like Pokemon. And it's fun. But it's a really "cheap" fun that makes me feel like I've wasted a shitload of time.

the story is just terrible. the personal revenge plot of the first game was nice and neat. now it's just all over the place like a fanfiction that tries to throw as much fanservice in as possible. A balrog sub-plot literally comes out of nowhere. Like you're just TOLD that a balrog is being awakened. It's bad enough for a lotr fan, but how is someone who doesn't even know what a balrog is supposed to care? But wowee though, you get to fight a balrog. that's...cool... "COOL"

Lord of the Rings: Conquest

You can kill the Witch King with a catapult and football-tackle Frodo into the Crack of Doom as a Nazgul. 11/10, BEST LOTR game ever made.